Record tourism brings jobs, tax revenue to DeKalb
DeKalb County visitors pumped $101.7 million into the local economy last year, an increase of 2.9 percent from 2017, according to the Illinois Office of Tourism.
This was the ninth consecutive year for growth, as measured by the U.S. Travel Association. DeKalb took in $1.69 million in local taxes in 2018, a 1.5 percent increase over the previous year. More than 117 million international and domestic tourists visited the state last year. They spent $41.7 billion, up $2 billion from 2017, the state said.
It was the eighth consecutive year of record state tourism growth. These gains led to increased visitor spending, higher tax revenues and the creation of more local jobs.
Visitor spending created 590 new jobs in DeKalb County last year and 5,200 jobs throughout the state.
Most of these visitors traveled within the United States to Illinois. Among those 114.6 million domestic visitors, 84 percent were leisure travelers. The remaining 16 percent traveled for business. More than 2.3 million visitors to the state traveled internationally.
Over the past decade, domestic travel to Illinois has increased by 26 million people, according to DK Shifflet, which provides domestic volume estimates to the Illinois Office of Tourism. Tourism Economics tallies international visitor numbers.
Domestic tourism created 342,300 jobs statewide in 2018. This represents an additional 6,200 new jobs since 2017.
State and local tax revenues grew 7.1 percent last year to $3.3 billion, thanks to Illinois travelers. This funneled an additional $220.8 into local and state coffers.