Record 117 million visitors traveled to Illinois in 2018, governor says

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) -- When it comes to people visiting the state, Illinois has a new record.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says more than 117 million visitors traveled to the state in 2018, according to a report​ from Enjoy Illinois.

Visitors to the state spent $41.7 billion, boosting Illinois’ economy by $2 billion over the previous year, per U.S. Travel Association data. This growth led to a 5.1 percent increase in visitor spending over 2017, higher than the national visitor growth rate of 4.9 percent.

"Illinois is full of vibrant cities and towns with endless attractions that receive millions of visitors each year,” Pritzker said. “I’m proud to be governor of the state where visitors can explore ‘amazing.”

The Illinois travel and tourism industry supported 342,300 jobs in 2018, nearly 5,00 more jobs compared to 2017.

“We are thrilled to see this new campaign come to life this summer targeting our Midwest drive markets as well as national advertising to reach more visitors," said llinois Office of Tourism Acting Director Jan Kemmerling. “Our goal with this new campaign is to touch our consumers’ hearts and evoke real emotion with the sights, sounds and tastes that are unique to Illinois.”