Sunday, February 25, 2024

Tourism officials share local travel economic impact at Wetlands Center

Jen Hoelze at Cypress
Illinois Office of Tourism deputy director Jen Hoelze made a stop at the Cache River Wetlands Center near Cypress Tuesday during the 2014 Illinois Tourism Road Show.

The Illinois Office of Tourism Road show made their annual stop to Southern Illinois at the Cache Wetlands Center in Cypress on Tuesday, July 29.

This year, the Office of Tourism celebrated three consecutive years of record breaking travel industry numbers.

According to statistics presented by state travel director Jen Hoelzle, in 2013, the state’s tourism industry hosted nearly 105.7 million visitors, which was an increase of 4.5 percent from 2012. This increase generated $2.6 billion in revenue for the state of Illinois.

The Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau, which is made up of Alexander, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union County, combined produced $185 million in tourism expenditures in 2013.

Tourism also generated about 1,500 jobs for Southern Illinois.

Johnson County visitor expenditures raised by 2.6 percent, the highest increase out of all the southernmost counties.

Most southernmost counties were represented by individual business owners.

Two business owners, Dixie Dart of the Rim Rock’s Dogwood Cabins and Molly Oliver of the Cache Wetlands Center each received the Enjoy Illinois Lincoln Award for their contribution to Illinois Tourism.

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