navy pierIllinois saw a record number of visitors last year.

According to the Illinois Office of Tourism, nearly 114 million people traveled to Illinois in 2017, an all-time high for the number of tourists visiting the state. Last year’s visitor totals were 3 percent higher than 2016, which set the previous record.

An estimated 2.36 million travelers visited from other countries, primarily Canada, China, the U.K., Mexico, Japan and Germany. The majority of the remaining 111.5 million U.S. visitors came to Illinois for vacation, as opposed to work. Nearly 83 percent were leisure travelers, the category that saw the most growth. The other 17 percent were in Illinois for business.

Last year, Illinois visitors generated a $1.1 billion boost to the state’s economy.  Domestic and international travelers spent more than $39 billion in Illinois during 2017, an increase of three percent from 2016, according to data from the U.S. Travel Association.

The state’s tourism industry also supported 335,500 jobs last year, which is 18,600 more than in 2015.

State tourism officials say that the success of this past year can be attributed to its “Up for Amazing” campaign, a revamped enjoyillinois.com website and other advertising that highlighted the thrill of exploration and discovery in the state.

Facebook: Nearly 114 million people traveled to Illinois in 2017, an all-time high for the number of tourists visiting the state. These Illinois visitors generated more than $1 billion boost to the state’s economy.

Twitter: Record 114 million tourists visited Illinois last year, generating more than $1.1 billion boost to the state’s economy.

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