Illinois sees increase in international tourism

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — State leaders are celebrating Illinois seeing an increase of more visitors from other countries.

More than 2.16 million international visitors came to the state in 2023, up 39% from the previous year. Those visitors stimulated the economy with nearly $2.7 billion of spending into Illinois’ economy.

Leaders with the Illinois Office of Tourism said the growth in tourism is from strategic marketing initiatives, enhanced partnerships and a wide array of unique attractions and experiences that appeal to international travelers.

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“This significant achievement highlights the growing global appeal of our great state and the hard work of our tourism and hospitality industry partners to make Illinois a world-class destination,” Governor J.B. Pritzker said. “Whether you call the Land of Lincoln home or are visiting from afar, we welcome everyone looking to discover all the amazing things that our state and cities have to offer.”

The top five countries visitors came from include Canada, Mexico, India, the U.K. and Germany. Illinois saw a 40% increase in overseas visitors.

“The tourism sector plays a vital role in Illinois’ economy, driving job creation, economic growth and supporting our small businesses and communities across the state,” DCEO Director Kristin Richards said. “The record growth in international visitors is a testament to the strength of Illinois’ tourism industry and its ability to attract visitors from around the globe.”

Overall, 111 million visitors came to the state for 2022 to spend $44 billion dollars.

Officials also note IPW 2025, the largest travel trade show, will also be hosted in Chicago next year.

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