The numbers from the hotel industry suggest the effects of the recession are receding. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity cites figures from Smith Travel Research as saying hotel occupancy was 63.5 percent in 2013, the highest rate since 2007.
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“2007 was a record year, and then in 2008, our industry, like everyone else, suffered from the recession,” says Marc Gordon, president of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association. “Our industry got hit pretty bad, because we tend to be one of the first items that people (both business and leisure) cut back on.”
The average daily room rate was $115.56 in 2013, up 3.7 percent from $111.43 in 2012. The Illinois Department of Revenue says hotel tax revenues were a record $235.6 million, up 7.2 percent from the 2012 figure, $219.8 million.