Now that Illinois allows civil unions for unmarried couples, and other states are allowing same-sex couples to get married, Illinois tourism officials are trying to market the state to the gay and lesbian community.  A new portion of the state’s tourism web site has collected information about gay-friendly lodging and attractions, as well as links to information about pride festivals and other LGBT resources.


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Illinois Office of Tourism director Jan Kostner says, “In a study conducted by OutNow Global, (LGBT) travelers spend an average of about $1,974 on leisure travel over the past year, and it’s a community that we want to know that they’re welcome.”   A California company called Community Marketing has set up some guidelines for approved LGBT-friendly businesses, and a link to that information is also on the Pride Illinois tourism site.


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