Summer is here, and the time is right … for spending money on tourism. Illinois hopes to get plenty of it, as its director of tourism is leading a “road show” with the theme The Travel Effect. Domestic tourism in Illinois totaled 99 million visitors, generating $31 billion in 2012, both records. Jen Hoelzle, deputy director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, says that includes intra-state travelers.
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With plenty of Lincoln sites, Sangamon County trails only the six Chicago-area counties in Illinois tourism, with an estimated economic impact in 2012 of $388 million, Springfield Mayor Mike Houston said. Hoelzle says her office’s social media strategy now includes crowd-sourcing, as people with pictures or video to share can go to http://www.ilmagstuff.com/.