The tourism industry in Illinois is growing. This is according to Warren Ribley, director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, speaking in Rosemont at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism. He said the number of domestic visitors in 2010 was up 5.2 percent, and a number that is evident more quickly is hotel receipts.
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“This …year, hotel receipts are already trending up at 7 ½ percent, and we know with a fully-funding domestic and international campaign for this spring and summer, who knows what the numbers will be that we can talk about next year,” he said. The tourism industry slumped during the recession, with fewer people traveling, and those who did not going as far, not staying away as long and not spending as much. Overnight leisure travel grew 14 percent from 2009 to 2010, which Ribley attributes to Downstate attractions.