While the State of Illinois’ financial woes in recent years has been well documented, one of the few business sectors that has produced consistent growth is in the visitor and tourism industry, thanks in no small part to DuPage County and the City of Elmhurst.
Our County’s visitation numbers for calendar year 2017 resulted in increases in visitor spending, state and local tax revenue, and jobs, according to Beth Marchetti, Executive Director of the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau, which celebrated its 2018 Annual Meeting Breakfast at Le Jardin at Cantigny Park in Wheaton on September 27,
The visitation growth over 2016’s numbers contributed to:
· 3% increase in visitor spending at $2.6 billion;
· 9% increase in state tax revenue at $160 million;
· 3% increase in local tax revenue at $46 million; and
· 1.7% increase in tourism-related employment to more than 23,000 jobs.
Over the past five year, key performance indicator—such as spending, tax revenue and jobs—have generated increases ranging from 1.5% to 6.1%.
That growth represents an approximate savings of $1,300 per year in taxes for the average County household, according to the Illinois Office of Tourism.
With some 16,000 rooms available at 115 hotels—including Clarion Hotel Conference Center , Courtyard by Marriott and Spring Hill Suites by Marriott in Elmhurst—DuPage ranks second in the state only to Cook County in tourism expenditures. As a home rule community, Elmhurst benefits from a hotel room tax, retail sales tax, food and beverage tax, and motor fuel tax.
“While tourism in DuPage is growing, so too is the competition (for tourism dollars),” Marchetti stated in an August 30 press release, “It is imperative that we must collaborate internally in order to compete externally. At the end of the day, what we do to attract visitors is economic development.”
300A W Lake St Suite 201, Elmhurst, IL 60126