Hello readers,

Newly inducted Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism Cory Jobe is wasting no time getting things running with the announcement of new initiatives to boost Illinois visitors as news comes down that the state marks its 4th consecutive record-breaking year.

In 2014, the Illinois tourism industry welcomed more than 109.4 million visitors. That’s an increase of 3.5 percent from 2013. The direct impact meant tax revenues topping $2.7 billion (up by $133.8 million in 2013), which also supported more than 306,000 jobs.

“The ongoing increase in visitors to Illinois year after year demonstrates that both leisure and business travelers are considering Illinois a premier travel destination, a true testament that the industry’s efforts to support and promote travel to Illinois are paying off,” said Jobe in a press release.

To ensure that 2015 is also a marquee year, the IL Office of Tourism announced new activities during an annual 12-city “tour” that visited some of the diverse areas in Illinois including a history museum in Quincy, the Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria and the Hofbrauhaus in Rosemont. Programs that will be forthcoming include the launch of Enjoy, a “newly-formatted Illinois travel magazine” that will be published bi-annually. The planned lifestyle format will be aimed at “inspiring travel with featured content and unique experiences.” A digital (and interactive) version will be housed on EnjoyIllinois.com as well.

Another program will be called “Illinois Made,” a platform to showcase the work of Illinois makers—the inventors, artists, performers, innovators and pioneers and makers that bring a positive impact to the people and culture of the state.

Stay tuned to Illinois Meetings + Events for more with Jobe and save the date for the 2016 Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism, which will be held March 21-23, 2016.

Happy planning!

Selena Fragassi
Illinois Meetings + Events 

For groups meeting south of the border, the Forbes Five-Star Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal offers a peaceful backdrop for the ultimate seaside retreat.


St. Charles outgrew “charming” years ago. Today, “it’s a lively urban oasis where old meets new,” says Alyssa Feulner of the city’s historic landmarks, new buildings, lovely riverwalk and eclectic dining, shopping and entertainment scene.

Even better are the many ways visitors can experience the city like a local, adds Feulner, who heads up marketing for the St. Charles Business Alliance, which is helping planners tap into the town’s unique vibe.