• Visitor Spending in Rockford and Winnebago County Reaches All-Time High of $384 Million in 2017

     
    POSTED September 7, 2018
     

Visitor spending in Rockford and Winnebago County reached an all-time high of $383.7 million in 2017, an increase of 8.3 percent over 2016. The increase in visitor spending put an additional 196 people to work in new tourism industry jobs, with spending now supporting 3,084 jobs countywide (an increase of 6.9 percent) and $93.8 million in payroll (up 9.6 percent).

An analysis of visitor spending since 2009 shows that tourism continues to grow faster in Winnebago County than all other metro areas in Illinois. From 2009 to 2017, visitor spending in Winnebago County grew 51 percent; with local growth outpacing 12 other large counties and much faster than the set average of 35 percent. 

Winnebago County’s share of its state competitive set (essentially counties that contain similar sized cities) has increased to 18.0% in 2017 from 16.3% in 2009 and 17.3 percent in 2016. 

In addition to spending and employment increases, visitors are also generating increased funds for local and state tax coffers. In 2017, visitors paid $21.8 million in state and $6.78 million in local tax receipts (up 14.3 percent and 8.5 percent). Visitor expenditure, tax revenue and employment data comes from the U.S. Travel Association and the Illinois Department of Commerce.    

“Winnebago County and the Rockford region is a great place to invest, visit and live,” said Winnebago County Chairman, Frank Haney. “Tourism numbers continue to impress as does primary job growth at our Chicago Rockford Internation

The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) earned two awards from the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism. The RACVB was awarded for the BYG2RKFD sports marketing campaign in the Best Branding Initiative category and for the Rockford Peaches 75th Anniversary events and promotions partnership in the Best Cooperative Partnership category.

 

The American Club and Kohler Waters Spa at Destination Kohler have been awarded five stars for the eighth time by Forbes Travel Guide—the highest award given by the global authority in luxury leisure and travel. Located at a premier property in Kohler, Wisconsin, the historic hotel and rejuvenating spa is a model for exemplary hospitality service.

 

A historic landmark property has been completely overhauled and transformed into a new charming Midwest meeting place.