• Winnebago County Sees Tourism Growth

     
    POSTED August 23, 2016
     

Tourist spending in Rockford and Winnebago counties has continues to rise year after year—in 2015 it reached $349.91 million, a 3 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism.

"We are delighted to see such strong results again this year for the tourism economy in Winnebago County," says Roberta Holzwarth, board chair, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Sustained economic growth is crucial as we transform our region.”

The tax revenue from tourism is injected straight into the community, rounding out at $5.9 million for 2015 alone. The result is a booming tourism and hospitality industry that employs more than 2,800 people.

This growth isn’t limited to the Rockford and Winnebago communities, the Illinois Office of Tourism announced that the Illinois tourism industry has achieved a steady, continued growth in 2015. Expenditures have topped off at $37 billion and the industry has created more than 10,000 jobs statewide.

"Illinois has something for everyone to enjoy, from world-class museums and galleries, to historic sites, rich cultural arts community to professional sports, outdoor recreation and beautiful vistas,” says Cory M. Jobe, director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “Our tourism and hospitality industry are Illinois’ greatest champions, drawing not only new visitors, but repeat travelers as well, in order to support and grow our local economies.”

Toni Roberts, award winning executive pastry chef at theWit Hotel Chicago, is satisfying everyone’s sweet tooth this holiday season with the reintroduction of an exclusive Thanksgiving to go dessert menu. Whether you’re currently embracing everything pumpkin spice or a self-proclaimed chocolate connoisseur, the menu features a little something for everyone.

 

As with most facets of the meetings and events industry, the art of managing an event budget is a true balancing act. And while it’s easy to get wrapped up in the nitty-gritty, Eventbrite revealed a pleasant surprise in its 2018 Pulse Report (which surveyed 1,200 planners), finding that event budgets overall appear to be on the rise. But where exactly are those budget dollars going these days and how can planners best spend to craft memorable moments?

 

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, about 1.5 million Illinois workers are employed in the food and fiber system, ranking it as one of the top states in dependency on agriculture. The state’s 72,500 farms utilize 75 percent of Illinois land, including some of the most fertile soil in the world. While nicknamed “The Prairie State,” Illinois is truly a land of plenty and a hub for agritourism—with some of the largest agriculture-focused events (holding the potential for major economic impact) taking place inside its borders.