Over 50 people gathered yesterday at the Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site, to join in celebrating the third consecutive year of record breaking tourism numbers in Illinois.
Among the guests were State Senators Kyle McCarter from Lebanon, and Bill Haine from Alton. Vandalia Mayor Ricky Gottman, Carlyle Mayor Mike Burton also attended as well as staff from the offices of State Representative John Cavaletto and U.S. Representative John Shimkus.
Jen Hoelzle, Director of Tourism for the State of Illinois, shared about the 105.7 Million visitors Illinois welcomed last year. Tourism is the state’s second largest industry and generates over 300,000 jobs across Illinois.
Regional marketing efforts, and cooperation with our member communities here in ILLINOISouth, generated over $1 billion for our 19 County region alone.
Along with the days program, Vandalia’s own Mary Truitt, a huge advocate of tourism in the area and long-time board member for the Historic National Road Scenic Byway, was given a Lincoln Award recognizing her service in the tourism industry.
The road show is a five day, 17 stop tour around Illinois to share the good news, with particular emphasis on the region surrounding each stop. Other stops on the tour include Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee, The Dana Thomas House in Springfield, Quad Cities Botanical Garden in Rock Island, and many more. The Show will make it’s last stop Friday at Lollapalooza in Chicago.