Tourism revenue in Rockford and Winnebago County reached an all-time high last year.
Data from the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau reports visitors spent $353 million and generated $6.2 million in local sales tax. Their data also says tourism spending in Winnebago County rose by 39% since 2009. This was second only to growth in Chicago and Cook County.
“The economic impact of tourism on our local economy cannot be overstated,” said David Anderson, Rockford Area CVB board chair and founding member of Anderson Japanese Gardens. “I see the momentum every day at the gardens as I meet visitors from across the country. Visitors are helping to grow our community, and it is great to see the results in the numbers released by the State of Illinois.”
The Bureau also credits investments in hotels and tourism infrastructure. This was highlighted in what they called three "sellout" weekends in June, leading to 81% hotel occupancy in the county.