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Tourism Boost for Champaign County

Updated: Wednesday, July 30 2014, 10:53 PM CDT
CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- Tourists spending 300-million dollars in Champaign county just last year. That's an increase of more than 8-million dollars from 2012. As expected, Champaign leaders say, they're excited about these new numbers and what it could mean for the community as a whole.

"I'm really excited, it's really fantastic - I think that Champaign is doing so well with so many of our things actually benefits a lot of the communities around as we become more of a destination. It really gives an opportunity for some of the smaller events to those surrounding communities," Mayor Don Gerard says.

Champaign county has reached a new high in the economic impact of tourism... 306.6 million dollars in direct spending in 2013 according to the Illinois office of tourism... over 8 million dollars more than 2012.

"I think it just shows the fact that our community is working together to drive economic development through tourism," Jayne DeLuce of 'Visit Champaign County' says.

Officials say that the popularity of events going on throughout the area like the county fair, blues brews and barbecue, the Illinois marathon, Ebertfest and more - help drive more people to come visit the area, and spend.

"Additional people staying multiple days which then drives additional hotel nights, additional restaurants, uses going shopping, and all of the things they do when they're here," DeLuce adds.

Officials from "Visit Champaign county" say that awareness of these events has gone up leading more and more people to visit every year.

"So it's a combination of the events that happen on the weekends, which people hear about and they're in the media, but it's also an increase efforts during the week which is very important that we sell it 24/7"

They say it's good news for anyone living in Champaign county with taxpayers saving a lot of money and city governments having more to spend.

"I think it's about eleven hundred dollars per household right now of a reduction in the tax burden, so that additional income in revenue supports city services that to the tune of - city, county services to the tune of about a thousand dollars a house hold, which is great," Gerard adds. Tourism Boost for Champaign County

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