The tourism boom is expected to push Illinois’ economy to an all-time high as new hotels and resorts are opened and people return to the state for the first time since a devastating pandemic.
A new study released Monday by the Illinois Tourism Development Corporation shows Illinois saw more than 2.8 million visitors last year, the highest level since the mid-2000s.
The figures also suggest the state’s economy will grow by an average of 3.3 percent annually over the next three years.
The growth in visitors comes as Illinois, like most states, is facing a pandemic that has wiped out nearly half the state.
The state’s population was down to nearly 6 million last year from more than 10 million in 2000.