CHICAGO – Illinois would unite businesses, cultural leaders, lawmakers and other stakeholders in an effort to create jobs and grow the economy by strengthening and supporting tourism under new legislation introduced by state Rep. Kimberly DuBuclet, D-Chicago.
“Even without a concerted effort from the state, Illinois’ attractions and amenities have helped it consistently remain one of the most visited cities in the country” said DuBuclet. “I know that we could do even better if we coordinate resources and get the state behind an intentional effort to bring more visitors to our great state.”
“Tourism is a key driver of the restaurant industry and the entire economy of the State of Illinois. Legislation introduced by Rep. Kimberly DuBuclet creating the Commission on Tourism to develop a statewide travel and tourism strategy is a far-sighted and important plan for the State of Illinois. The effort will have a demonstrable effect on the restaurant industry in our state and I applaud the vision,” said Sam Toia, President and CEO of Illinois Restaurant Association.
DuBuclet recently introduced House Bill 4159, which will create a statewide commission on tourism. Members will be drawn from different state entities and industry experts, and they will serve without compensation. The commission will be responsible for developing a strategy to increase the tourism industry in Illinois. Illinois is home to breathtaking natural landscapes, rolling prairies, quaint towns and the nation’s third largest city. In fact, Chicago has been named the best big city in the country for the seventh year in a row by Conde Nast Traveler.
“Illinois has something for everyone, and I think it is time for the state to harness what makes us great to attract more visitors.,” said DuBuclet. “The tourism industry employs countless Illinois, and it’s growth would be beneficial to not only the hospitality and tourism sector but to local communities that will accrue the benefits of the increased economic activity.”
The Magnificent Mile District, a major tourist destination in Chicago, attracts nearly 15 million visitors each year, accounts for 67% of the city’s hotel rooms, generates the largest annual consumer spend of any neighborhood in Chicago at $3.8 billion, and supports 243,000 jobs. With such a significant impact on the local economy, The Magnificent Mile Association strongly supports growing tourism in Illinois. We welcome the Commission on Tourism and thank the Representative DuBuclet for her leadership on this issue,” said Chairwoman Justine Fedak.