Economic Impact Of Springfield Area Tourism Up In 2012

Jul 11, 2013

Springfield Mayor Mike Houston talks up the benefits of tourism at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Credit Peter Gray/WUIS

According to the state's tourism office, 2012 was a "banner year" for those in the business of bringing visitors - and their billfolds - to Illinois.

On Wednesday the agency used the rotunda of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum as its stage to announce the latest numbers on the industry's economic impact. 

Tourist visits and conventions brought $388.06 million to Sangamon County last year - a 2.5 percent increase from 2011.

The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau says local tax revenue generated from tourism was up 4 percent.  Receipts from the industry reached $7.22 million in 2012.  

Mayor Mike Houston says it was a record year in terms of economic impact.  He credits Steven Spielberg's film, Lincoln, for helping to raise awareness about the 16th President and his ties to Illinois.

MORE TOURISM DATA FROM 2012 (from Springfield CVB):

  • Sangamon County's economic impact from tourism currently puts it at the 7th highest out of the 102 Illinois counties.  Only Cook County and the five collar counties rank higher.
  • In 2012, the tourism industry was responsible for a 3,140 jobs and an annual payroll of $85.54 million - a 1.8% increase.
  • The State of Illinois took in $22.61 million dollars in tax revenue from the Springfield/Sang. o. tourism industry in 2012 - a 1% increase.
  • In 2012 local tourist attractions logged 1.76 million site visits, with Lincoln's Home, Tomb and Presidential Museum each hosting roughly 300,000.