CHICAGO (AP) — State numbers show the number of international visitors to Illinois last year grew by 3 percent, to 2.2 million.
Gov. Pat Quinn announced the increase Thursday while visiting 12-year-old Chloe Stirling at the Kendall College Culinary Camp in Chicago. The 12-year-old's cupcake business in Madison County was shut down earlier this year, prompting a change in state law for home baking.
Illinois officials said in May that 103.5 million Americans visited the Prairie State in 2013. Quinn says with international visitors, Illinois saw a record number of tourists last year — 105.7 million.
Visitors spent nearly $35 billion in the state. That generated nearly $3 billion in state and local tax revenues.
Tourism research firm D.K. Shifflet & Associates provided the numbers.
Illinois Office of Tourism: https://www.enjoyillinois.com/