SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — For the past year, tourism revenue has been almost non-existent because of COVID.
But the last few weeks have Springfield tourism experts feeling relatively optimistic about the summer. According to Visit Springfield, the city is already on pace to blow the total number of visitors from last year out of the water.
Springfield has always relied on the history of Abraham Lincoln to draw people in, but so far this year, there is another major attraction that has been bringing people around just as much as the 16th president.
Several restaurant owners are seeing upticks in business, and its in large part due to people coming into town after getting a vaccine from the mass vaccination site on the fairgrounds.
Mark Forinash owns Café Moxo in downtown. He said he’s even seen people come into town all the way from Wisconsin. They are coming for the shot, staying for Lincoln, and getting a meal on their way out.
Visit Springfield Director Scott Dahl said a tourist will usually spend on average $120 per day during their visit.