DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Vermilion County has seen some improvements in an area you might not think of.
Tourism is on the rise in the county, as well as across the state — and this is helping the city in a big way.
More people, means more money, and this isn’t pocket change. State officials say Vermilion County hauled in nearly $82 million this year from travel expenditures.
There was also an increase in local sales tax revenue and payroll.
As you can expect, businesses downtown are pretty happy with the new customers.
“I think you’ve got to do something like that to bring people to your town, they come from all different directions, they might drive by a shop or any business they wouldn’t have seen if they didn’t come here, and just make them want to come back and check it out, which is good.”
In Danville, tourism is bringing people back.
“If you look out here, and see how crowded it is out here now”
City officials say new, and old events are the cause.
“Someone is always inventing some kind of activity.”
Many businesses see the impact recent nice weather and events have on sales.
“We do definitely have an upturn in business during the summer.”
But even as summer turns to fall, people are confident tourism will continue to rise.
“One thing about tourism is that historically it has been known to be very sustainable, when the economy is good people may travel to Florida, but when it’s maybe not so good they stay closer to home, so it balances itself out. So even though traffic is heavier in the summer, we have year-round traffic.”
For many, the people rolling in is just what they were looking for.
“I’m a car nut, I brought my car out to that, and they had really big turn out for that.”
And those events are able to have a direct impact on the people here.
“When you have people spending over $80 million, that’s money that circulates in your community.”
There was a $571 million increase in tourism revenue statewide compared to the year before — that brings the total to nearly 38 billion dollars. There was also an increase of one million travelers to Illinois last year.