Numbers released by the Illinois Office of Tourism indicates the Springfield area continues to be a big draw for visitors.
The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Gina Gemberling says the number of tourists is up and with good reason.
“We have a great tourism product obviously with Lincoln sites. We have more than 4,000 hotel rooms and it is our job to keep them busy,” says Gemberling.
Tourism climbed by nearly 5-percent in 2013 as compared to 2012; Sangamon County led the state with the largest increase.
“We are implementing several new marketing initiatives that should help continue the momentum,” she adds.
Money coming into local coffers also rose by more than 4%. Gemberling expects the number of people visiting central Illinois next year will climb even higher as the city gets ready to mark the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death next year.
The Office of Tourism says more 3,000 people are employed in tourism-related jobs in the region.