HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) is bringing attention to an all-time high in 2017 tourism numbers in Illinois.
Numbers show that 114 million visited the state last year, three percent higher than the previous year.
Visitors spent around $39.5 billion during their visits.
"Illinois' tourism industry is essential to our state, especially in the 59th Senate District. Our region boasts a number of local treasures and attractions that bring in tourists from all over," said Sen. Fowler. "Tourism brings economic growth and opportunities to our state, boosting our economy, creating jobs and contributing to Illinois' revenue intake."
Cinnamon Smith, Executive Director of Carbondale Tourism says that southern Illinois saw a large boost in its numbers thanks to the eclipse.
She says that the town saw an increase of 50,000 visitors to that area during the eclipse weekend. She says that for every dollar that they have put into tourism they have seen a $9 return. Smith spoke about what it was like seeing the large crowds.
"You found people in green spaces all over town, just with a pop up tent, maybe they were having a picnic waiting for the eclipse to happen, businesses around town, were very happy to see people around town on Monday," she said. "They were open for the event and people were visiting and so it was a very exciting time for our town."
"This series is about using my platform as an elected official to highlight the attractions of our district and do my part to continue encouraging visitors to check out Southern Illinois," said Sen. Fowler.