BN by the Numbers highlights strong tourism in Central Illinois

The annual BN by the Numbers report indicates tourism is an important local economic factor. (Photo by Patrick Baron/WJBC)

By Patrick Baron

NORMAL – Travelers who pass through Central Illinois are making a significant impact on the local economy.

In the quarterly BN by the Numbers update, the report highlighted tourism as an economic sector McLean County is performing well in. As Illinois Office of Tourism director Cory Jobe explained, tourism has two sides to it, both of which Bloomington-Normal are excelling in.

“It’s not only a good leisure market because of Historic Route 66 and the various activities happening in the community, but it’s also a good meetings, conventions, youth sporting market as well,” said Jobe.

Jobe noted tourism is the 7th largest employer in the nation, as well as the 9th highest employer in the state of Illinois. Jobe said tourism has seen an increase in both volume and expenditures over the past 10 years.

He explained Bloomington-Normal has a number of professional and personal stops that bring in tourists.

“When that dollar comes into the community from the visitor, whether its leisure or business, that tends to trickle and multiply in the local economy,” Jobe explained. “I think a lot of communities are relying more and more today on that visitor expenditure.”

Jobe also said there needs to be a greater advertising presence for local businesses because locals don’t buy from brick and mortar stores as frequently as tourists

Patrick Baron can be reached at patrick.baron@cumulus.com.

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