(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker stressed the importance of tourism to the state’s economy at the Illinois Governors Conference on Travel and Tourism.
The conference took place at the Aon Ballroom at Navy Pier in Chicago on Monday.
In August, Pritzker approved a $10 million grant program to support new and existing tourism attractions and festivals across the state. The budget aims at revitalizing the hardly hit tourism industry.
Pritzker stressed during his speech at the convention the importance of tourism for the state.
“Even in 2020, as hard as it was, tourism in Illinois supported $47 billion in direct and indirect business sales,” Pritzker said. “I am committed to making the investments necessary to renew our tourism industry and the communities that it supports.”
Pritzker also touted state support for local businesses to help improve tourism for Illinois.
“We’ve deployed over a billion dollars of relief to over 100,00 Illinois businesses in hundreds of cities and counties and towns,” Pritzker said. “We have provided 7,500 hospitality grants totaling $265 million through DCEOs business interruption grants and back-to-business grants.”
Pritzker ended his speech at the convention with a call to action regarding tourism in the state.
“I intend to market and promote and advertise our tourism industry and never stop doing so,” Pritzker said. “You are the lifeblood of our future and the return on investment in this industry delivers for the people of Illinois.”