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Tourism In Illinois Sets New Record

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  Illinois' tourism numbers set another record in 2013, bringing in over 100 million visitors to the state. State agencies say they aim to grow those numbers more in the face of budget cuts.

For the third year in a row, Illinois broke its own record for visitors to the state. In 2013, travelers spent $34.5 billion dollars in Illinois, according to the state's office of tourism.

Though Illinois' new budget provides less for the state's Historic Preservation Agency, and the tourist attractions and museums under it, there have not yet been closures. However there has been talk of curbing hours of operation later this year. Jen Hoelzle is the Deputy Director of Tourism.

"We want to continue to attract more and more visitors to the state of Illinois so that that demand stays high and so that does not need to happen," she said.

Hoelzle says tourism has rebounded and has exceeded pre-recession levels.

Hannah covers state government and politics for NPR Illinois and Illinois Public Radio. She's been dedicated to the statehouse beat since interning at NPR Illinois in 2014, with subsequent stops at outlets including WILL-AM/FM, Law360, The Daily Line and a temporary stint at political blog Capitol Fax before returning to the station in 2020.
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