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August 16, 1999

Governor Ryan Signs International Tourism Fund Bill

CHICAGO - Governor George H. Ryan today helped open the International Hardware Trade Show by enacting the state's new International Tourism Fund , an act which will pump $9 million into the international marketing efforts of tourism bureaus around the state.

House Bill 2163, sponsored by State Sen. Walter Dudycz, R-Chicago, and State Rep. Judy Erwin, D-Chicago, creates the International Tourism Fund. Deposits of six percent of the net revenue currently collected from the existing hotel/motel tax will finance the fund.

"From Chicago's skyline, to the Illinois State Fair, to the vineyards of Southern Illinois, we want to inspire international tourists to come to Illinois," Ryan said. "We want them to stay at our hotels, eat at our restaurants and enjoy and savor our sights, our museums, our theaters and family entertainment venues.

"That's going to take continued investment, and that is why I am proud to sign this bill to help us continue to develop our tourism industry" Ryan added.

The Department of Commerce and Community Affairs will establish a grant program to disburse that money to tourism bureaus around the state, including the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau.

In all, it is projected this bill creates a $9 million fund to help promote international tourism.

International Tourism contributes $1.4 billion to the state's economy. However, Illinois is only the sixth most popular international tourist destination in the country. We need to be number one," Ryan said.


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