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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 1999

ILLINOIS SEES DOUBLE-DIGIT INCREASE IN INTERNATIONAL TOURISM

SPRINGFIELD - Marking National Tourism Day, Governor George H. Ryan today announced that Illinois recorded a double-digit increase in international overseas visitors last year.

"There is no question that Illinois' commitment to the international tourism market is paying dividends," Ryan said. "These latest statistics report a good bill of health for the state of our travel and tourism industry, which has a nearly $20 billion impact on our state economy and accounts for nearly one in 10 Illinois jobs."

Ryan is seeking a $5 million increase in funding to promote tourism this year.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported that Illinois recorded a 10.5 percent increase in overseas tourism with the number of travelers rising from 1.14 million in 1997 to 1.26 million in 1998.

In addition, the federal report shows that Chicago has replaced Boston as the ninth-most popular U.S. city for overseas travelers to visit.

Illinois' efforts to promote tourism are overseen by the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, which invests about $3 million a year in efforts to promote Illinois as an international destination both for business and leisure travelers. DCCA's Bureau of Tourism estimates that international tourism had a $1.378 billion impact on Illinois' economy during 1997.

The state's international marketing efforts are focused primarily on two countries -- the United Kingdom and Germany.

Preliminary figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department showed that Illinois became the sixth-most popular stopping point for overseas visitors to U.S. states and territories. Ranked eighth in 1997, Illinois moved ahead of both Massachusetts and Guam by increasing its share of U.S. overseas visitors from 4.7 percent in 1997 to 5.3 percent in 1998.

Ryan also announced today that more than $405,000 in Tourism Marketing Partnership grants will be distributed to 33 not-for-profit agencies throughout the state. The grants represent the third round of a $1.4 million program designed this year to help local organizations -- from the Ravinia Festival to the Nauvoo Chamber of Commerce to the New Salem Lincoln League -- promote area attractions and events.

"These grants give local tourism groups the resources they need to bring visitors to their communities," DCCA Director Pam McDonough said. "Our goal is to inspire more people to explore the outstanding lineup of sites and destinations Illinois has to offer, especially for Illinois residents who are looking for a weekend getaway."

More than 40 percent of state tourism funding is returned to local organizations. The Marketing Partnership Grant program also leverages local dollars for tourism, with $1.4 million in grants being matched by $1.8 million in local funding this year.

Attached is a list of the grant recipients. For more information on the Marketing Partnership Grant Program, call 217/557-2409.

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MARKETING PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM GRANT AWARDS - FY99 Round 3 (April 1, 1999 - June 30, 1999)

Grantee Project Description Award Amount
Geneva Chamber of Commerce
Geneva, IL
County: Kane
Design/print brochures to promote culture around Geneva$5,613.04
Blackhawk Waterways Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB)
Polo, IL
Counties: Carrroll, Lee, Ogle
Design/print rack cards and brochures to promote the "Chocolate Trail" and the "Trail of Terror" events$3,177.75
Galena/JoDaviess Co. CVB
Galena, IL
County: JoDaviess
Produce 2 videos to promote the events and attractions around Galena$10,658.00
Illinois Railway Museum
Union, IL
County: McHenry
Print brochures to promote the year-round IL Railway Museum$3,055.05
Illinois Railway Museum
Union, IL
County: McHenry
Newspaper, radio, and TV ad campaign to promote the special events at the IL Railway Museum$6,478.50
Ravinia Festival
Highland Park, IL
County: Lake
Radio and print advertisements to promote the Ravinia Festival$14,226.98
Bishop Hill Arts Council
Bishop Hill, IL
County: Henry
Print brochures and inserts to promote the area attractions of Bishop Hill$3,565.00
Nauvoo Chamber of Commerce
Nauvoo, IL
County: Hancock
Print brochures to promote the events and attractions in historic Nauvoo$1,790.22
Western IL Tourism
Development Office
Macomb, IL
Counties: Adams, Alexander, Calhoun, Hancock, Henderson, Jackson JoDaviess, Jersey, Madison, Mercer, Monroe, Pike, Randolph, Rock Island, St. Clair, Union, and Whiteside
Advertisement in the Home & Away Magazine promoting the Great River Road trail on behalf Blackhawk Waterways CVB, Carbondale CTB, Collinsville CVB, Galena/JoDaviess Co. CVB, Greater Alton/Twin Rivers CVB, Quad Cities CVB, Quincy Area CVB, Southernmost CVB, and Southwestern IL CVB$6,422.50
Rail Charity Golf Classic
Springfield, IL
County: Sangamon
Print brochures to promote the annual 1999 State Farm Rail Classic $1,910.00
New Salem Lincoln League
Petersburg, IL
County: Menard
Reprint the "New Salem Site" brochures to promote historic New Salem$3,450.00
New Salem Lincoln League
Petersburg, IL
County: Menard
Design/print "Theatre In the Park" brochures to promote the the summer season of plays$2,317.50
Danville Area CVB
Danville, IL
County: Vermilion
Design/print the "Oldsmobile Balloon Classic Illinois" brochures, and advertise on billboards to promote the annual balloon festival$6,114.90
Douglas County TourismCouncil
Tuscola, IL
County: Douglas
Design/print brochures, advertise in Midwest Living Magazine, Home & Away; and advertise on TV to promote the events and attractions around Douglas County$11,251.58
Southernmost IL Tourism Bureau
Ullin, IL
Counties: Alexander, Johnson, Jackson, Pope, Massac, Union, and Pulaski
Produce a 30 minute video, "Outdoors In Illinois" in cooperation with Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau to promote the outdoor attractions and Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois$10,000.00
Collinsville Metropolitan Exposition Auditorium and Office Building Authority
Collinsville, IL
Counties: Madison and St. Clair
Print the "Cahokia Mounds" brochures to promote the international landmark$3,937.50
Southwestern IL Tourism and Convention Bureau
Fairview Heights, IL
Counties: Bond, Clinton, Fayette, Madison, and Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, and Washington
Advertisements in the "1999Southwestern IL Visitors Guide" promote the events and attractions for an 8-county area in southern IL$17,193.45
Evanston CVB
Evanston, IL
County: Cook
Design/print brochures to promote the North Shore and Evanston areas$10,418.00
Museum of Contemporary Art
Chicago, IL
County: Cook
Advertise in Front Row Chicago to promote the museum$9,278.00
Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, IL
County: Cook
Advertise in the Chicago OfficialVisitors Guide and print brochures to promote the year-round events and displays at the garden$9,719.45
Mayor's Office of Special Events
Chicago, IL
County: Cook
Promote the early summer music festivals through advertising and brochures$60,468.00
Chicago Convention andTourism Bureau
Chicago, IL
County: Cook
Promote the city through the "Chicago Map & Guide"$28,818.00
Navy Pier (Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority)
Chicago, IL
County: Cook
Advertise the attractions and events at Navy Pier through "Chicago's Navy Pier" Visitor Guide, and ads in Great Lakes Tour Magazine, and Home & Away Magazine$18,040.00
Lincoln Park Zoo
Chicago, IL
County: Cook
Print the "Lincoln Park Zoo" tourism brochures to promote the zoo$3,625.00
River North Association
Chicago, IL
County: Cook
Development of a web site to promote attractions around River North$6,775.00
Oak Park Visitors Bureau
Oak Park, IL
County: Cook
Promote the attractions and events around the historic Oak Park area$21,605.00
Brookfield Zoo/Chicago Zoological Society
Brookfield, IL
County: Cook
Print the "Chicago's Brookfield Zoo" brochures to promote the the attractions at the zoo$7,140.00
The Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, IL
County: Cook
Advertisements to promote exhibitions at the Institute$27,622.22
Museum of Science and Industry
Chicago, IL
County: Cook
Advertise through radioand the Chicago Official Visitors Guide to showcase new attractions at the museum$30,163.00
Museum Campus of Chicago
Chicago, IL
County: Cook
Develop a web site to promote the Museum Campus which includes the Adler Planetarium, The Field Museum, The Shedd Aquarium, and the Chicago Park District$15,112.50
Gaelic Events Club
Chicago, IL
County: Cook
Advertise the week long event on radio and in newsprint to promote the 13th annual event$7,820.00
The Greater North Michigan Avenue Association
Chicago, IL
County: Cook
Print the "Chicago's Magnificent Mile Area Guide" to promote Chicago's Near North Side$28,362.50
Near South Planning Board
Chicago, IL
County: Cook
Radio and print ads to promote the 15th annual Printers Row Book Fair$9,384.00
TOTAL GRANT FUNDS AWARDED: $405,529.93


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