QACVB director says 17 percent spike in tourism dollars helped by BET on Q grant for marketing

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QUINCY – The Quincy Area Convention and Visitors Bureau reports a 17 percent increase in the amount of money generated by tourism in Adams County in 2022. 

A press release said Adams, Hancock and Pike counties generated $196.3 million through tourism in 2022 for a 16 percent increase when compared to 2021 ($166.6 million). In Adams County alone, tourism dollars generated went from $112 million in 2021 to $131.9 million in 2022.

Tourism contributed $9.5 million in local tax revenue in the three-county area while directly supporting 1,448 jobs in the tourism and hospitality industry. The data was provided by Tourism Economics, a global tourism research firm, which measures the number of visitors as well as their impact on Illinois’ economy during the 2022 calendar year.

The double-digit increase in Adams County is the second consecutive spike. However, the 19.9 increase in tourism dollars from 2020 ($93.4 million) to 2021 ($112 million) could be attributed to the COVID pandemic in 2020. Adams County hasn’t enjoyed any other double-digit increases in tourism dollars since figures were kept by the QACVB in 2006.

Executive director Holly Cain said a $300,000 grant from the BET on Q Committee toward a three-year marketing plan helped double the Quincy Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s expenditure on advertising in 2022. 

“We’re kind of one of the smaller bureaus in the state compared to what others can spend on advertising,” Cain said. “That $100,000 each year for three years has really allowed us to double our marketing spin.”

Cain said Monday that American Cue Sports’ Illinois state pocket billiards championships signed a deal to return in March to Quincy’s Oakley-Lindsay Civic Center for 2024 and 2025. She also said she expects the Greater Midwest Pool Players Association’s Lolla-Palooza (including the Billiard Education Foundation’s Junior Nationals Championship) to return next July after making its first appearance at the civic center this year.

“We couldn’t have started those tournaments here without that (a $25,000) incentive from Bet on Q to get them here, and that’s really allowed us actually to keep it here,” Cain said. “My budget is pennies compared to other cities and what they can recruit, but (with BET on Q funding) we were able to be competitive.”

Cain said the money spent on the increased number of youth basketball and baseball tournaments made a difference as well.

“You can’t miss the teams when they’re in town,” she said. “It’s not just one weekend that an event comes in. It’s many weekends, and we know what the spend is from you sports. If you’ve got kids in sports, you know what you’re spending, and we know what they’re spending when they’re coming into town. That’s huge, all spring and summer.”

Cain said she was “delighted” when she heard the news that the Quincy City Council approved spending $300,000 at its Sept. 5 meeting to help the Quincy Park District install turf on two baseball/softball fields in the Wavering Park Complex. The Park Board has yet to vote on its own spending measures but is expected to have five turfed fields by springtime.

“We’ve got things rolling,” Cain said.

Gov. JB Pritzker announced in August that Illinois reached its highest-ever hotel revenue figures in Fiscal Year 2023 ($308 million), surpassing the pre-pandemic record in Fiscal Year 2019.

Illinois welcomed 111 million visitors last year, representing 14 million additional travelers over 2021. Visitor spending surged to $44 billion in 2022 – $12 billion over calendar year 2021 and 97 percent of record 2019 levels. 

“Tourism is a key economic driver for our state, contributing to the growth of small businesses while generating jobs for our local communities,” Kristin Richards, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said in a press release. “Illinois has made unprecedented investments in travel and tourism, and we’re excited to build upon this record-breaking progress as we continue to promote Illinois and support the industry.” 

“From iconic road trips and scenic drives to family-friendly attractions, thrilling outdoor adventures and picturesque state parks, Illinois is full of extraordinary and diverse experiences that attract visitors from around the world,” said Daniel Thomas, deputy director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism.

Annual economic impact data is provided by Tourism Economics. State hotel revenue collections are provided by the Illinois Department of Revenue. 

The Quincy Area Convention & Visitors Bureau enhances the economy of Adams, Hancock and Pike Counties through the promotion of the area as a leisure and overnight destination.

Economic Impact of Tourism

County20062007200820092010201120122013201420152016201720182019202020212022
Adams$73.90 $75.67 $83.68 $78.96 $83.75 $89.77 $92.59 $96 $100.57 $100.69 $101.50 $102.90 $105.38 $111.91 $93.40 $112.00 $131.90
Hancock$23.30 $25.06 $24.73 $22.73 $23.84 $25.12 $25.24 $25.82 $26.66 $27.05 $28.01 $27.67 $28.64 $30.54 $16.60 $24.60 $29.90
Pike$20.10 $20.97 $21.48 $20.09 $20.79 $22.19 $23.17 $23.45 $25.42 $26.74 $27.27 $27.38 $28.52 $29.92 $32.90 $30.00 $34.50
Totals$117.30$121.70$129.89$121.78$128.38$137.08$141.00$145.27$152.65$154.48$156.78$157.78$162.54 $172.37$142.90$166.60$196.30
Jobs1,0109901,0201,0101,0101,0101,0101,0101,0201,0501,0601,0701,0601,0901,1781,2691,448

Figures above in millions; data provided by Quincy Area Convention and Visitors Bureau through U.S. Travel Association

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