Thousands of tourism jobs in Illinois are in jeopardy because of marketing budget cuts and fiscal uncertainty in the state, according to a new study.
The Illinois Council of Convention & Visitors Bureau released the study Monday, based on the most recent tourism numbers from 2014.
Illinois would see a $2.3 billion reduction in visitor spending if state tourism marketing, which cost $63.8 million in 2014, was cut 20 percent, the report found. Such a cut could result in the loss of some 4,600 jobs and $200 million in taxes over four years.
The state saw tourism spending reach an all-time high in 2014, hitting $36.3 billion with 109.4 million visitors, figures from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity show.
Visits to Illinois' historic sites were down last year, likely stemming from the state budget situation and certain locations having to cut hours, tourism officials told the State Journal-Register. The state has been operating for nearly nine months without a 2016 budget in place.