Aurora Area Tourism Contributes to Record Economic Growth in Illinois | Sports Destination Management

Aurora Area Tourism Contributes to Record Economic Growth in Illinois

Nov 27, 2023

The Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) announced today the area generated a local economic impact of $268 million and contributed to an increase in visitor spending across Illinois in 2022. In addition, this boost in tourism contributed $13 million in local tax revenue while directly supporting 3,000 jobs in the tourism and hospitality industry, according to the latest data 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 Fox Valley Park District’s Stuart Sports Complex has become one of the Midwest’s top destinations for youth and amateur sports. The 380-acre complex in Montgomery welcomed more than 660,000 players, coaches and spectators to weekend baseball and soccer tournaments during Stuart’s 2022 athletic season, which runs April 1 through Oct. 31. 

“It’s wonderful to see robust participation in youth sports – a healthy pathway for kids to develop and grow physically, while adopting important life values through the spirit of competition,” says Jim Pilmer, FVPD executive director.

“With the popularity of weekend tournaments, which assists in operating costs, our athletics grounds maintenance team strives to deliver premium playing surfaces and gameday experiences to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who pass through Stuart each year and, in turn, enjoy an impressive lineup of local attractions and accommodations during their stay.”  


Last month, Governor JB Pritzker announced that Illinois reached its highest-ever hotel revenue figures in FY23 ($308 million) – surpassing the pre-pandemic record in FY19. Illinois welcomed 111 million visitors last year, representing 14 million additional travelers over 2021. In addition, visitor spending surged to $44 billion in 2022 – $12 billion over calendar year 2021 and 97% of record 2019 levels. As a result of tourist spending and visits in 2022, the overall economic impact – which includes indirect and induced impacts – amounted to a staggering $78 billion, a 30% increase from 2021 figures ($60 billion).


“Tourism is a key economic driver for our state, contributing to the growth of small businesses while generating jobs for our local communities,” said Kristin Richards, Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. “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. “Our state’s award-winning tourism campaign, “Middle of Everything,” launched in 2022, has resulted in an enormous return on investment with every $1 spent on the campaign generating $10 in state and local tax revenue.”


Economic Impact of Domestic Travel by County:

Data is reported as a percentage of the Aurora Area CVB certified service area.

DuPage County

Travel expenditures – $59.82 million (33% increase)

Local tax revenue – $3 million (22% increase)


Kane County

Travel expenditures – $115.22 million (30% increase)

Local tax revenue – $6.8 million (25% increase)


Kendall County

Travel expenditures – $93.5 million (30% increase)


Local tax revenue – $3.2 million (18% increase)

Fast Facts about Aurora Area (Illinois) Tourism in 2022

  • The Aurora Area welcomed 1.4 million visitors in 2022
  • Visitor spending resulted in $268.5 million in 2022, an increase of $62 million from 2021
  • Local taxes from visitor spending generated $13 million in revenue
  • Visitor spending supported 3,000 tourism-related jobs, a 10% increase from 2021
  • Aurora Area travel content achieved over 40 million impressions
  • received 505,000 page views, a 14% increase from 2021


Annual economic impact data is provided by Tourism Economics and state hotel revenue collections are provided by the Illinois Department of Revenue. The hotel revenue figures represent all Illinois hotels, motels, and lodging establishment’s taxable revenue.

To learn more about Illinois and to plan an Illinois getaway, visit Get your copy of the Aurora Area Go Guide, available in print and online at

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