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Gazette Premium Content Record number of tourists chooses Illinois in 2013

Associated Press Updated: July 10, 2014 at 1:31 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — State numbers show the number of international visitors to Illinois last year grew by 3 percent, to 2.2 million.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the increase Thursday while visiting 12-year-old Chloe Stirling at the Kendall College Culinary Camp in Chicago. The 12-year-old's cupcake business in Madison County was shut down earlier this year, prompting a change in state law for home baking.

Illinois officials said in May that 103.5 million Americans visited the Prairie State in 2013. Quinn says with international visitors, Illinois saw a record number of tourists last year — 105.7 million.

Visitors spent nearly $35 billion in the state. That generated nearly $3 billion in state and local tax revenues.

Tourism research firm D.K. Shifflet & Associates provided the numbers.

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Illinois Office of Tourism: https://www.enjoyillinois.com/

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