Illinois had a record number of visitors in 2011, with more than 93 million tourists visiting the state.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said Monday the state saw an 8.4% bump in tourism last year. Visitors generated $31.8 billion for the state economy. The more than 93 million visitors break the previous record of 91 million visitors in 2006. About 1.2 million tourists visited Illinois from abroad. That's up 6% and at its highest level since 2008.
State officials attribute the boost to the tourism industry's recovery from the recession.
More tourists visited Chicago in 2011 too. The city saw an 11.2% tourism boost in 2011 with 42.4 million visitors.
Gov. Pat Quinn says it's "no surprise" Illinois has attracted so many tourists.