Williamson County Sees A Boost in Tourism With the Eclipse Looming

Aug 1, 2017

New estimates for tourism in Illinois during 2016 say international and domestic travel expenditures reached $37.9 billion for 2016 -that's up $571 million from 2015.

Locally, Shannon Johnson with VisitSI says Williamson County is doing well too.

"Our total tourism expenditures, which include both indirect and direct was $138.63 million which is up 4 percent over 2015. On a local level, that for our tax receipts is $3.22 million which is up 8.8 percent from 2015. So we've seen an increase across the board in Williamson County."
The increase is common. They've seen increases of 2-4 percent over the last several years. Johnson says it's because Williamson County has so much to offer, from Herrin Festa, to hunting and boating, to the Miss Illinois competition -there's something for everyone.

And the total solar eclipse happening this month will increase 2017 numbers.
"We will definitely see an increase in our lodging numbers, we'll see an increase in restaurants and gas and just incidentals as a whole."
The final statistics from the U.S. Travel Association will be available later this year.