Balloons Over Vermilion Pic 7.jpg

Photos by Jordan Crook

A few of the hot air balloons that took off during this year’s Balloons Over Vermilion celebration.

The Danville Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau has released the results of an economic impact study, prepared for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and its Bureau of Tourism by the U.S. Travel Association.

Spending by non-residents in Danville/Vermilion County topped $83.95 million dollars, an increase of 5.4 percent over the previous year.

“We have seen a significant increase in every category.” said Cooke. “Employment is up 1.7 percent, local payroll is up 4.6 percent at 15.94 million, and local tax receipts are up 4.0 percent at 2.02 million.

“Since the start of the state’s Certified Convention & Visitors’ Bureau program in 1984, tourism has provided a steady source of income for Danville/Vermilion County,” said Cooke. “The return on investment, however, represents much more than money in the bank. It is first-time jobs and careers at all levels. It’s entrepreneurial spirit at its best, it’s capital investment and taxes, it’s quality of life, preservation, revitalization, and sharing the celebration of our sense of place with others.”

“The U.S. Travel Association study is done for each of the 102 counties in Illinois, and is the only independent study done yearly over an extended number of years using the same model, so we have a fair growth comparison and excellent year-by-year benchmark.”