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Article updated: 7/8/2013 3:57 PM

Tourism up more than 6 percent in Illinois

Visitors at Millennium Park enjoy the sculpture “Cloud Gate,” also known as “The Bean,” last summer in Chicago. Millennium Park is one of several free attractions in the city.

Visitors at Millennium Park enjoy the sculpture "Cloud Gate," also known as "The Bean," last summer in Chicago. Millennium Park is one of several free attractions in the city.

 

Associated Press

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By Associated Press

Illinois has seen another record year for tourism, with more than 99 million visitors from across the U.S. last year.

The state released the 2012 numbers on Monday. It's a 6.1 percent increase over the more than 93 million visitors in 2011. That year also was a record year.

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State officials say tourism generated more than $31 billion for the Illinois economy in 2012. That's about 5 percent more than in 2011, when tourism brought in about $29.5 billion.

Tourism generated $2.3 billion in state and local tax revenues in 2012.

The total number of international visitors to Illinois will be released later this year.

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