New numbers show a rise in tourism in Champaign County.
The Illinois Office of Tourism said this week that in 2012, direct spending was up 5.5% in the county compared to 2011. That shook out to an increase from $283 million to nearly $299 million.
President of the Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau Jayne DeLuce credited the rise to major events that happened in the county last year, such as the Hot Rod Power Tour.
She added that going forward, the CVB is going to re-double its efforts to bring diverse groups of people to the county.
The figures from the state also show that tourism employment in Champaign County grew by nearly 2 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. That means there are now over 2,500 jobs in the county devoted to tourism.