WBEZ | SkyDeck http://www.wbez.org/tags/skydeck Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois' tourism numbers are highest on record http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-tourism-numbers-are-highest-record-101125 <p><p>According to new state data, the lines for favorite tourist attractions around Illinois were longer this year.<br /><br />Illinois&rsquo; tourism industry generated about $32 billion in revenue in 2011, the highest on record, according to figures released on Monday by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.<br /><br />Department officials say the figures mean the tourism industry has returned to pre-recession levels.<br /><br />Randy Stancik, the general manager at Skydeck Chicago, said the popular tourist spot atop Willis Tower has seen the same kind of growth.<br /><br />&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve been waiting for this for many years. We&rsquo;ve been waiting for, you know, for people to bounce back, to continue to travel,&rdquo; Stancik said. &ldquo;Even if times are a little bit tougher they&rsquo;re getting better, you know we&rsquo;ve been seeing that over the last three years. It&rsquo;s been a growth for us.<br /><br />Department officials say Illinois is now the ninth most visited state in the country, up one spot from last year.</p></p> Mon, 23 Jul 2012 18:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-tourism-numbers-are-highest-record-101125