Skip to main content
Garden of the Gods - Southern Illinois

For Distribution
Feb 4, 2019


Illinois Governor's Conference on Travel & Tourism Celebrates Amazing Industry Accomplishments

CHICAGO – The state’s premier gathering of tourism industry professionals will meet in Chicago, February 4-6 at the Palmer House Hilton. The annual Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism unites state leaders, travel experts and industry partners to share the latest innovative ideas for promoting travel. Gov. JB Pritzker will make brief remarks on Monday evening, prior to the Excellence in Tourism Awards dinner.

Travel and tourism is an essential component of Illinois’ economy. Illinois welcomed nearly 114 million visitors in 2017.  “The tourism industry is a critical part of our state’s economy and the proof is in the numbers,” said Jan Kemmerling, Acting Deputy Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “Illinois’ tourism industry supported 337,100 jobs in 2017 and visitor spending generated more than $3 billion in state and local tax revenue.”

The Governor’s Conference provides an opportunity for professionals of all kinds – from attractions to our destination marketing organizations – to learn about the latest trends and best practices contributing to one of the fastest-growing industry sectors in Illinois.

Jan Kemmerling will present the annual State of the State Tourism Address on Wednesday, February 6, at 10:30 a.m. She will recap the success of Illinois Tourism’s marketing initiatives and programs from throughout the past year.

Some of the conference highlights and presentations include:

MARKETING TO GEN Z – Jeff Fromm, Consumer trends & marketing expert

Opening keynote session with consumer trends and marketing expert, Jeff Fromm.

During this session, Fromm will share insights on one of the most powerful emerging forces in the market —  Generation Z. 


LGBTQ travel expert Ed Salvato is back by popular demand to help conference attendees achieve success in the LGBTQ market.

MULTI-GENERATIONAL TRAVELERS, Barbara Wold, Customer experience expert & author

Travel agents report 35% of clients take multi-generational trips once a year, making it one of the hottest trends in travel.


Illinois Excellence in Tourism Awards dinner will honor and celebrate the most innovative tourism marketing initiatives throughout the state. Mon. Feb 4, 7:45pm

For a complete conference schedule and full list of speakers at this year’s Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism, visit

# # #


The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents. 


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get inspired by top travel stories, gain access to exclusive promotions and contests, and discover even more reasons to #EnjoyIllinois.