Feigenholtz proposal to drive tourism signed into law

SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Sara Feigenholtz that has the potential to generate additional resources for tourism promotion is now law, after Gov. JB Pritzker signed it Friday.

“The tourism and hospitality sector is the second-largest employer in Illinois,” said Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “Tourism Improvement Districts will enable regions of our state to use this additional tool in an effort to recover from the pandemic and bring visitors back to Illinois.”

The Tourism Preservation and Sustainability Act creates a mechanism for funding tourism promotion and destination development across Illinois. More than 190 Tourism Improvement Districts exist nationwide and generate revenue for businesses that directly benefit their local communities.

“Tourism Improvement Districts put business owners back in the driver’s seat to direct marketing spending and spur growth,” said Feigenholtz. “The additional revenues generated by these special districts will be one more tool businesses can use to draw visitors to all corners of the state.”

Units of local government will have the power to enact a Tourism Improvement District through ordinance if proposed by hotel owners in the district. The unit of local government and the hotels can decide the boundaries, the amount of the transaction charge, the lifetime of the TID, and the services and improvements to be provided through the transaction charge funds. The hotel can pay the transaction charge themselves or offset the cost to customers. The revenues from the transaction charge will then be granted to either a State-certified tourism and convention bureau or non-profit tourism bureau to execute marketing and promotion.

House Bill 268 was signed into law Friday and is now in effect.