CHICAGO, IL – State Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, announced today that she will serve as chair of the Illinois House of Representatives’ Tourism, Hospitality & Craft Industries Committee.
“I’m looking forward to this exciting opportunity to work with a bipartisan group of colleagues to grow Illinois’ tourism, hospitality and craft industries,” Williams said. “These sectors are critical to our state’s economic growth and represent some of the biggest economic successes over the past few years.”
The City of Chicago reported a record 54.1 million visitors in 2016, resulting in $15 billion in direct spending. Overall, the Tourism and Leisure industry employs 600,000 people in the State of Illinois, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Illinois continues to be a premier tourism destination in the Midwest,” Williams said. “As chair of this committee, my priority will be to support legislation that expands revenue opportunities and spurs economic development within these industries throughout Illinois.”
The past few years have also seen exciting growth in the hospitality and craft industries. The state have seen numerous new craft beer breweries and distilleries open for business, and an increased production of many other Illinois-made products. Thousands of new hotel guestrooms have come online, and Chicago continues to be a top destination for culinary tourism. With the start of the 100th Illinois General Assembly, Williams is committed to expanding the new opportunities in these sectors.
Additionally, Williams was appointed to Vice Chairman of the House Civil Judiciary Committee, and she will also serve on the Labor and Commerce, Police & First Responders, and Veterans’ Affairs committees.