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International Tourism Drops in Illinois


Springfield, Ill – A federal report says Illinois lost nearly a quarter of its international visitors last year.

The U.S. Commerce Department says 242,000 fewer foreign travelers visited Illinois in 2003. A total of 829,000 international tourists came to Illinois.

The state tied for seventh place with Massachusetts and Texas for most foreign visitors among 35 states and U.S. territories in the Commerce Department report.

State officials aren't sure why the number of foreign traveners dropped.

The Illinois Bureau of Tourism says it could be because of the war in Iraq and a drop in business travel. Deputy Director Jan Kostner is optimistic the industry will bounce back this year.