A central Illinois banker is touting McLean County tourism results as a key part of the economy. Ed Scharlau of Urbana-based Busey Bank says visitor expenditures rose 9% last year in McLean County to more than $321 million
"It's a very clean industry. People come, people spend money, and what do they do? They go back home and they normally don't cause problems for police and fire protection."
Scharlau also says hotel occupancy rose to 63% last year, up from 54% in 2011. And he says it's still rising this year, though only slightly. As context, tourism receipts are a little less than half the size of the largest economic sector in McLean County, agriculture.
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