The mission of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce is to be the representative voice of county for-profit and non-profit businesses in working to improve the county economy and to address pressing county socioeconomic issues.
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Measuring our Tourism Economy - By the Numbers

Just-released figures from the Minnesota Department of Revenue demonstrate again how important tourism is for providing the jobs and income that sustain Cook County families. On a per-capita basis, there very likely isn’t a county in the state that comes anywhere close to Cook County in revenue generated by leisure and hospitality.

In overall size, Cook County is a modest player in the state’s leisure and  hospitality (L&H) economy. Its $62 million in L&H sales for 2015 are dwarfed by the state total of $14.4 billion, by Hennepin County’s $4.9 billion or by St. Louis County’s $552 million.

But Cook County’s L&H still is significantly larger than Lake County’s $37.9 million, Koochiching County’s $30.1 million or Lake of the Wood’s $34.8 million. Even Itasca County, whose 45,242 population is almost 10 times that of Cook County, is only modestly larger in the L&H category at $73.9 million.

And when you examine the numbers per capita, no one matches Cook County for leisure and hospitality sales. Here are a few per-capita L&H sales comparative figures:

Chisago County: $1,175

Itasca County: $1,633

Washington County: $2,073

Koochiching County: $2,380

Minnesota: $2,612

St. Louis County: $2,761

Lake County: $3,566

Ramsey County: $3,766

Hennepin County: $4,016

Lake of the Woods County: $9,126

Cook County: $11,737

Efforts to diversify the county economy are an important focus for ensuring the future prosperity of Cook County families. But it is imperative, too, as these numbers illustrate, that we work hard to sustain and grow the tourism related businesses that will always be the core of how we make our living. The value we derive from the high-quality promotional efforts of Visit Cook County and its staff is extraordinary.

Department of Revenue figures from which these were derived, and similar figures for all years back to 2004, can be found at:

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