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20 ILCS 605/605-707

    (20 ILCS 605/605-707) (was 20 ILCS 605/46.6d)
    Sec. 605-707. International Tourism Program.
    (a) The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity must establish a program for international tourism. The Department shall develop and implement the program on January 1, 2000 by rule. As part of the program, the Department may work in cooperation with local convention and tourism bureaus in Illinois in the coordination of international tourism efforts at the State and local level. The Department may (i) work in cooperation with local convention and tourism bureaus for efficient use of their international tourism marketing resources, (ii) promote Illinois in international meetings and tourism markets, (iii) work with convention and tourism bureaus throughout the State to increase the number of international tourists to Illinois, (iv) provide training, research, technical support, and grants to certified convention and tourism bureaus, (v) provide staff, administration, and related support required to manage the programs under this Section, and (vi) provide grants for the development of or the enhancement of international tourism attractions.
    (b) The Department shall make grants for expenses related to international tourism and pay for the staffing, administration, and related support from the International Tourism Fund, a special fund created in the State Treasury. Of the amounts deposited into the Fund in fiscal year 2000 after January 1, 2000 through fiscal year 2011, 55% shall be used for grants to convention and tourism bureaus in Chicago (other than the City of Chicago's Office of Tourism) and 45% shall be used for development of international tourism in areas outside of Chicago. Of the amounts deposited into the Fund in fiscal year 2001 and thereafter, 55% shall be used for grants to convention and tourism bureaus in Chicago, and of that amount not less than 27.5% shall be used for grants to convention and tourism bureaus in Chicago other than the City of Chicago's Office of Tourism, and 45% shall be used for administrative expenses and grants authorized under this Section and development of international tourism in areas outside of Chicago, of which not less than $1,000,000 shall be used annually to make grants to convention and tourism bureaus in cities other than Chicago that demonstrate their international tourism appeal and request to develop or expand their international tourism marketing program, and may also be used to provide grants under item (vi) of subsection (a) of this Section. All of the amounts deposited into the Fund in fiscal year 2012 and thereafter shall be used for administrative expenses and grants authorized under this Section and development of international tourism in areas outside of Chicago, of which not less than $1,000,000 shall be used annually to make grants to convention and tourism bureaus in cities other than Chicago that demonstrate their international tourism appeal and request to develop or expand their international tourism marketing program, and may also be used to provide grants under item (vi) of subsection (a) of this Section. Amounts appropriated to the State Comptroller for administrative expenses and grants authorized by the Illinois Global Partnership Act are payable from the International Tourism Fund.
    (c) A convention and tourism bureau is eligible to receive grant moneys under this Section if the bureau is certified to receive funds under Title 14 of the Illinois Administrative Code, Section 550.35. To be eligible for a grant, a convention and tourism bureau must provide matching funds equal to the grant amount. The Department shall require that any convention and tourism bureau receiving a grant under this Section that requires matching funds shall provide matching funds equal to no less than 50% of the grant amount. In certain circumstances as determined by the Director of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, however, the City of Chicago's Office of Tourism or any other convention and tourism bureau may provide matching funds equal to no less than 50% of the grant amount to be eligible to receive the grant. One-half of this 50% may be provided through in-kind contributions. Grants received by the City of Chicago's Office of Tourism and by convention and tourism bureaus in Chicago may be expended for the general purposes of promoting conventions and tourism.
(Source: P.A. 97-617, eff. 10-26-11; 97-732, eff. 6-30-12; 98-252, eff. 8-9-13.)