The Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau (CCTB) today announced a multi-year agreement with global online travel leader Orbitz Worldwide to further enhance the travel planning experience on choosechicago.com the official visitors site for the destination. The CCTB is the largest convention bureau to partner with Orbitz in travel planning, whose private label product enables partner web sites to implement world-class technology to allow leisure and business travelers to research and book hotel, air, car and attractions.
In 2010 Chicago welcomed 39.2 million domestic and overseas visitors who contributed more than $11 billion to the city’s economy. During the past eight months the CCTB has been laying the foundation for an aggressive marketing and public relations campaign currently underway to help increase the number of visitors to Chicago. A key component to the campaign is the December 2011 launch of a new, authoritative and robust destination website on which the Orbitz booking engine will reside.
“The CCTB’s partnership with Orbitz is a critical piece of an aggressive, long-term strategy to increase business and leisure visitation to Chicago,” said Don Welsh, CCTB President and CEO. “We look forward to what will undoubtedly be a successful endeavor with the expertise of this Chicago-based company.”
Utilizing the Orbitz technology platform, planning and booking a trip to Chicago will be easier and more enriching. Visitors to the new choosechicago.com will quickly realize that Chicago has it all – diverse hotel inventory, world-renowned restaurants, premier shopping, a vibrant arts community and an extensive collection of cultural attractions. Orbitz will build a customized booking engine to incorporate its vast hotel inventory in the region, as well as provide visitors with access and information on events and attractions.
“The new choosechicago.com will play a substantive role in elevating Chicago’s visibility as a global destination worthy of consideration,” said Warren Wilkinson, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications. “The decision to partner with Orbitz is another step in the bureau’s substantial effort to elevate the organization’s tourism work and will pay significant dividends to the bureau and its 1,100 members for years to come.”
“We are pleased that after looking at multiple options, the CCTB determined that the Orbitz technology provides superior results, customization and innovation that will allow the bureau to aggressively attract tourism and offer great prices, accommodations and attractions,” said Ronnie Gurion, President of Orbitz Worldwide Distribution. “As an added bonus, we are excited to build out the partnership with the CCTB and the greater Chicagoland tourism industry and work together to bring more visitors and tourism business to the region.”
The Chicago visitor industry is directly responsible for 124,000 jobs resulting in $616 million in tax revenue that supports education, healthcare, public safety and other public services and $11.1 billion in direct spending by visitors on food, entertainment, transportation and shopping.