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Chicago tourism continues to break records

Chicago tourism continues to break records

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Don Welsh, president of Choose Chicago, have announced the city has set multiple tourism records for the summer 2014 travel season.

For the first time, Chicago saw records across all key performance indicators – demand, occupancy, supply, average daily rate, revenue per available room and overall revenue.

Chicago’s record hotel performance during the peak tourism season of May to August shows that the city is on pace to achieve Mayor Emanuel’s goal of 55 million visitors a year by 2020 and create 30,000 additional jobs.

“This summer was a prime example of how, by making Chicago a destination for national and international travellers, leisure and business alike, we are making important gains that are bringing more opportunities to more Chicagoans,” said Emanuel.

“Our strategy is working and we will continue to aim higher to set new records next year, because bringing more conventions and tourism to Chicago means more jobs for residents and further supports our City’s economic growth.”


During the summer season this year, Chicago had a record high of 4.56 million hotel rooms available for occupancy, an increase of more than 117,000 room nights from 2013.

For the fifth consecutive year, demand outpaced growth in supply, resulting in higher occupancy rates. Chicago’s hotels saw a record 87.2 per cent occupancy during this period, a gain of 1.8 per cent over 2013.

“Mayor Emanuel and our partners continue to support the mission and goals of Choose Chicago. The investments we have made in the regional, national and international markets are working,” said Welsh.

“Visitors from around world are discovering the tremendous experiences Chicago offers year-round. We are extremely pleased with these results and the impact on Chicago’s overall economy.”

In July, Mayor Emanuel and Choose Chicago announced Chicago had surpassed one million occupied rooms for the first time.

In August, Chicago again surpassed one million occupied rooms and overall room demand for the summer season reached another record with 3.98 million rooms sold, a 4.4 per cent increase over same period in 2013.

In another key area, leisure room demand, Chicago saw a record 2.48 million rooms sold, a gain of 6.3 per cent over 2013 and the largest May to August increase since 2009.

All of this contributed to overall hotel revenue of $858.5 million (approximately £528.6 million) for the summer, a seven per cent increase and the fifth consecutive year of growth, and generated a record $47.9 million (approximately £25.5 million) in city tax revenue for the City of Chicago.

This year-over-year growth continues to spur new employment in Chicago.

Since 2011, the city has added nearly 5,200 tourism-related jobs.

These milestones follow an exceptional first half of 2014, which produced record demand in Chicago with a 2.2 per cent increase over the first six months of 2013.

Chicago’s hotel community offered an additional 313,000 room nights compared to the same period in 2013.

This growth represents 4.67 million hotel rooms occupied in the first-half of 2014, which further supports the 133,000 jobs and more than $13 billion (approximately £7,837,700,000) in spending generated as a result of annual visitation to Chicago.