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About Us

MISSION

Choose Chicago® is the official destination marketing organization for Chicago, Illinois.

Our mission is to bring regional, national and international business and leisure visitors to Chicago for the economic benefit of the City, the community and our membership.

Choose Chicago is a private, nonprofit organization that is responsible for marketing the greater Chicago area as a business and leisure visitor destination. Choose Chicago is contracted by the City of Chicago and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority to act as the official sales and marketing agency for McCormick Place and Chicago. It is governed by a board of directors, and employs a staff of more than 90 industry professionals. Funding is received from both private sector and public sources. For fiscal year 2013, Choose Chicago has a budget of $27.6 million.

Choose Chicago uses a sophisticated integrated marketing approach to sell Chicago as a travel destination, which includes direct sales, advertising, tourism and convention industry trade shows, Internet promotions, e-mail blasts, websites, podcasts, e-newsletters, visitor guides and brochures, public relations strategies and press tours, client familiarization tours and site inspections. Choose Chicago operates two visitor information centers located in downtown Chicago.

Current Key Goals include:

  1. Increase annual visitation 55 million visitors by 2020.
  2. Book 2.3 million room nights and 50 new meetings/conventions into Chicago annually.
  3. Elevate Chicago to among the top five US cities for inbound international travel by 2020.

Download the full mission statement. 

IMPACT

Visitors spend billions of dollars each year in metropolitan Chicago. This income spurs new business, which means new jobs for the area and economic growth for the region, benefiting everyone.

Funding Sources

Choose Chicago receives its funding from the Public and Private sectors.

Approximately 71% of our funding is received from the Public Sector in two forms: 

  • State directed funds issued from the LTCB Grant Fund and International Grant fund (34%) 
  • Airport Departure taxes (37%)

The remaining 29% of funds are received as follows:

  • 8% is received in the form of payment from MPEA for Choose Chicago's sales and marketing efforts on behalf of McCormick Place, an SMG Managed Facility
  • 13% is received in the form of dues from our members

The remaining 8% is comprised of private sectors funds; Website and Publication royalties and commissions, sponsorship, fundraising activities and in-kind donations to Choose Chicago.


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