"Don and his team are well on their way to achieving Mayor Emanuel's goal of 50 million visitors annually to Chicago, and increasing the city's share of international travel to the US," said Bruce Rauner, Choose Chicago Chairman. "At a rate of 50 million visitors annually, the direct economic benefit would be $14.7 billion in direct spending, $1.2 billion per year in tax revenue and 160,000 jobs."
"Choose Chicago's bold thinking and action has laid the groundwork to grow visitation to the destination," said Welsh. "Significant increases in total spending, tax revenue and jobs are extremely encouraging. While these metrics are a solid beginning to achieving Mayor Emanuel's goals, there is much work to be done to ensure we achieve our vision of making Chicago the premier destination for leisure and business travelers."
A purposeful national and international public relations effort is garnering substantial media coverage and elevating Chicago's position as a leading global visitor destination. Global marketing and public relations offices are active in Sao Paolo, Toronto, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Mexico City, London and the Benelux. A new brand campaign, including regional advertising and reimagined marketing strategies to promote Chicago's iconic assets is reshaping the image of the destination and delivering more visitors to ChooseChicago.com, the city's official tourism website. Hotel rates in June topped out at over 90 percent, marking the first time in years that the City has had a month this optimistic, and as a result of historic labor reform more than $3.25 billion in new and recommitted meetings and conventions has been booked.
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Sources: D.K. Shifflet Associates, Ltd., Smith Travel Research, Choose Chicago, US Travel Association