Cultural Tourism Newsletter - December 2013

NEW Chicago Neighborhood Website

Beyond Chicago’s bustling downtown core and soaring skyscrapers lie more than 77 community areas made up of more than 120 neighborhoods. These areas bring to life the diverse and ethnic communities that make up the melting pot that is Chicago. Collectively, these neighborhoods provide a huge opportunity for cultural tourism. These neighborhoods are a cultural asset that set us apart from other cultural destinations.

As Choose Chicago develops a cultural tourism strategy for Chicago, these neighborhoods will play a big role in repeating and extending visits to the city. In the past several months our team, with the help of many community partners, worked on a microsite solely focused on the neighborhood experience.

In October 2013, we launched this microsite. Visitors are able to explore 51 Chicago neighborhoods thematically, geographically, and by activity allowing the user to create an itinerary for a particular neighborhood. Along with the neighborhood descriptions are listings of current events in the area including many festivals that have become synonymous with a Chicago neighborhood experience as well as 13 themed itineraries. Other visitor-friendly features include a taxi fare calculator and itinerary trip planner.

Chicago Neighborhood Website

Chicago Theatre Week

In February 2013, Choose Chicago, in partnership with the League of Chicago Theatres, launched the first Chicago Theatre Week. The week-long program was designed to generate ticket sales and awareness to the city’s fantastic theatre scene. We are pleased to announce the return of the program for a second year. Similar to the first year, many of the city’s theatre companies will be offering $15 and $30 tickets to their productions from February 11 – 16, 2014. Chicago Theatre Week will be broadly promoted through a regional broadcast and digital campaign beginning on January 7th directing traffic to

To generate visitation during a need period in the city, Choose Chicago has partnered with a select group of hotels for a pilot program. These partner hotels will offer a special Chicago Theatre Week rate from February 13 -15, 2014 to capitalize on Valentine’s Day weekend. Their special offers will include a pair of tickets to a participating Chicago Theatre Week production. For more information on these packages and Chicago Theatre Week, visit

Chicago Theatre Week


Cultural Preview: January 29 at MCA

Join Choose Chicago and Second City as they provide a fun look ahead at the city’s hot cultural happenings in 2014. Choose Chicago will also present a high level summary of the cultural tourism strategy for the city, supporting the eighth priority of Chicago’s Cultural Plan, positioning Chicago as a global cultural destination. Discover how these can impact your business and more!

This cultural preview will be on Wednesday, January 29, at the Museum of Contemporary Art. An invitation will follow in early January. Invitations to events such as this are typically exclusive to Choose Chicago partners only. Choose Chicago is eager to engage the city’s cultural organizations and help expand their reach to the millions of visitors who come to Chicago each year. To learn more about the many benefits and resources available to help partners grow their business, simply visit Partnership packages start for as little as $99 per year!

Partnership Opportunities


Participate in our collateral distribution program by sending us your materials to replenish the brochure racks at our Visitor Information Centers for 2014. Chicago’s official Visitor Information Centers are located at the Chicago Cultural Center at 77 E. Randolph Street and Historic Water Works Pumping Station at 163 E. Pearson Street. Residential-type guides, materials or directories will not be displayed.  

Choose Chicago’s expert team of City Concierges at the Visitor Information Centers maximize the visitor experience in Chicago by showcasing the best of what the city has to offer through activities, attractions, tours and events. An educational workshop is a great way to engage the City Concierges to become more familiar with your attraction or event. These workshops can be scheduled from now until April. If your organization is interested in hosting an educational workshop and/or displaying collateral at our Visitor Information Centers, please contact Melody Laviste, Director of Visitor Services, at

Choose Chicago Visitor Information Centers

Digital Advertising Campaign: Fall 2013

An eight-week digital advertising campaign ran through November 24 in key Midwest drive markets and Toronto in an effort to help drive hotel bookings for the last quarter of the year.  The international campaign is a continuation of a strong summer campaign performance in the Toronto market through a co-op partnership with Brand USA. Results from the summer advertising campaign in London -- Chicago’s first ever international campaign – will be available in the first quarter of 2014 along with details of the regional winter campaign.

In addition to advertising campaigns, Choose Chicago produces a number of publications to reach its various audiences.  To learn about promotional opportunities in the Chicago Official Visitor Guide, Travel Professional Guide, and Meeting Planners Guide, please contact Randi Rogers at

Marketing Campaigns


The countdown to IPW 2014 is less than 140 days away. Preparations are coming together for the premier travel tradeshow that attracts over 5,500 delegates, including US suppliers, approximately 1,200 international buyers and 500 visiting members of the media. As host, Choose Chicago will welcome the delegates to our great city. 

We need of your help to make IPW 2014 a success. We are looking for 800+ volunteers to assist with airport greeting, Chicago information desks, sightseeing tours, evening events and more. This is a great opportunity to highlight Chicago’s fabulous attractions, museums, neighborhoods, music, dining, shopping, hotels, tours and, of course, our friendliness to buyers and media from around the world. 

Volunteer registration opens in December and we hope you and your staff will consider being part of this great event.  For more information on volunteer opportunities, visit

IPW 2014


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 partnership. Read more



The Cultural Tourism Department is responsible for increasing awareness and visitation to Chicago's cultural attractions, events and neighborhoods by promoting the city as a premier cultural destination. Also under cultural tourism, the Visitor Services Department operates two Visitor Information Centers and service over half a million visitors to Chicago annually. The department's four objectives are:

  • Position Chicago as a global cultural destination by leveraging the rich and diverse resources of Chicago's arts, culture, and neighborhoods.
  • Serve as a catalyst for communication and partnerships among agencies, organizations, and stakeholders in arts, culture, and tourism.
  • Enhance the visitor experience and orientation.
  • Establish metrics to measure and track growth.



There are two Visitor Information Centers in the downtown area. They are located in the Loop at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph, and Historic Water Works Pumping Station located on the Magnificent Mile at 163 E. Pearson St. For more information, click here

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