Hotel Occupancy sets record; June Posts 90 Percent Occupancy for Second Year in a Row, Record Rates for Rooms

July 22, 2013

Mayor's Press Office

Today, Mayor Emanuel and Choose Chicago announced that in the first half of 2013, hotel occupancy set a record at 71.5 percent, a gain of 1.5 percent. Hotel revenue during the first six months also set a record at $857 million, a gain of 7.2 percent from 2012. The high water mark was generated by revenue from the Leisure-related occupancy that exceeded $500 million for the very first time. This was complimented by a five-year high in Group revenue, which reached $341 million, and a four-year high in Contract revenue at $8.7 million.

"Our tourism industry continues to thrive," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, "These numbers show that our efforts and approach to making Chicago a world-class destination city is creating positive and consistent economic benefits. We will look forward to welcoming many more visitors to our wonderful city."

June was also a sterling month for tourism in Chicago, with near-record hotel occupancy numbers for the month at 90.3 percent - the second straight June that eclipsed 90 percent occupancy. Group and leisure occupancy contributed to this success as the month progressed.

Group occupancy - mostly from conventions -- rose at a rate of 42.6 percent, a gain of 9.1 percent from last year, making this the third time on record that group occupancy for the month of June has exceeded 40 percent. Average daily rate (ADR)  growth was positive in June, with  Leisure ADR growing 15.1 percent and Group  ADR growing 5.4 percent.  ADR levels for Leisure ($249.87) and Group  ($249.14) set records for the month of June. Year-to-date ADR recorded a five-year high at $188.06, gaining 5.5 percent versus the same six months of 2012.

June's Revenue per available room  (REVPAR) also  moved  at a positive pace with a 3.3 percent gain in Leisure RevPAR and a 15.1 percent gain in Group RevPAR. Year-to-date RevPAR advanced 7.2% to $134.54, supported by a record Leisure RevPAR of $79.65, which is a gain of 8.0%, and a five-year high in Group RevPAR of $53.52.

"The progress of our hotels exemplifies the commitment the City of Chicago has to a strong and assertive marketing approach," said Don Welsh, Choose Chicago President and CEO. "We've added more than 4,000  hotel rooms and average daily rates have increased by more than $20 since 2006, and yet more Chicago hotel rooms are filled than ever before. We expect this to continue as work collaboratively with Mayor Emanuel to welcome more visitors to the city."

When Mayor Emanuel took office, he worked with Chicago tourism leaders to create one streamlined tourism organization, which became Choose Chicago. Mayor Emanuel set a lofty goal of 50 million visitors per year by 2020, which would be an increase of nearly 11 million from 2010's total. With 46.2 million visitors in 2012, the city has already reached 65 percent of the mayor's goal in just two years.

This year's June tourism numbers have yielded over $13.4 million in Chicago Hotel Tax Revenue, a gain of 11.1% from 2012.

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