MAYOR EMANUEL AND CHOOSE CHICAGO ANNOUNCE RECORD TYING TOURISM NUMBERS FOR FIRST SEVEN MONTHS OF 2013

Year-to-date Hotel Occupancy Continues at Record Tying Rate; Boom in Leisure Travel Leads to Second Best July Since 2007, Priceline names Chicago Second Most Popular Labor Day Travel Destination

Date: August 30, 2013

Contact:

Mayor's Press Office
312.744.3334
press@cityofchicago.org

Today, Mayor Emanuel and Choose Chicago announced that in the first seven months of 2013, hotel occupancy set a record tying rate of 73.6 percent, a gain of 1.6 percent over the same period of time in 2012. These record tying gains in overall occupancy have been bolstered by a record breaking 45.8 percent rate in Leisure occupancy and a Group occupancy rate of 26.4 percent, best since 2008. Hotel revenue during the first seven months set a record by exceeding $1 billion, a gain of 8.4 percent from 2012.

"Since Day One of my administration I have been firmly committed to attracting visitors to Chicago, for business and pleasure," said Mayor Emanuel. "These strong gains show that our strategic approach is creating strong economic benefits for the whole city, such as new jobs and tax revenue."

July was also an excellent month for tourism in Chicago with an occupancy rate of 85.4 percent, making it the second highest July since the summer of 2007. July's Revenue per available room  (REVPAR) moved  at a strong pace with a 10 percent gain year-over-year, the highest level since July of 2007.

"We are extremely pleased with the positive hotel performance and its impact on Chicago's overall economy," said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago.  "The continued positive performance is likely a result of targeted advertising campaigns coupled with proactive media relations activity."

Chicago's summer tourism success comes on the heels of Priceline.com's recent announcement ranking Chicago's North Michigan Avenue area as the second most popular Labor Day travel destination for this summer's final 3-day weekend, August 31-September 2. Priceline.com has also ranked the city of Chicago as the second only to New York City as most popular Labor Day city for the last decade. Priceline's top Labor Day cities for the last ten years is based on over 30,000 credit card-backed hotel room booking requests made on their website's hotel booking service for the upcoming holiday. This is the 10th year that Priceline has been tracking Labor Day travel trends.

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.

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