We are pleased to announce the return of a citywide Chinese New Year celebration as cultural performances, exhibitions, parades and hotel and retail promotions mark the Year of the Sheep. The goal for 2015 is to expand the footprint, size and scope of the Chinese New Year Celebration in honor of creating awareness of the tradition, serving as an international attraction to drive tourism and an extraordinary illustration of our commitment to our Chinese tourists.
Chicago is the proud home to a vibrant Chinese community that celebrates its rich cultural traditions. From February to March, key signature events will take place throughout the city. With the goal of promoting tourism and developing strategic cultural bridges to increase visitation, Choose Chicago is working in partnership with the Chinese Consulate of Chicago. For the first time, the collaboration has led to the Shaanxi Folk Arts Group traveling to Chicago from China’s Shaanxi Province’s capital city, Xi’an --- the "cradle of Chinese culture", start of the Silk Road, and the origin of shadow puppetry. The Chinese Fine Arts Society will present a Chinese New Year kickoff featuring the Shaanxi Folk Arts Group on February 19 at the Chicago Cultural Center. On February 21, the Chicago Botanic Garden will present free day long performances by the Shaanxi Folk Arts Group performers, along with free family drop-in programs.
Also new for the 2015 celebration, Symphony Center will present Sounds of China: A Chinese New Year Celebration. The program features virtuoso soloists from the National Chinese Traditional Orchestra and musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, February 15. The concert marks the first-ever Chinese New Year celebration concert at Symphony Center.
Other events include the annual Chinese New Year parades in Chinatown and Uptown, special exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago and The Field Museum, and a special event at the Chinese American Museum.
To conclude celebrations, the Chinese Fine Arts Society will present their annual Chinese New Year Lantern Festival featuring dance, music, and multi-arts performances at Navy Pier on March 1.
Retail partners include Bloomingdale’s, Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Macy’s on State Street and The Shops at North Bridge. Visitors can take advantage of special offers including complimentary gift bags, limited-time discounts, and limited edition merchandise and savings card. Lastly, hotel packages will be offered to visitors and travelers from the following hotels: The Langham Chicago, Hyatt Regency Chicago, Park Hyatt, Hyatt McCormick Place and The Peninsula.
For more information on Chicago’s Chinese New Year celebration, visit http://www.choosechicago.com/chinesenewyear/.
WHAT ARE WE SUPPORTING?
Chicago Restaurant Week
Marking the 8th annual culinary celebration, Chicago Restaurant Week will take place from January 30 to February 12. The two week long program is designed to promote the restaurant industry, bring awareness of the city’s fantastic culinary scene and drive traffic during a typically slower period.
In 2014, 301 restaurants participated, contributing $20.8 million in direct dining spending at Chicago area establishments and served 435,000+ diners.
Similar to past years, a culinary diversity will be offered throughout the downtown area, the city’s neighborhoods, and surrounding suburbs with prixe fix menu of $22 for lunch and $33 and/or $44 for dinner.
Chicago Restaurant Week will kick-off with First Bites Bash event taking place on Thursday, January 29 in the magnificent Great Hall at Union Station and supported by a fully integrated marketing campaign including print, television, radio, digital, out of home, social media and media relations.
This year’s sponsors are 101.9fm THE MIX, Goose Island, NBC5 Chicago, OpenTable, MICHIGAN AVENUE magazine, Serious Eats and Terlato Wines.For more information on Chicago Restaurant Week, visit www.EatItUpChicago.com.
Returning for its 3rd year, Choose Chicago in partnership with the League of Chicago Theatres will celebrate Chicago’s vibrant theatre scene with Chicago Theatre Week. For the first time, Chicago Theatre Week will span 10 days, providing a week and two full weekends of entertainment from February 12 to February 22.
Many of the city’s theatre companies will be offering $15 and $30 tickets to their productions. Visitors and residents will have the opportunity to choose from more than 100 productions.
Launched in 2012, the program was designed to generate ticket sales and awareness to the city’s fantastic theatre scene. Last year, more than 7,900 tickets were sold to 344 performances over the course of 6 days to 100 participating shows attracting visitors from 31 states, Canada and the United Kingdom.For more information on Chicago Theatre Week, visit www.ChicagoTheatreWeek.com.
PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIESCultural Preview: January 22 at the Gene Siskel Film Center
Join Choose Chicago and Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus as they provide a fun, musical look ahead at the city’s cultural happenings in 2015. Choose Chicago will also share a presentation on why China matters, featuring a panel discussion with Choose Chicago partners that are currently targeting the market.
The Cultural Preview will be held on Thursday, January 22 at the Gene Siskel Film Center. To register for this event click here.If you’re not a partner already, consider joining. 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 www.choosechicago.com/partners. Partnership packages start for as little as $99 per year!
Choose Chicago continues to provide visitors with the best tools and access to visitor information. As of January 1, 2015, our collateral distribution program is complimentary for our partners. Please note that the collateral we display in the centers is targeted toward visitors. Residential-type guides, materials or directories will not be displayed. Your participation will ensure continued exposure of your organization to over half a million visitors annually.
Visitor Information Centers are located at Chicago Cultural Center at 77 E. Randolph Street and Macy’s on State Street at 111 N. State Street, lower level. Choose Chicago’s expert team of City Concierge at the Visitor Information Center maximize the visitor experience in Chicago by showcasing the best of what the city has to offer through activities, attractions, tours and events. We continue to provide the following services in the two locations:
- Brochure and Official Visitors Guide Distribution
- Attraction Ticketing Sales
- OpenTable Reservations
- General Information Services – itinerary planning, etc.
- Chicago Greeter Service
If your organization is interested in participating in our collateral distribution program for the 2015 calendar year, please contact Alicia Silva, Manager of Visitor Services at email@example.com.For updates on hours and more information, visit our website.
HOW WE ARE PROMOTING CHICAGO
During the first week of December 2014, Choose Chicago, along with nine partners, successfully completed a two city sales mission in Canada. Sales Missions allow us to facilitate relationship building between our local partners and decision makers in the travel trade and promote Chicago’s world class leisure offerings such as architecture, music, culture, shopping and culinary.
The nine Chicago partners that accompanied Choose Chicago and provided awareness about their product offerings include 360 CHICAGO, Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours, Blue Man Group, Fairmont Chicago, The Field Museum, Hilton Lisle/Naperville, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, and Park Hyatt Chicago.
The sales mission introduced these city partners to the key players within the Canadian travel trade in both Montreal and Toronto to establish relationships, build opportunities and grow market share. Sales missions represent an efficient and cost effective way to reaching target buyers.
Typical components of Choose Chicago sales missions include market briefing, high value meetings, strategy discussions, B2B meetings, travel trade trainings, travel trade interviews, Online Travel Agents, Airlines, Wholesalers, Tour Operators, Travel Agents and the Travel Trade Media and networking opportunities.
Between both cities, Choose Chicago and the hosted partners had contact with over 90 travel trade.Sales mission are open to any Choose Chicago partner interested in capturing a larger share of tourism-generated business from our key markets. For more information on the schedule and the cost of upcoming sales missions please contact Kristi Schuda (U.S. & Canada) firstname.lastname@example.org, Naomi Hattori (Asia) email@example.com and Dara Grimes firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor destination leveraging the city's unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. Read more.
Choose Chicago’s Cultural Tourism department’s six strategic objectives are:
- Develop and implement market-specific positioning strategies and promotional tactics to attract more cultural travelers to Chicago from regional, national, and international markets.
- Promote and support existing cultural asset infrastructure and future cultural tourism product development.
- Enhance tourism sales efforts to further develop existing and new cultural tourism product to help position Chicago as one of the top five destinations for international inbound travel by 2020.
- Elevate visitor services by promoting unique, authentic, and enjoyable experiences.
- Develop and implement a multi-year neighborhood tourism development plan to drive repeat visitation to Chicago and extend length of stay.
- Establish metrics to track growth and economic impact of cultural tourism and neighborhood tourism development efforts.
There are two Visitor Information Centers in the downtown area. They are located at the Chicago Cultural Center at 77 E. Randolph Street and Macy’s on State Street Lower Level at 111 N. State Street. For more information, visit www.choosechicago.com/visitor-information-centers.