Kara Carmichael, Director, Public Relations - Choose Chicago

The "IPW Effect" Will Lead to 4,900 New Jobs, $320 Million in New Tax Revenue and $1.7 Billion in Visitor Spending Over the Next Three Years

As a result of hosting the annual IPW travel trade show this past April, Chicago can expect to see a significant lift in overseas visitation, resulting in new jobs and tax revenue over the next three years, a new economic analysis reveals. Chicago was the host city for the U.S. Travel Association's 46th Annual IPW 2014 which attracted more than 6,200 travel buyers, suppliers and media from 70 countries for three days of intensive deal-making that impact the future of U.S. travel. The "IPW Effect" will lead to 4,900 new jobs, $320 million in state and local tax revenue and a $1.7 billion bump in visitor spending as a result of the additional 950,207 overseas travelers expected to travel to Chicago over the next three years. The analysis, conducted by Rockport Analytics, LLC, an independent market research and consulting company, was commissioned by the US Travel Association.

When Mayor Emanuel took office, the City of Chicago had approximately 40 million visitors annually. Just three years later, Chicago now welcomes over 48 million visitors a year.

"Our international guests were surprised and delighted by how drastically the city has evolved since we last hosted IPW in 1998," said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. "The ability to influence buyers' perceptions and attitudes is invaluable as we work toward achieving Mayor Emanuel's goals of 55 million visitors annually by 2020 and elevating Chicago to among the top five most visited U.S. cities by international travelers. Hosting IPW 2014 gave us an opportunity to have a real impact on future travel to the city of Chicago. As a result, we can expect a significant lift in overseas visitation over the next three years."

The post-event survey of all international buyer delegates who attended IPW 2014 revealed that 69% of those not currently booking Chicago plan to sell the city over the next three years, while 70% of those already booking into Chicago plan to increase their bookings over the next three years.

"Thanks to this data, we can now articulate the clear benefit of IPW, both for the country as a whole and for the host city specifically," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "Mayor Emanuel and Choose Chicago made the astute decision to pursue bringing the event to their city, they did an absolutely phenomenal job as hosts, and now we see that the investment is going to pay off for the local economy for years to come."

IPW attendees experienced Chicago's unmatched cultural attractions, award-winning chefs and restaurants, and endless entertainment options. Star-studded performances by hometown artist and Grammy-Award winner Jennifer Hudson at The Museum of Science & Industry and power house R&B musician Janelle Monáe at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios demonstrated Chicago's continued ability to deliver on epic events.