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Michelle Gonzalez, Choose Chicago

Katie Papadopoulos, SiPP Communications


This marks the first time a large city has achieved this honor for four straight years

(CHICAGO – October 6, 2020) – Condé Nast Traveler announced today that Chicago was voted the best large city in the United States in its annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Chicago was first voted “Best Large City” in 2017, repeating the selection in 2018, 2019 and has now won for a fourth year in a row for 2020, a first in the history of the category.

“This never-before-seen, four-time accomplishment is truly a testament to the resilience and rich diversity of our City,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Despite the challenges that COVID-19 has presented, our communities and businesses found innovative ways to strengthen our recovery efforts while still giving residents and visitors access to all our great City has to offer. I want to thank the entire team at Condé Nast Traveler and its readers for honoring Chicago with this award for yet another year and I look forward to safely welcoming people from near and far as we continue to reopen.”

Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. More than 715,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers participated in the voting period from April through June, submitting tens of thousands of responses rating their travel experiences to provide a full snapshot of where they travel and what they enjoy.

“This validates the great momentum and tourism growth we’ve seen pre-COVID, the authenticity and allure of Chicago’s dynamic tourism and hospitality community that is second to none, and Choose Chicago’s sustained focus on elevating the city’s value proposition to both business and leisure travelers,” said Glenn Eden, chair of Choose Chicago’s Board of Directors.  “It also shows that we have a very endearing popularity with this group of seasoned travelers and continue to check all of the boxes for what matters most to them when visiting a big city.  I couldn’t be more proud of this unprecedented acknowledgement and its reassurance that people will continue to come back as the city continues to reopen in a safe and responsible way.”

The award comes as Chicago and the city’s partners are reimagining what it means to travel and convene. In these unusual times, the trust that visitors place in a destination when they choose to book a trip is the greatest vote of confidence. This year, the voices of Condé Nast Traveler’s readers are more important than ever, because they are a reflection of what they value most out of their travel experiences.

“For Chicago to be voted as best big city to visit by the savvy and knowledgeable readers of Condé Nast Traveler is in itself significant, not to mention the incredible honor of four consecutive years,” said David Whitaker, President & CEO of Choose Chicago. “We have seen these past few months how much people miss traveling, and this recognition simply reinforces how vitally important the connection between travelers and their destinations is and the incredible potential Chicago offers. As we welcome visitors back, it is even more important that we welcome them back responsibly; all the while sharing with them the experiences that have resulted in achieving this recognition the past four years.”

In spite of the challenges 2020 has presented to date, the city and its partners united earlier this year to continue offering visitors a fulfilling experience. This past spring, Choose Chicago launched Tourism & Hospitality Forward, an initiative to spur the city’s tourism industry and a broader economic recovery.

This alliance of over 250 local tourism, hospitality, meeting and event-related organizations worked together to establish best practices and safety measures for the health and safety of residents, visitors and business travelers alike in advance of the phased reopening of cultural institutions, hotels, attractions and restaurants at the start of the summer.


Images and video of Chicago, including a special celebration with Shedd Aquarium’s famous field-trip loving penguins, can be accessed here.  #SheddAquarium

About Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor and meetings destination, leveraging the city’s unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. Follow @ChooseChicago on Twitter and on Instagram @choosechicago. Like us on Facebook. For more, visit #ChicagoHome | #Only1Chicago

About Condé Nast Traveler

Condé Nast Traveler is the world’s most distinguished travel title providing inspiration and advice for discerning travelers. Authoritative and influential, Condé Nast Traveler is a multi-platform, transatlantic brand. Publishing US and UK print editions under Editor-in-Chief Melinda Stevens, Condé Nast Traveler offers award-winning expertise in luxury travel from around the world. For more, visit @cntraveler | #RCA2020

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