Chicago News

Chicago sees boost in tourism in August

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A record number of visitors checked into Chicago's hotels last month.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Choose Chicago announced today continued growth in hotel performance numbers, largely a result of the leisure segment, as a product of the Mayor's focus on increasing tourism and improving the hotel industry.

"Chicago is a world class city and a top tourist destination," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "It is my continued mission to increase Chicago's tourism marketability to ensure our city remains one of the most attractive places in the country to visit for business or pleasure."

Chicago's hotel occupancy numbers set records again in August. August 2013 saw a record 86.4 percent of hotel rooms filled, besting last August by 1.6 percent. Average daily rates (ADR) for rooms grew considerably - increasing about $10 from last year and virtually tying the pre-recession peak from 2008. This came even though Chicago has about 5000 more hotel rooms than it did before the recession.

"Our ongoing efforts to fill Chicago's hotel rooms through an aggressive marketing strategy and tourism campaign can be attributed to much of August 2013's success," said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago.

The great numbers were spurred by leisure occupancy, which, at 58.2 percent, set a record for August. On average, every hotel room in Chicago generated approximately $164 per night, a record by more than four dollars per room per night from the previous peak in 2008.

Year to date, Chicago is on pace to set a new record in occupancy, revenue per available room, and total revenue from hotels, which has already eclipsed $1.2 billion.

Upon taking office, Mayor Emanuel coordinated with Chicago tourism leaders to form one streamlined tourism organization, which became Choose Chicago in July 2012. At the current rate of 43.6 million visitors annually, Chicago's visitor industry is an economic engine directly responsible for 132,000 jobs, $$805.6 million in tax revenue and $12.8 billion in direct spending. In April 2014, Chicago will host the U.S. Travel Association's IPW, the world's largest US tourism marketplace for international inbound travel. Chicago last hosted the premier event in 1998, and has grown its tourism industry considerably since then.

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