Chicago welcomed over 57.6 million visitors in 2018 – a 4.3% increase over 2017.
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Commenting on the record results, Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel said that: “When it comes to attracting tourists and business travellers, Chicago can go toe-to-toe with any city in the world.”
The mayor noted that: By continuing to set new tourism records and bringing millions more people to Chicago every year, we are creating jobs and economic opportunities that reach every neighbourhood.”
Annual visitor projections released by Choose Chicago were fueled by a growth of 4.4% in domestic visitors and an increase of 2.9% in overseas visitors.
David Whitaker, president & CEO of Choose Chicago, observed: “It’s encouraging to not only see growth, but to see the pace of growth increase. The previous year, visitor volumes grew 2.7%, so to see the pace improve with now a 4.3% annual increase is a reflection of the momentum that Chicago is enjoying and the growing impact the tourism, meetings and events industry generates in our community.”
Growth was also achieved in the convention sales results in 2018 as Choose Chicago and its partners at McCormick Place and participating host hotels announced that 60 additional new major conventions have committed to meet in Chicago in future years, that’s in addition to 2,301 smaller meetings welcoming more than one million delegates committing to meet in partner hotels.
In all, more than 2.6 million future room-nights are projected to be generated from an additional four million delegates.
The increases in 2018 were also reflected in major meetings and trade shows hosted in Chicago.
Of the 50 largest events convening at McCormick Place in 2018, 40% (20 conventions) broke either attendance for exhibitor participation records, with 15 of these meetings setting new all-time attendance records, including 11 setting new exhibition space sales records and 8 that reported record-breaking number of exhibitors.
Said Whitaker: “The diversity of our visitors continues to grow as we welcome more and more people both from around the U.S. and increasingly around the world. Diverse customers help match and fulfill the incredible diversity of experiences, venues, flavours and performances found here. A great city to visit is born out of a city that is a great place to live, work and play.”
Go to www.choosechicago.com for more.