Chicago Sets New Tourism Record in 2017 with 55 Million Visitors

Mayor Emanuel and Choose Chicago recently announced that visitors to the city in 2017 reached 55.2 million – a new record and 2.5 percent increase over the previous year.

Chicago’s tourism industry supported an estimated 146,500 jobs in 2017, a 17 percent increase since Mayor Emanuel took office. Prior to 2011, there were an estimated 124,400 tourism-related positions. The projected 55.2 million visitors to Chicago in 2017 generated an estimated additional 22,000 jobs. In 2010, Chicago saw about 39.25 million visitors. 2017’s performance is an approximately 40 percent increase.

2017 marked another major increase in leisure visitors to the city, as Chicago hotels reported an overall annual increase of 6.3 percent. This increase of the leisure segment was particularly strong in the key summer months as hotels reported an increase of 7.4 percent during the four-month period June through September – more than double the growth of the previous summer. Overall, Chicago hotel demand in terms of rooms occupied grew 3.3 percent in 2017.

Another key segment generating overnight visitors is the important convention and meetings industry convening at McCormick Place. Of the largest 40 conventions held, 21 achieved increased attendance over their prior year event including 10 that experienced all time attendance records. Seven of the 40 largest conventions broke previous records in terms of the sale of exhibit space – another encouraging industry trend.

The positive momentum being generated is also helping fuel industry growth as Chicago opened five new hotels in 2017 with another eight new hotels currently scheduled to open in 2018.

To read the full press release, click here.

Source:  Alderman Reilly Reports 1/19/18