Making Chicago a premier destination for tourism and entertainment is a major part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs that WBC is implementing to drive growth in Chicago. Choose Chicago, the official destination marketing organization for Chicago, also plays an integral role in economic growth by attracting business and leisure visitors to the city.

In June, Mayor Rahm Emanuel opened three new sections of the Chicago Riverwalk and announced the lineup of vendors that will provide dining, educational, cultural and recreational activities. “It’s exciting to see the vision of the Riverwalk coming together and becoming a reality. It’s a big step forward in making the river the next great recreational frontier in Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel. The new sections are estimated to bring 3.1 million visitors, increasing spending and earnings.

The following points summarize recent hotel and air passenger trends for Chicago:

  • Chicago’s overall hotel occupancy rate was 87.5% in June, down slightly from 88.1% in June 2014.
  • The overall average daily rate (ADR) was $247.49 in June, up from $237.07 a year ago.
  • The Chicago Central Business District has 113 hotel properties comprising more than 38,538 rooms. Recently opened hotels include the Freehand Hostel and Hotel (217 rooms), AC by Marriott (217 rooms), and the Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown/N Loop/Michigan Ave (144 rooms).
  • More than 2,400 new rooms are expected to open in the next two years, including the Wicker Park Hotel (93 rooms, 2016), LondonHouse (281 rooms, 2016) and the Marriott Marquis McCormick Place (1,200 rooms, 2017).
  • O’Hare – the world’s busiest airport in terms of flight operations – and Midway International airports served a combined 9.09 million air passengers in June 2015, a 7.1% increase year-over-year.

Hotel occupancy and average daily rate (ADR) and  trends are illustrated in the following charts:




Source: Choose Chicago; Chicago Department of Aviation. For more information on Chicago’s tourism landscape, please refer to the Choose Chicago website and 2014 Annual Report.

Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago is the public-private partnership leading the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs in order to drive business development, cultivate talent, and put Chicago at the forefront of the global economy.

WBC’s “Economic Briefs” track indicators from month to month to gauge the strength of several aspects of Chicago’s economy, including unemployment, population, venture capital, job openings and new hires, home sales, tourism, etc. This data provides a clear analytic framework for specific Plan strategies and initiatives. For a summary of these and other economic indicators, refer to WBC’s monthly Chicago By The Numbers 

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