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 early January, the city and Choose Chicago announced a tourism record was reached in 2016: an estimated 54.1 million out-of-towners visited Chicago last year. Of the total visitors, about 80% came for pleasure and 20% traveled on business. More information can be found in this Crain’s Chicago Business article.

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

  • Hotel room demand in the Central Business District was 720,245 rooms occupied in December, a 1.4% decrease from 730,322 rooms a year ago.
  • The overall average daily rate (ADR) was $149.42 in December, down from $160.37 a year ago.
  • The Chicago Central Business District has 122 hotel properties comprising more than 40,000 rooms.
  • O’Hare – the world’s busiest airport in terms of flight operations – and Midway International airports served a combined 8.06 million air passengers in November 2016, which is a slight increase of 0.6% over last November’s passenger volume.

Average daily rate and room demand 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 2015 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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