Chicago Tourism Metrics, January 2015

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. Earlier this month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Choose Chicago President and CEO Don Welsh announced that Chicago broke the 50 million visitor mark for the first time in 2014. “Continuing to grow Chicago’s tourism industry is a vital part of our strategy to create jobs and promote economic growth in neighborhoods all throughout the City of Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel. “In less than four years, we have increased our number of visitors by 10 million per year, adding more than 9,400 jobs. These gains prove what can happen when we have a coordinated strategy to promote tourism and make the right investments in our airports, our transit system, and our infrastructure. This progress also proves that our goal of attracting 55 million visitors per year is in reach.”

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

  • Chicago’s overall hotel occupancy rate was 51.1% in January, up seven percentage points from 44.1% a year prior.
  • The overall average daily rate (ADR) was $139.20 in January, up from $124.70 a year ago.
  • The Chicago Central Business District has 106 hotel properties comprising 37,049 rooms. More than 3,200 new rooms are expected to open in the next two years, including Hotel Indigo Chicago – Millennium Park (156 rooms, 2016), Nobu Hotel (155 rooms, 2016), LondonHouse (452 rooms, 2016), and Marriott Marquis McCormick Place (1,200 rooms, 2017).
  • O’Hare – recently renamed the world’s busiest airport in terms of flight operations – and Midway International airports served a combined 7.44 million air passengers in December 2014, a 4.3% increase year-over-year.

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


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