Chicago Tourism Metrics, April 2016

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 April, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Choose Chicago announced that domestic visitors to Chicago in 2015 passed 50 million for the first time, and that total visitors to Chicago in 2015 are expected to exceed 52,000, surpassing record performance in 2014. This brings Chicago closer to reaching Mayor Emanuel’s goal of 55 million visitors annually by 2020.

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

  • Hotel room demand in the Central Business District was 930,633 rooms occupied in April, a 3.5% increase from 899,005 rooms a year ago.
  • The overall average daily rate (ADR) was $198.68 in April, down from $200.49 in April 2015.
  • The Chicago Central Business District has 115 hotel properties comprising 39,098 rooms. Recently opened hotels include Virgin Hotel Chicago (250 rooms), the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel (241 rooms) and the Freehand Hostel and Hotel (217 rooms).
  • More than 3,100 new rooms are expected to open in the next two years, including the Marriott Marquis Chicago (1,200 rooms, 2017), Kimpton Hotel (281 rooms, Spring 2016), and Ace Hotel (150 rooms, 2016).
  • O’Hare – the world’s busiest airport in terms of flight operations – and Midway International airports served a combined 8.19 million air passengers in March 2016, a 0.5% increase over last March.

Average daily rate and room demand trends are illustrated in the following charts:

HotelADR 052016

HotelDem 052016

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