Chicago Tourism Metrics, September 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. 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.

Earlier this month, Choose Chicago announced the results of a University of Illinois economic impact study of the 2014 Bank of Chicago Marathon. The race attracted 42,279 participants and 1.7 million spectators, generating an estimated $254 million in total economic impact to the city. In the Bank of America press release, president Tim Maloney noted that the economic impact has increased nearly 78 percent in less than a decade, and attributed the event’s continued success to “the strong partnership with the city, its residents and businesses.” The 38th Annual Bank of America Marathon will take place on Sunday, October 11.

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

  • Chicago’s overall hotel occupancy rate was 84.8% in August, down from 88.1% in August 2014.
  • The overall average daily rate (ADR) was $203.53 in August, up from $197.21 a year ago.
  • The Chicago Central Business District has 114 hotel properties comprising more than 38,730 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 LondonHouse (452 rooms, 2016), Marriott Marquis (1,200 rooms, 2017) and the Viceroy Hotel (2017).
  • O’Hare – the world’s busiest airport in terms of flight operations – and Midway International airports served a combined served a combined 9.61 million air passengers in July 2015, a 8.1% increase year-over-year.

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

HotelOcc 092215HotelADR 092215

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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