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. Last week, Mayor Emanuel and Choose Chicago announced the launch of Chicago Epic, the city’s first national tourism marketing campaign. Mayor Emanuel asserted that “Chicago has seen record tourism growth in the last four years – and tens of thousands of good-paying jobs that come with it. Chicago Epic will help us to continue growing this critical sector of our economy.”

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

  • Chicago’s overall hotel occupancy rate was 71.6% in March, up 3.4 percentage points from 68.2% in March 2014.
  • The overall average daily rate (ADR) was $171.51 in March, up from $158.35 a year ago.
  • The Chicago Central Business District has 106 hotel properties comprising 37,049 rooms. Recently opened hotels include Loews Chicago Hotel (400 rooms), Virgin Hotel Chicago (250 rooms), The Godfrey Hotel (221 rooms), and SOHO House Chicago (40 rooms).
  • More than 3,200 new rooms are expected to open in the next two years, including AC by Marriott (217 rooms, June 2015), Kimpton Hotel (281 rooms, 2016), Nobu Hotel (93 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 6.08 million air passengers in February 2015, a 4.6% increase year-over-year.

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

HotelADR 042015

HotelOcc 042015

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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