Chicago officers level to indicators of tourism restoration

Town stated Wednesday that Chicago recorded an 86% improve in guests final yr in comparison with 2020, indicating pent-up tourism demand.

The 30.7 million home and worldwide vacationers who got here to Chicago in 2021 signify a wholesome return of enterprise that has continued all through this yr as pandemic-related restrictions are eased, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and leaders of Select Chicago, town’s tourism promoter, stated . In 2020, amid a wider financial downturn, solely 16.3 million individuals visited town.

However the brand new vacationer depend is barely half of the almost 61 million guests reported to town in 2019, earlier than the onset of COVID-19.

Lightfoot stated the 2021 information “reveals that guests in the US and all over the world are itching to return to our unimaginable metropolis.”

Lynn Osmond, CEO of Select Chicago, referred to as it “a real testomony to Chicago’s resilience and energy as a premier vacation spot for vacationers, companies and occasions.” By no means earlier than have I been so assured in our means to make a full restoration.”

She stated the enhancements got here regardless of Chicago not reaching Part 5 financial reopening till June 2021, and the worldwide journey ban was in impact till November. Complete tourism spending right here was estimated at $9.8 billion in 2021, about half of what it was in 2019.

The 2021 report was launched on the Select Chicago annual conference. The report cites different proof of a restoration within the sector, such because the return of tourism-related employment to 60% of pre-pandemic ranges.

He additionally reported a pointy improve in metropolis resort bookings, leading to a 163% improve in tax income in comparison with 2020. The report says that by the tip of 2021, the typical room fee was 90% of pre-pandemic ranges.

In the meantime, a examine by the Chicago Loop Alliance, which represents companies within the downtown space, confirmed continued development in exercise this yr. In its Could report, the group stated resort occupancy has reached its highest degree because the begin of the pandemic, with pedestrian numbers near pre-pandemic ranges.

The one indicator that dropped barely from the April information was workplace occupancy, which was 44% in Could. The Alliance reported continued sturdy demand for Loop garages, whereas passenger numbers at Metra and CTA nonetheless lag behind pre-pandemic ranges.

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