Chicago might have trouble getting people to stay here, but it’s doing a pretty good job of attracting visitors, according to new tourism numbers released by City Hall.
The Mayor’s Office announced Sunday that tourism was at a record high this past July with a 2.7 percent increase in hotel room demand compared to last July and hotel room occupancy at a record 88.3 percent. City Hall credits the increases with Lollapalooza’s big attendance numbers in late July and Sage Summit, a small business conference at McCormick Place that had over 15,000 attendees. Visitors to the city occupied an all-time July record of 1,091,456 hotel rooms, according to the announcement.
Choose Chicago President and CEO David Whitaker suggested in a statement that the city will need new hotels to meet the growing tourism demands on the city—particularly because hotel room inventory has grown by 2.7 percent at about the same pace as the demand for rooms. Four new hotels are under construction in the city right now, and they will add over 1,000 daily rooms to the city’s inventory. A new boutique hotel in Wicker Park, for example, is planned to have 67 rooms.
“The increase in demand kept pace with the increase in rooms available,” Whitaker said. “It’s incumbent on us to continue to welcome more visitors to the destination as we help drive the visitor economy and work to fill our growing hotel inventory.”