Tourism in Chicago

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Montrose Beach in Chicago

In 2008, Chicago, Illinois saw 46.6 million tourists, including 11.7 million U.S. business travelers, and 1.3 million from outside the U.S.[1] Tourist spending added more than US$11.8 billion to the local economy.[1] Chicago's Magnificent Mile, beaches, parks, and general architecture are popular attractions.

Market overview[edit]

Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau
Founded 1970
Focus Promote Chicago to generate revenue for the visitor industry
Area served
Chicago metropolitan area
Method Sales and marketing of McCormick Place and Navy Pier as venues for major events, promotion of Chicago for tourist, corporate and meetings markets
Members 1,200

Major conventions are held at McCormick Place. The historic Chicago Cultural Center (1897) serves as the city's Visitor Information Center. Tourists will find sites of interest in Grant Park which contains Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain (1927), and the Art Institute of Chicago. Millennium Park's Cloud Gate sculpture and fountain's two towers incorporate LED facial images. Events such as the Grant Park Music Festival take place in the city. Chicago performing arts venues include the Harris Theater for Music and Dance and the Chicago Opera Theater.

Navy Pier, east of Streeterville, contains retail, restaurants, museums, exhibition halls and auditoriums. Its 15 story Ferris wheel is among the most visited landmarks with about 8 million visitors each year.[4]

The city's Museum Campus, holds: the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium. The Museum Campus accesses the Art Institute of Chicago in Grant Park. The Museum of Science and Industry is also a leading attraction.

About one-third of Chicago's tourists enjoy the city's entertainment venues including McCormick Place and the Chicago Theatre.[5]

The Great Lakes Cruising Coalition supports passenger ship cruises through a joint U.S-Canadian venture to Great Lakes ports and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Passeneger cruise liners journey to ports throughout the Great Lakes including Chicago, Detroit, Mackinac Island, Toronto, and Montreal.[6] Cruise liners include the Great Lakes Cruising Company's Yorktown, Grand Mariner, and Grand Caribe and has included Hapag-Lloyd's MS Hamburg operated by Plantours (formerly MS Columbus).[7][8]

The Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB) promotes Chicago tourism and conventions. The CCTB partners with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the Chicago Office of Tourism, the City of Chicago, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's Bureau of Tourism, as well as many other related associations in Chicago. It handles convention sales for McCormick Place and Navy Pier.

The Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau was founded in 1970 with the merger of the Chicago Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Tourism Council of Greater Chicago. The Chicago North Shore Convention and Visitor's Bureau serves Evanston, Glenview, Northbrook and Skokie. The offices of the CNSCVB are located in downtown Skokie, Illinois. The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau serves the 62 south and southwest suburbs of Chicago. Their office is in Lansing, Illinois.


Further information: Culture of Chicago




  1. ^ a b "2008 Visitor Volume Economic Impact". Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. 2010. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ "About the CCTB". Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  3. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  4. ^ "About Navy Pier – The Pier". Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. 2007. Retrieved July 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Retrieved February 1, 2010, Chicago Office of Tourism" (PDF). Retrieved April 17, 2010. 
  6. ^ Great Lakes Cruising Coalition Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  7. ^ Runk, David, Associated Press (July 11, 2006).Great Lakes cruises offer majestic views USA Today. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  8. ^ Great Lakes Cruising Company. Retrieved June 27, 2012.

External links[edit]