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Chicago Tourism Jobs Get Jumpstart from Campaign

Posted on January 20, 2009

More Chicago tourism jobs may soon be created as the city invests in a new winter tourism campaign, which includes the launch of a new tourism Web site.

The City of Chicago recently announced the launch of the new campaign. The Web site will showcase Chicago to a worldwide audience and add a new tool to help support tourism. During 2007, Chicago’s tourism industry attracted 46 million business and leisure travelers who added more than $11.5 billion to the economy and helped create 132,000 new tourism jobs.

“Chicago’s convention and tourism industry is among our city’s most important,” Mayor Richard M. Daly said in a press release. “With that in mind today, we’re announcing a great new website – ExploreChicago.org – that will increase our visibility around the world and make it easier for visitors and residents alike to take advantage of the great things our city has to offer. It is another step in our ongoing effort to kick start Chicago’s economic recovery.”

The new site will feature:

  • Lists of current events, tours and attractions, searchable by date, neighborhood and area of interest
  • Multi-media content, including audio tours, slideshows, podcasts, video clips and an itinerary builder
  • “Insider Profiles” of real Chicagoans, who share their favorite things to see and do in the city
  • Comprehensive information on each of Chicago’s many distinct neighborhoods, complete with interactive Google maps
  • A Virtual Visitor’s Center with downloadable brochures, maps and resources for international travelers, including information on
  • using public transportation, tipping, using emergency services and exchanging foreign currency.
  • The site is expected to have about 190,000 visitors each month. This spring, the Web site will be available in Spanish, French and English.

    The city has struck a deal with Orbitz.com, which also is based in Chicago. Any time a visitor to the new tourism site books a flight or hotel through Orbitz, the city will receive some of that revenue. The city also has partnered with Hewlett Packard to make the site available at O’Hare Airport this winter.

    “During the toughest economy in over fifty years, leaders at every level have a responsibility to do all they can to help jump start our nation’s economic recovery, now,” Daly said in the release. “It is critical that government find ways to get the most from every tax dollar and partner with the private sector on projects such as Explore Chicago.org that will help our city work its way through these very challenging times.”