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Initiative will create thousands of Chicago tourism jobs

Posted on January 29, 2014

A new initiative from the city is expected to create a surge in tourism and boost Chicago tourism jobs.

The city has extended the city’s goal for annual tourists, increasing the goal to 55 million visitors a year.

The achievement of this goal by 2020 will result in 30,000 additional jobs related to the tourism industry and hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue into the city of Chicago.

There are over 46 million visitors a year and today Mayor Emanuel set a more ambitious goal of 55 million visitors a year by the year 2020 – which will create 30,000 additional jobs.

Mayor Emanuel outlined two major initiatives under the Elevate Chicago banner that will characterize the sort of globally-focused, iconic events being sought for the city.

First the city will launch an international competition to light the city at night. The competition will seek entries from artists, architects, planners and designers from around the world. It will begin with the river and extend throughout the city and will activate Chicago at night, allowing tourists more opportunities to enjoy the city and presenting another reason for people to visit Chicago.

Then the city will host a citywide celebration of the Chinese New Year this year, which is expected to grow each and every year until it is the biggest in North America. The celebration runs from Friday, January 31 through Friday, February 14 from Chicago’s downtown Loop to Chinatown to communities across the entire city.

“Elevate Chicago is about putting in place iconic and exciting tourism opportunities that will put Chicago at the top of the list for tourist destinations,” said Lou Raizin, President of Broadway in Chicago and a board member of Choose Chicago. “There is now a great opportunity to create lasting, valuable tourism attractions that will foster job growth and economic opportunity for years to come. We are ready to seize this opportunity.”