Chicago achieved record tourism performance for June 2016, driven by strong room demand from convention and leisure visitors. This demand growth pushed occupancy to 89.5 percent, only the third time on record that occupancy rates for the month of June surpassed 89 percent. At the mid-way point of 2016, overall demand set a record level of more than 5 million room nights, a gain of 1.1 percent over last year's record performance.
The demand record was reached while hotel room inventory grew by 3.2 percent. Since January 2015, Chicago's hotel community has expanded to include 12 new properties, which translates to an additional 2,982 rooms daily in the central business district.
"Tourism is a key driver of Chicago's economy and these newest gains show that our momentum is building," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "As these records continue to fall we are creating jobs and economic opportunities that touch every corner of Chicago, and I look forward to working even harder to keep the progress going."
Citywide conventions, paired with strong leisure demand, were the catalyst of June's performance. In June, Chicago hosted the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), with 38,500 attendees; NeoCon® with 53,000; and American Water Works Association (AWWA) with 11,500 attendees. The strong demand levels in June helped fuel average daily rate (ADR) growth of 6.9 percent.
"June's performance underscores the importance of drawing major meetings and conventions - like ASCO, NeoCon and AWWA - which each attract tens of thousands of attendees to Chicago," David Whitaker, President and CEO of Choose Chicago said. "The success we experienced in June and the continued expansion of our hotel industry are a testament to how developers have taken note of Chicago and are investing in our future. But this expansion, while encouraging, does not come without its challenges. For us to keep pace we must continue to focus on attracting additional visitors to this amazing destination."
The focus on boosting both leisure and group demand to Chicago brings the city even closer to reaching Mayor Emanuel's goal of 55 million visitors annually by 2020. In 2015, Chicago welcomed more than 52 million visitors to the city, generating $935 million in total tax revenue, $2.2 billion in revenue for Chicago's hotels and $124.1 million in hotel tax revenue.