Chicago getting an extra $5 million to entice tourists to the city

Mayor Emanuel wants the city to meet a goal of 50 million visitors per year by 2020

February 21, 2013

Judith Ruiz-Branch

(Flicker/cseeman)
O'Hare International Airport

The city is chipping in $5 million in annual funding to boost Chicago’s tourism traffic.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel made the announcement Thursday at an annual meeting hosted by the city’s tourism agency, “Choose Chicago.” 

On average, Chicago gets about 46 million visitors every year.

But Emanuel wants to up that number to 50 million by the year 2020.

He joked about the importance of enticing more international visitors, even if it’s just for a short stay.  

“It’s like family members, they stay for a week and leave, exactly like we want it,” he said. “You obviously don’t have a family member like I have a family member - you want them to come for just a weekend - but it helps the city of Chicago, it markets it and it continues to make sure we are doing what we need to do to build the business and build the jobs that are essential for our city.”

Emanuel’s office said the extra $5 million will come from revenue from city airports.

The office said the money will be put back into O’Hare and Midway, using ad's and campaigns to market the usage of Chicago's two airports, in order to increase traffic.