WBEZ | tourism http://www.wbez.org/tags/tourism Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Navy Pier's future facelift has to strike balance http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-13/morning-shift-navy-piers-future-facelift-has-strike <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Navy Pier - Flickr - Bernt Rostad.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With Navy Pier headed toward a re-design in the next couple years, can the design continue to attract so many tourists? And, Matteson, Illinois, officials are closing Lincoln Mall. What does this imply about the future economy of the south suburbs?&nbsp;</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-42.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-42" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Navy Pier's future facelift has to strike balance" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Tue, 13 Aug 2013 08:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-13/morning-shift-navy-piers-future-facelift-has-strike ‘Nonsensical walk’ tempts tourists through Loop’s lesser-known parts http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/%E2%80%98nonsensical-walk%E2%80%99-tempts-tourists-through-loop%E2%80%99s-lesser-known-parts-106481 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/loop%20tunnel%20flickr%20minglespy.jpg" style="height: 481px; width: 620px;" title="Chicago Detours is launching a walking tour of lesser known spaces inside the Loop. (Flickr/MingleSpy)" /></div><p dir="ltr" id="internal-source-marker_0.9427589514766905">When Amanda Scotese taught video production to high school students in neighborhoods like Avalon and Albany Park, she&rsquo;d bike or take public transit and arrive early enough to walk around and explore.</p><p dir="ltr">Scotese studied urban theory at the University of Chicago and was taken in by the 19th century concept of the <em>flaneur</em>, a kind of urban explorer or &ldquo;connoisseur of the street&rdquo; who walks for pleasure more than transportation. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;On the most basic level I just love walking,&rdquo; Scotese said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s such a basic way of learning about the world. Some people prefer to read books, but I walk a ton.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Scotese took indirect routes though Chicago&rsquo;s neighborhoods that offered her sights to see. She&rsquo;d wind up side streets and meander down alleys and boulevards. She looked for details in the landscape that might escape someone in more of a hurry, or in a car: a block where two-flats bled into old factories, another where storefront churches outnumbered every other kind of building; children playing in a hydrant or an elderly woman sitting on her porch in a forest of plants. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">In our daily lives, we are often stuck in predictable patterns of movement, taking the same routes to and from work, accidentally tracing the same footsteps we made yesterday and the day before.</p><p dir="ltr">But Scotese says that &ldquo;by stepping off the same route, we can learn a lot.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chicago%20detours%20tour%20guide%20photo.jpg" style="float: left; height: 414px; width: 300px;" title="A Chicago Detours guide walks tourists through the Loop. The company is now offering a more unorthodox selection of walking tours. (Chicago Detours/Amanda Scotese)" />Not just an academic, Scotese has also channeled these interests into a business.</p><p dir="ltr">She has worked in tourism for more than a decade, including a stint with travel maven Rick Steves. In 2010, Scotese founded&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagodetours.com/">Chicago Detours</a>, which bills itself as &ldquo;a tour company for curious people.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">In addition to offering walking tours that showcase downtown staples you can often see from a boat, Scotese has done things like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2013/03/04/in-the-jumble-of-the-pedway-can-an-amateur-map-fill-in-the-blanks">publish a map to Chicago&rsquo;s underground Pedway</a>. Now she&rsquo;s launched a quarterly series of walking tours that explore the sorts of overlooked spaces she discovered on her own quirky trips.</p><p dir="ltr">The first, a &ldquo;Nonsensical Walk of Indoor Spaces,&rdquo; takes place this Friday, and will lead participants through a series of publically accessible &ndash; if rarely seen &ndash; Loop lobbies, Pedway passages, shortcuts and corridors. The tour starts at Block 37 and ends at the Chicago Board of Trade.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We go through the Daley Center, City Hall and the Thompson Center,&rdquo; Scotese said, ticking down her itinerary, which also includes &ldquo;taking the Pedway through the parking garage under [Millennium] Park.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The tour&rsquo;s unconventional narration will involve a game of telephone: The tour leader will pass back snippets of information to the first few participants, who will pass it back to the people behind them and so on.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I did this walk . . . to get a sense of what interior spaces are open to the public,&rdquo; Scotese said. &ldquo;It was just this entire world that I had never imagined: wild shortcuts, eateries tucked away in spaces you&rsquo;d never notice from outside.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Scotese hopes participants will get from the tour what she has from this and her other walks.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;In the few hours I wandered around downtown I had a much better sense of the city,&rdquo; she said.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Chicago Detours&rsquo; Nonsensical Walk of Indoor Spaces takes place April 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. Meet in the Pedway atrium of Block 37 at 108 N. State Street. Tickets are $20, space is limited and<a href="http://www.chicagodetours.com/"> reservations are required</a>.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Follow Robin Amer on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/rsamer">@rsamer</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 04 Apr 2013 12:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/%E2%80%98nonsensical-walk%E2%80%99-tempts-tourists-through-loop%E2%80%99s-lesser-known-parts-106481 Chicago reviewed: 'A city of constant despair and rebirth' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/chicago-reviewed-city-constant-despair-and-rebirth-105208 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/tourism.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong><a href="http://www.gadling.com/2013/01/29/budget-guide-2013-chicago/" title="Navy Pier by CafeYak.com, on Flickr"><img alt="Navy Pier" src="http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4115/4933056521_be8c4e5cb7.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 224px; float: right;" /></a>&#39;IT IS A CITY OF CRIME, SEGREGATION AND FLOURISH, A CITY OF CONSTANT DESPAIR AND REBIRTH.&#39;</strong>&nbsp;That&#39;s from the introduction to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gadling.com/2013/01/29/budget-guide-2013-chicago/">a new &quot;budget guide&quot; review of Chicago</a> by the Gadling travel blog.<br />* Public school <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/17889243-761/one-week-after-attending-inaugural-south-side-teen-shot-dead-in-neighborhood-park.html">student who performed last week at the Obama inauguration</a> among <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-2-shot-at-or-near-south-side-high-school-20130129,0,6824507.story">latest dead in Chicago shootings</a>.<br />* <em>The Onion: </em>&quot;<a href="http://www.theonion.com/articles/chicagos-annual-homicide-drive-off-to-most-promisi,31066/">Chicago&#39;s Annual Homicide Drive Off To Most Promising Start In Decades</a>.&quot;<br />* And <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-city-council-bed-bug-hearing-0130-20130130,0,7376561.story">what about the bedbugs</a>?</p><p><strong>&#39;HE&rsquo;S GOT A SET OF BALLS, AND HE SAYS WHAT HE BELIEVES.&#39;&nbsp;</strong>That&#39;s New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, describing Vice President Joe Biden in <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/michael-bloomberg-joe-biden-has-set-of-balls-86900.html">an interview with <em>Politico</em></a>.<br />* Bloomberg&#39;s super PAC airs ad <a href="http://www.nationaljournal.com/blogs/hotlineoncall/2013/01/bloomberg-super-pac-airing-tv-ad-against-halvorson-29">condemning possible Jesse Jackson Jr. replacement Debbie Halvorson</a>: &quot;When it comes to preventing gun violence, she gets an F.&quot;</p><p><iframe align="right" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="288" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="http://www.hulu.com/embed.html?eid=s7zc1n0code9rwobk_3s8w" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="512"></iframe><strong>&#39;THEY PROBABLY READ EVERY FIFTH WORD, YOU KNOW, SO JUST MAKE IT THOSE FIVE WORDS.&#39;&nbsp;</strong>The TV series &quot;Portlandia&quot; takes <strong><a href="http://www.newscastic.com/news/did-portlandia-show-us-the-future-of-journalism-62509/?action_type_map=%7B%22594380677243438%22%3A%22og.likes%22%2C%22594379623910210%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&amp;action_object_map=%7B%22594380677243438%22%3A103842249796871%2C%22594379623910210%22%3A488367477876215%7D&amp;fb_action_types=og.likes&amp;fb_source=other_multiline&amp;fb_action_ids=594380677243438%2C594379623910210&amp;action_ref_map=%5B%5D">a painful look at the state of journalism</a></strong>.<br />* Traditional&nbsp;<a href="http://ijnet.org/blog/why-its-time-rethink-beat-reporting">beat reporting&#39;s time may be past</a>.<br />*&nbsp;<em>Washington Post</em>&nbsp;debuts&nbsp;<a href="http://pandodaily.com/2013/01/29/washington-posts-truth-teller-and-the-future-of-robots-doing-journalism/">realtime fact-checking program</a>.</p><p><strong>DOES FACEBOOK OWE YOU $10?</strong>&nbsp;If one of your photos was used in its &quot;sponsored story&quot; ads, you may be in for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/29/facebook-lawsuit_n_2573290.html">a (tiny) windfall</a>.<br />* Despite&nbsp;<a href="http://www.examiner.com/article/double-standard-palin-hate-page-flourishes-as-facebook-bans-conservatives">complaints</a>, Facebook allows page called &quot;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-hate-it-when-I-wake-up-and-Sarah-Palin-is-still-alive/129929197021040?v=wall">I hate it when I wake up and Sarah Palin is still alive</a>.&quot;<br />* 8 reasons to&nbsp;<a href="http://mashable.com/2013/01/28/reasons-deactivate-facebook/">deactivate your Facebook account</a>.</p><p><strong>&#39;A JUGGERNAUT THAT SEEMS TO HAVE PERMISSION FROM ITS SHAREHOLDERS TO NOT TURN ANY PROFITS IS REALLY FRIGHTENING.&#39;&nbsp;</strong>Amazon&#39;s take is down 45 percent year-over-year, but Matthew Yglesias writes in <em>Slate</em> that the company is nevertheless awesome -- <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/01/29/amazon_q4_profits_fall_45_percent.html">even for people who never buy from Amazon</a>.<br />* &quot;Welcome to <a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/business/2013/01/welcome-end-barnes-noble-you-knew-it/61488/">the End of Barnes &amp; Noble as You Knew It</a>&quot; (<em>The Atlantic</em>).</p><p><strong>EVERYBODY DUCK.</strong>&nbsp;In a little more than two weeks,&nbsp;<a href="http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/429263/20130130/asteroid-2012-da14-near-earth-nasa-doomsday.htm#.UQioP0q-Js8">Earth will be buzzed by an asteroid about 50 meters wide</a>&nbsp;-- in <a href="http://www.universetoday.com/99660/in-two-weeks-this-50-meter-asteroid-will-buzz-our-planet/">a record-setting near-earth flyby</a> -- closer than many satellites (<em>Universe Today</em>).</p><hr /><p><em><strong>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</strong><br />* Tools used to prepare this post include <a href="http://blog.zite.com/2012/01/11/zite-under-the-hood/">the Zite smartphone app</a>, which helps monitor an otherwise almost incomprehensibly vast Twitter feed that probably includes your tweets -- if you&#39;re following <a href="https://twitter.com/meyerson">@Meyerson</a>. What are you waiting for?</em><br /><em>* Next&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/we-got-yer-friday-news-quiz-right-here-105140">WBEZ Meyerson blog news quiz</a>: Friday morning. Be here.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2013/01/29/asteroid-flyby-february/1875121/">You may not get another chance</a>.<br />* Comments on this blog? Post below or <a href="mailto:cmeyerson@wbez.org">send email</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/chicago-reviewed-city-constant-despair-and-rebirth-105208 Illinois' tourism numbers are highest on record http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-tourism-numbers-are-highest-record-101125 <p><p>According to new state data, the lines for favorite tourist attractions around Illinois were longer this year.<br /><br />Illinois&rsquo; tourism industry generated about $32 billion in revenue in 2011, the highest on record, according to figures released on Monday by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.<br /><br />Department officials say the figures mean the tourism industry has returned to pre-recession levels.<br /><br />Randy Stancik, the general manager at Skydeck Chicago, said the popular tourist spot atop Willis Tower has seen the same kind of growth.<br /><br />&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve been waiting for this for many years. We&rsquo;ve been waiting for, you know, for people to bounce back, to continue to travel,&rdquo; Stancik said. &ldquo;Even if times are a little bit tougher they&rsquo;re getting better, you know we&rsquo;ve been seeing that over the last three years. It&rsquo;s been a growth for us.<br /><br />Department officials say Illinois is now the ninth most visited state in the country, up one spot from last year.</p></p> Mon, 23 Jul 2012 18:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-tourism-numbers-are-highest-record-101125 Chicago's Buckingham Fountain opens for season http://www.wbez.org/culture/chicagos-buckingham-fountain-opens-season-99039 <p><p>Chicago's famous lakefront fountain has opened for the season.</p><p>The Chicago Park District announced Thursday that Buckingham Fountain is operating daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. through autumn.</p><p>The popular fountain is one of Chicago's most recognizable images with its towering stream of water and evening light shows.</p><p>The fountain shoots water from a center jet 150 feet into the air during a display every hour on the hour. Beginning at dusk, the fountain's major display is accompanied by a 20-minute light and music show. A final display begins at 10:35 p.m.</p><p>Buckingham Fountain was dedicated on Aug. 26, 1927, and has become a favorite backdrop for tourist snapshots, wedding photographers and filmmakers.</p></p> Fri, 11 May 2012 08:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/culture/chicagos-buckingham-fountain-opens-season-99039 Emanuel: 50M visitors yearly in Chicago by 2020 http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/emanuel-50m-visitors-yearly-chicago-2020-97991 <p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he wants to open city tourism offices in Brazil, Germany and Japan this year.</p><p>Emanuel says he wants to "dramatically" increase the number of visitors to Chicago. He spoke Thursday to members of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. Last year a Chicago tourism office opened in London. Offices opened in Mexico City and Toronto in March of this year. Chicago would have tourism offices on four continents with the addition of offices in Brazil, Germany and Japan.</p><p>Emanuel says one of his goals is to attract 50 million visitors a year by 2020. He also announced that the city will host the 2014 U.S. Travel Association's International Pow Wow.</p><p>City officials say they're particularly interested in attracting overseas visitors.</p></p> Fri, 06 Apr 2012 09:55:16 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/emanuel-50m-visitors-yearly-chicago-2020-97991 Quinn, Emanuel appoint McCormick Place Board http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-emanuel-appoint-mccormick-place-board-96964 <p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have appointed eight members to the board that runs the McCormick Place convention center.</p><p>State law gives them each four appointments to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.</p><p>Quinn's appointees include attorney Carmen Lonstein and union leaders Ronald Powell, Bob Reiter and Becky Strzechowski.</p><p>Emanuel is appointing former state Comptroller Dan Hynes, retired ComEd CEO Frank Clark Jr., Bank of America executive Julie Chavez and Roger Kiley Jr., an attorney who was Mayor Richard Daley's chief of staff in the 1990s.</p><p>In a news release Monday, Emanuel says it is important to have a good team in place because McCormick Place is essential to Chicago's economic future. Quinn says the appointees have the experience need to attract new tradeshows.</p></p> Mon, 05 Mar 2012 15:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-emanuel-appoint-mccormick-place-board-96964 Study: Dunes visitors help NW Ind. communities http://www.wbez.org/story/study-dunes-visitors-help-nw-ind-communities-96872 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-01/Indiana dunes_Flickr_Leo Z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A National Park Service report says visitors to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore along Lake Michigan spent more than $63 million in nearby communities during 2010, helping support more than 650 jobs.</p><p>Park Superintendent Constantine Dillon <a href="http://bit.ly/xcZUnl%20">tells the <em>Post-Tribune</em> of Merrillville</a> that surveys done by the park indicate 60 percent of park visitors come from outside Indiana. The park had some 2.1 million visitors in 2010.</p><p>The report shows that 52 percent of the spending and jobs are related to lodging, food and beverage service, 29 percent is related to other retail businesses, 10 percent to entertainment and amusements, 7 percent to gas and local transportation and 2 percent to groceries.</p><p>The visitor spending analysis was conducted by Michigan State University professor Daniel Stynes for the National Park Service.</p></p> Thu, 01 Mar 2012 16:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/study-dunes-visitors-help-nw-ind-communities-96872 New campaign promotes the United States of … Awesome Possibilities? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-16/new-campaign-promotes-united-states-%E2%80%A6-awesome-possibilities-94099 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-16/brandusa1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The U.S. remains one of the top tourist destinations in the world, but it’s getting some steep competition from other countries. The European Union spends a collective $800 million per year promoting foreign tourism; Mexico spends $150 million; Australia, $113 million. Up until this point, the United States has spent zero dollars on these efforts. In fact, the U.S. was, until recently, the only industrialized country without a national campaign to attract foreign tourists.</p><p>With <a href="http://www.thebrandusa.com/" target="_blank">Brand USA</a>, a new private-public collaboration, all that is changing. <a href="http://www.discoveramerica.com/ca/" target="_blank">The campaign</a> went public last week with a strategy to market the country as the “United States of Awesome Possibilities.” It officially rolls out in March. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Chris Perkins, Brand USA's chief marketing officer, says the campaign will focus on improving America's image worldwide. And by boosting the underdeveloped travel sector, Brand USA hopes to create some much-needed jobs. We talk to Chris about the campaign's vision.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 16 Nov 2011 16:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-16/new-campaign-promotes-united-states-%E2%80%A6-awesome-possibilities-94099 Niagara Falls draws Indian tourists and businesses http://www.wbez.org/content/niagara-falls-draws-indian-tourists-and-businesses-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-15/blown up.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Niagara Falls, like most Rust Belt cities, has fallen on hard times. Even its tourist attraction, which once made it America’s honeymoon capital, has not saved it from economic woes. &nbsp;But there seems to be hope in Niagara Falls, thanks to a rising current of East Indian tourists. East Indians are visiting the falls by the bus load—many after flying thousands of miles—and new businesses are opening up on nearly every street corner.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><object height="404" width="614"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="movie" value="http://www.vuvox.com/collage_express/collage.swf?collageID=042b5eb2d4"><embed allowfullscreen="true" src="http://www.vuvox.com/collage_express/collage.swf?collageID=042b5eb2d4" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="404" width="614"></object></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“Welcome to the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour and the Niagara Falls State Park, the oldest state park in America.”</p><p>“My name is Jagdeep Singh. I own Maharaja Restaurant. For an Indian, coming to Niagara Falls, you would feel right at home. You know, it almost feels like you’re in India, you see so many Indians.”</p><p>“I have no words to describe it. Beautiful is not enough to describe the Niagara. I got married ten years back, and from the day of my marriage he is telling me you must see Niagara, you must visit Niagara, and today that day’s come. It is a place you feel the most happiest moment in the life, while watching this Niagara Falls.”</p><p>“You’re like calm for about two or three minutes just trying to listen to that music of the water, again, and again.”</p><p>“My name is Padmini and I’m a tour guide. I come from India, from a place called Mumbai. Niagara River is formed by five different lakes; first is Heron Lake, second is the Ontario Lake, third is the Michigan, fourth is the Erie Lake, and fifth is the Superior. These great lake five lakes make the Niagara River, and the river takes the falls from there.”</p><p>“My name is Micky Singh. I’m the owner of the Punjabi Hut. The influx of Indians is just increasing, and increasing, more, and more. That’s why the amount, there’s like ten restaurants in like a mile block, and they’re all successful.”</p><p>“In India everyone speaks about, whenever you talk about America, they only speak about Orlando, Florida, and Niagara.”</p><p>“We have to tick it off like OK we’ve been there, been there, done that. And of course, it is one of the wonders, so it’s always, everybody wants to visit it.”</p><p>“We have seen in the Hollywood pictures maximum, it’s OK, it’s US, it’s New York, it’s Niagara Falls. We can’t believe that we are here. Very much full of happy my heart, to see the Niagara Falls.”</p><p>“The water flows, like that sound was so like amazing, so energetic. You feel like touching that water. You want to go into that water and play. I was so amazed. It is so beautiful, the nature is so beautiful, you can see the example here. No man can make like this. “</p></p> Wed, 16 Nov 2011 13:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/niagara-falls-draws-indian-tourists-and-businesses-0