Chicago set a new tourism record last year, attracting more than 57.6 million visitors during 2018.
City Hall announced the new numbers Friday morning, saying the increased number of visitors has meant more jobs and economic opportunities for the city. Chicago tourism-related employment was estimated at more than 150,000 jobs last year, up 1.2 percent.
The numbers come from Choose Chicago, the city’s destination marketing organization. The data show Chicago saw a 4.4 percent increase in domestic visitors last year and a 2.9 percent increase in overseas visitors.
Marc Anderson of Choose Chicago said one factor in the increase may have been a year-round, targeted digital marketing campaign.
“People who actually visited or searched ‘Chicago’ or ‘Choose Chicago’ and or ‘McCormick Place’ or one of our city hotels, we could re-target them … and we could pop an advertisement up on any website that you were visiting,” he said.
Anderson said the city continues to target potential visitors outside the Midwest, including people in San Francisco, France and Brazil.
Choose Chicago said 59 additional conventions have committed to meet in Chicago in upcoming years.