The US city of Chicago has seen a large spike in UK visitor numbers, reporting a 15.2% increase in those visiting in 2018 compared with the year before. 141,000 UK visitors came to Chicago last year, contributing to the total of 2.2 million international visitors in 2018. These visits contribute significantly to the city’s 33 million overnight visitors who came to Chicago in 2018.
UK visitors have been attracted by, among other things, Chicago’s boom in new hotels. Eight new hotels opened their doors in 2018, including Hotel Zachery, Moxy Hotel and Hilton Triplex. More investment has continued in 2019; the city has raised its profile further with the addition of The Hoxton; and in 2020 Nobu Hotel will join the city’s line up of world-class hotels.
The city has also tracked well against other US destinations based on figures from the National Travel and Tourism Office. It experienced the fifth largest increase in international arrivals when measured against 13 of the largest airports in the US. It also recorded a higher percentage increase than other major destinations such as New York, Atlanta and Miami.
“We have seen overall growth in nine of our top 11 international arrival markets including the UK,” said David Whitaker, president and CEO of Choose Chicago. “The rate of growth outpaced many other popular US destinations signalling our emerging role as an international visitor hotspot.”