Mayor Emanuel and Choose Chicago announced another tourism record today, as preliminary data shows hotel occupancy in April was the best it has ever been in Chicago's history, at 78.8 percent, a 3.1 percent increase over last year's total of 76.4 percent occupancy in April. Occupancy eclipsed the previous record high of 78.2 percent occupancy, in 2008.
"I am committed to attracting visitors to Chicago, for business and pleasure," said Mayor Emanuel. "These numbers show a city that is moving in the right direction in this critical area and I look forward to welcoming more and more visitors to our wonderful city, and the positive economic impact they bring."
Average daily rate (ADR) for April was up 4.2 percent year over year, to $183.21 per night, and Revenue per available room (REVPAR) was up 7.3 percent, to $144.05. This means that direct hotel revenues in Chicago went from about $139 million in April 2012 to approximately $151 million in April 2013.
"Our advertising and promotional efforts are working," said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. "We are off to a great start for this year and we are looking forward to a strong spring and summer. If this positive trend continues we will have a great year for tourism."
All of the key indicators for the month demonstrated that the industry is back to pre-recession numbers. The occupancy rate is the highest April ever; the ADR and RevPar statistics are the highest since 2008.
Year to date numbers are also outstanding so far. Total occupancy has hit 64.2 percent, up 1.7 percent from last year and challenging 2007 for the best numbers Chicago has seen. For the year, the ADR is $158.70, a 2.9 percent increase from last year, and total revenue from the hotel industry is the highest year to date that it has ever been, at $427 million.
This is a reflection of the increasing occupancy rates at the same time that there is dramatic increase in the number of hotel rooms available in the city. At present there are approximately 35,000 hotel rooms in the city, and more than 2,500 additional rooms are currently under construction.
The strong start to the year is, in part, attributable to a regional winter advertising and public relations campaign launched by Choose Chicago to target visitors to the city during the winter months. The campaign was launched using resources saved from a consolidation of the city's multiple tourism efforts.
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