Weather Updates

Chicago hotel occupancy rate back to pre-recession level

Updated: February 25, 2013 12:36PM

The city’s tourism promoters said Wednesday that the Chicago hotel business improved in 2012 for the third straight year, with occupancy rates tying the record set in 2007.

An average 75.2 percent of Chicago hotel rooms were occupied in 2012, up 4.2 percentage points from the prior year, said tourism agency Choose Chicago. It noted that the increase occurred even with an addition in the inventory of downtown hotels.

Other key measures of the business, average daily rate and revenue per available room, also increased and are within 5 percent of their all-time highs, the agency said. The average daily rate was up 5.6 percent from 2011 to $187.27 and the revenue per available room increased 10 percent to $140.76.

Choose Chicago said the growth in visitors resulted in hotel tax revenue hitting $100 million, up $25 million from 2011.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the result shows that his multi-faceted approach to promoting the city is drawing people from around the globe. Choose Chicago also has stepped up advertising in nearby cities such as Cincinnati, Detroit and Indianapolis.

Chicago is drawing an estimated 43.6 million visitors a year. Emanuel wants to increase that to 50 million.

Choose Chicago said visitors account for 128,000 jobs, $725 million in tax revenue and $12 billion in direct spending.

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