Choose Chicago announced today that Chicago’s first-ever regional advertising campaign promoting travel to Chicago during the winter season produced 142,000 incremental visits and $119 million in total spending during the first four months of 2012. Visitors from the five key drive markets, including Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and St. Louis generated 190,000 incremental hotel room nights that resulted in $5.69 in hotel taxes for every $1 spent on marketing.
The eight-week advertising campaign, at a cost of $721,000 launched January 9 and ran consecutively through March 5 and was supported by proactive media relations and a targeted distribution of Chicago’s Official Visitors Guide. Overall, the winter campaign was a tremendous success delivering $165 in visitor spending for every $1 invested, according to analysis conducted by Strategic Marketing & Research, Inc (SMARI).
“The advent of Chicago’s first regional campaign delivered significant revenues, especially during need periods,” said Don Welsh, Choose Chicago President and CEO. “Increased leisure visitation to Chicago delivers immediate value for the city’s overall economic development efforts as well as our hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail and cultural attractions. The overwhelming positive response to this effort clearly shows that a well-developed and flawlessly executed campaign drives increased visitor spending and the new tax revenues.”
Chicago hotels realized growth in occupancy, average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) for the first four months in 2012. Occupancy and ADR were up to 63.1 percent and $154.47, a 10.3 and 8.3 percent change from last year, while RevPAR was up to $97.43, a 19.4 percent change from last year.
First unveiled in late 2011 as part of Chicago’s new brand and marketing strategy, Choose Chicago partnered with Chicago-based firms, including Downtown Partners Chicago for creative and M|Buy, Inc. for media buying. The cooperative effort was possible due to the support and investment of five of the city’s core institutions and attractions, including Broadway in Chicago, The Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Navy Pier and Shedd Aquarium.