Chicago to open tourism offices in Brazil, Germany, Japan

April 5, 2012 10:42:22 AM PDT
The city has a new plan to help Chicago become one of the top five U.S. destinations for international visitors.

Speaking to the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau Thursday morning at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the city has consolidated tourism offices in Chicago in order to open three new offices in Brazil, Germany and Japan later this year.

Chicago-focused tourism offices are already in London, Mexico City, Shanghai, Beijing and Toronto. The city says the latest additions will ensure that Chicago is represented on four continents.

"So we are going to close, consolidate here in the city of Chicago and we're going to open up and advertise where the tourists are," Emanuel said. "And every dollar we move up in the tourist industry every increase will mean jobs here in the city of Chicago bringing people here."

The mayor also announced that Chicago will play host to the U.S. Travel Association's International Pow Wow in 2014 for the first time in more than 15 years. Pow Wow is a three-day session of prescheduled business appointments featuring more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations and more than 1,200 buyers. Pow Wow allows for more than $3.5 billion worth of travel to be planned efficiently, saving countless business and planning trips.

Thursday's announcement of the three additional cities means Chicago is represented on four continents.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Chicago's tourism efforts will be joined into one cohesive organization, which will be called Choose Chicago. The mayor's office says the combination will allow the city to save nearly $2 million a year in resources.

The mayor's office says overseas visitors spend on average $4,000 per visit.

Mayor Emanuel has also set a goal that the city will attract 50 million visitors annually by the year 2020.