Chicago draws record 57.7M tourists in 2018

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Chicago welcomed over 57.7 million visitors to the third biggest U.S. city in 2018, generating more than 16 billion dollars in overall tourism expenditures, according to official data released on Thursday.

The annul tourism report, compiled by the mayor's office and Choose Chicago, the city's tourism promotion agency, revealed that 2.4 million more people, domestic and international, visited Chicago during 2018.

This increase was the result of a continued focus on growing overnight and leisure visitors to Chicago, who tend to spend more and stay longer.

"By continuing to set new tourism records and bring millions more people to Chicago every year, we are generating economic opportunities that reach every Chicago neighborhood," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.

Choose Chicago has set up tourism promotion offices in several big Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

The agency has also resorted to Chinese social media platforms, such as Weibo and Wechat, to attract more Chinese visitors to the city.

A previous report indicated that 2.1 percent more Chinese visited Chicago in the first 11 months of 2018. 

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