When asked which American city would be the natural choice for number one in terms of business and leisure tourism, Las Vegas would certainly emerge on your mind. America’s world-famous casino and business meeting heaven would surely top the list. Actually, Las Vegas scored a low 8th position in the Travel & Leisure poll and the windy city, Chicago, came out on top. New Orleans strolled in second place. The question beckons: what makes Chicago so popular?
One important factor in tackling this question is its position in the United States. In fact, the windy city is surrounded by 16% of the whole American population. This does not include the massive population of Chicago itself. This factor is in stark contrast to places such as New York and Los Angeles, which are merely surrounded by salt water. Secondly, Chicago is, by American standards, a very affordable city and flights tend to be cheaper there than to many other US destinations. Chicago’s O’Hare airport took care of a record 93.529 passengers in 2005, welcoming more than 14 million business travellers in the same year.
Chicago has been furthermore described as a city encompassing big city entertainment and, simultaneously, state-of-the-art meeting facilities. Diverse hotels, new complexes, great shopping and superb night-life are the root of this apt description.
Chicago is still making progress in the field of development and has recently opened the McCormick Place, the complex with the biggest exhibition space on the planet. The new infrastructure is expected to generate an annual $1.3 billion to the state. It is the world’s most advanced convention and meeting centre, with nothing else in the USA coming even close to such a title.