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Chicago welcomed a record 50.2 million visitors in 2014, surpassing the 50 million milestone for the first time, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Thursday.
This puts the city on track to reach the mayor’s goal of reaching 55 million visitors a year by 2020. The city also reported record room demand, a total 10.24 million room nights, and meetings and conventions bookings
Choose Chicago CEO Don Welsh and the mayor also announced a new branding campaign around the tagline EPIC Chicago.
Choose Chicago worked with Leo Burnett Chicago and the Executive Committee of the Chicago 4A’s to research and identify consumer segments, geographic marketing targets, and a compelling brand positioning for the city, which formed the foundation of the subsequent brand campaign.
“The word EPIC describes something large and impressive, something beyond the ordinary in size or scope, and stories about legendary events or adventures. All of which describe Chicago and how we do things,” reads a statement announcing the launch.
The campaign is also the first in which the city differentiates itself from the Midwest and focuses on the experiences that visitors can have in the city’s diverse neighborhoods. This follows a current trends in which U.S. destinations from Miami to Philadelphia to New York City delve into their individual neighborhoods to show visitors a more multi-layered stay.