Chicago welcomed more than 57.6 million visitors in 2018, up by 4.3% year-on-year to reach a new tourism record.

The number of domestic visitors rose by 4.4% in domestic visitors while there was an increase of 2.9% in overseas visitors.

Figures from airlines show that international visitor numbers in the first 11 months of 2018 were up by 3.9% year-on-year.

This increase was fuelled by passport holders from Brazil (up 16%), the UK (up 14%) and Italy (up 11%).

David Whitaker, president and chief executive of Choose Chicago – the city’s official sales and marketing organisation – said: “It’s encouraging to not only see growth, but to see the pace of growth increase.

“The previous year, visitor volumes grew 2.7%, so to see the pace improve with now a 4.3% annual increase is a reflection of the momentum that Chicago is enjoying and the growing impact the tourism, meetings and events industry generates in our community.”

Seven additional hotels opened in Chicago in 2018 and the number of hotel rooms booked rose by 4.2%.

Whitaker added: “The diversity of our visitors continues to grow as we welcome more and more people both from around the US and increasingly around the world.

“Diverse customers help match and fulfil the incredible diversity of experiences, venues, flavours and performances found here.”

News about Chicago’s record figures came as New York and Los Angeles also reported all-time highs for visitor numbers.

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