SOURCE: Expedia


August 02, 2012 17:57 ET

Find Your Magnificence: Chicago a Top Five Destination for American Travelers

Rich Cultural Mix and Unparalleled Accessibility Driving a Tourist Influx for the Windy City

BELLEVUE, WA--(Marketwire - Aug 2, 2012) - Expedia®, the world's leading online travel agency, today revealed that Chicago, home of the Magnificent Mile, is now the third most preferred destination for American travelers, as measured via bookings on®. Chicago now surpasses Los Angeles and San Francisco in bookings. The other destinations included in the top five include Las Vegas, New York, Orlando and Los Angeles. In particular, Expedia bookings show that Chicago is one of the top travel destination for travelers hailing from Los Angeles and New York City; Chicago collectively represents more than 10% of bookings for travelers from those cities.

As the largest city by population in the Midwestern United States, Chicago is easily reachable via points east, south and west. With two airports, Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW), receiving more than 180,000 passengers on a daily basis, few American cities feature more flight options than the Windy City.

"Chicago is a city on the rise for travelers seeking the perfect getaway. It is a Midwestern gem with an exceptional mix of cultural experiences, and no matter where you live in the U.S., you're never more than a few hours from home," said Christine Scarce, head of the Chicago market for "Whether it is an afternoon at Wrigley, shopping the Magnificent Mile, a day at the beach on Lake Michigan, a tour of the house of Frank Lloyd Wright or a plate of Chicago's famous deep dish pizza, the city is perfect for any travel appetite."

Chicago Travel Trends at a Glance

  • The largest booking months for Chicago are July followed by August
  • More than 42% of trips to Chicago are from the Midwest (IL, IA, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI)
  • 30% of hotels booked into Chicago are booked in the Magnificent Mile
  • 78% of travel into Chicago does include a child on the itinerary
  • Occupancy rates in Chicago hover around 70% most months and can go up significantly during top festivals or conferences
  • Fall is a great time to visit with great weather and fewer crowds
  • Last minute trips to Chicago are fun and exciting:
    • 40% of Expedia customers book their trip to Chicago within 14 days of their travel date

Where to Stay
Two of the most popular areas to stay in Chicago based on bookings are The Magnificent Mile and The Loop - Downtown. These two areas of Chicago feature properties ranging from budget-friendly to five-star luxury and are well positioned in the middle of Chicago's action.

What to Do
There is so much to see and do in Chicago that it may be difficult to know where to start. City passes and hop-on/hop-off tours are an ideal way to experience entire city with a single ticket. Such tours can be booked in advance on

Chicago features a famously broad array of dining options for travelers of every taste and type. Many gourmands prize Alinea, the seventh-best restaurant in the world, according to Restaurant Magazine. For something different? Try the Russian Tea House. Or if you're in the mood for Italian, don't miss Spiaggia on Michigan Avenue. The Gage, near Millennium Park, is a thriving gastro pub. And if you're in the mood to browse, Chicago features 3.1 million square feet of shopping along the Magnificent Mile.

The top activities booked on for Chicago travelers include:

  • The Chicago CityPass
  • Go Chicago Card
  • Blue Man Group - Chicago
  • SkyDeck Chicago
  • Chicago Trolley & Double Decker: Hop-On, Hop-Off
  • Chicago Grand Tour and Hancock Tower
  • Art Institute Chicago
  • The Field Museum
  • John Hancock Observatory
  • Odyssey Chicago Elegant Dinner Cruise

Find Your Deal to Chicago:
With thousands of hotels participating in the largest Expedia Summer Sale on record, now is an ideal time to explore Chicago. 

About Expedia is the world's leading online travel site, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. (, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of vacation packages, flights, hotels, rental cars, resorts, cruises and in-destination activities, attractions and services. With the Expedia Best Price Guarantee, customers can get the best rates available online for all types of travel.

Expedia, and the Airplane logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. © 2012 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50

SOURCE: Expedia, Inc.
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