Chicago honored with the 2021 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award “# 1 best big city in the United States” for the fifth consecutive year!

This unprecedented recognition as the best big city in the United States reinforces Chicago’s reputation as a first-class travel destination among the magazine’s discerning readership.

CHICAGO, October 5, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Choose Chicago and World Business Chicago announced today Condé Nast Traveler recognized Chicago as No. 1 Best Large City in the United States for the fifth consecutive year in its results Readers’ Choice Award. Since 2017, Chicago ranked number one in this category for its incredible restaurants, interesting and diverse attractions and welcoming residents.

(PRNewsfoto / Choose Chicago)

“Last year I said that being chosen by Condé Nast four times in a row was truly a testament to the rich diversity of our city and an accomplishment like no other. Now we have outdone ourselves,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Since 2017, Chicago has rightfully claimed its place as the number one best great city in the United States and I want to thank each and every one of our residents, our world-class restaurants and our amazing businesses who continue to represent our city so well. I would also like to thank the Condé Nast Traveler team and its readers for honoring Chicago with this award for five consecutive years, as well as the countless visitors who come to our city year after year to enjoy the countless attractions we have to offer. “

Chicago is not only the best big city in the United States, but a reflection of what makes Illinois formidable – with world-class restaurants, arts and theater, museums and convention centers celebrated here at home and around the world, ”Governor JB Pritzker said. “The city’s winning streak is no accident – Chicago has been and will continue to be a global gateway for tourism in Illinois. As we rebuild and recover after the pandemic, my administration is committed to supporting tourism workers and tourism businesses with the resources to keep visitors coming back year after year. “

Over 800,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences around the world to provide a comprehensive overview of where they look forward to returning. The Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest standing and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. The full list of winners is available here.

“Before, during and shortly after the pandemic, Chicago has earned the nickname of # 1 Best Big City in the United States for five consecutive years, ”said Glenn eden, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Choose Chicago. “The momentum and tourism growth that was built before COVID is back, in large part thanks to the resilience of the Big Shouldered City and its residents who continue to watch and support each other during a difficult time. . This achievement is a testimony to all the companies that contribute to that of Chicago leading tourism and hotel offerings; and the people who work in silence to provide entertainment and attractions that captivate seasoned travelers and residents alike. Five years in a row is an honor and a high bar, and I couldn’t be more impressed with what our city has accomplished. “

It is a true testament to the determination and enthusiasm of that of Chicago the tourism and hospitality industries have faced unprecedented challenges over the past year and a half for readers of Condé Nast traveler Choose Chicago as the best big city in the United States for a fifth consecutive year. Businesses, organizations and residents from across the city came together to ensure the city was ready and able to welcome visitors back to Chicago securely, whether updating infrastructure, processes or innovative creative offerings. that of Chicago the entire tourism and hospitality industry got involved, even the penguins from the Shedd Aquarium joined in on the field trips to various aquarium galleries and city museums. Based on feedback from Condé Nast Traveler readers, these extraordinary efforts were not only well received but deeply appreciated by visitors.

“Today, the people of Chicago recognize this achievement as well as the reopening of theaters and live performances with a celebration at Broadway In Chicago’s CIBC Theater,” said Jacques Meyer, Interim CEO of Choose Chicago. “We are delighted to see the civic, community and hotel leaders, as well as the many Choose Chicago partners who have been instrumental in making this happen, come together for an exciting program featuring special guests, such as the casting of RENT. This honor is shared by all Chicago, every neighborhood, every attraction and even our penguin friends at the Shedd Aquarium join in the celebration. “

“This award is a historic distinction for Chicago, and Shedd Aquarium is proud to play a pivotal role in what makes this city unique, ”said Dr. Bridget coughlin, President and CEO of Shedd Aquarium. “As a cultural organization that happily welcomes nearly two million guests a year, we understand that tourism is an important route to recovery for Chicago and its communities. We are honored that videos of the Shedd Penguin animal enrichment field trips did more than spread joy around the world during the height of the pandemic – they centered Chicago at a critical time and triggered continued healing for all. “

“May today’s announcement remind us that we live and work in one of the best cities in the world,” said Michael fassnacht, President and CEO, World Business Chicago, Director of Marketing, City of Chicago. “Although the past 18 months have been very difficult, let us not forget that over the course of our city’s history, we have overcome crisis after crisis, always rebuilding better and stronger. Thank you to Condé Nast Traveler readers for asserting that Chicago is an incredible city to live, work and visit; our economic recovery is strong and strengthening, we return to in-person events, theater, conventions and galas; and, our city’s best days are yet to come. “

The pandemic has also created an opportunity for Chicago assess ways to further improve the visitor experience for tourists and businesses. In September, Choose Chicago announced the launch of a new AI-based chatbot, The bean, designed to answer visitors’ questions, including where to eat, upcoming events, and generally serve as an online ambassador in the city of Chicago. With the help of this new tool, all that of Chicago 77 neighborhoods can easily be explored by first-time and regular visitors to the city. Earlier this year, Healthy Meetings Chicago also launched, giving business travelers the chance to see how that of Chicago The hospitality and tourism community protects their health by working together to create a safe environment to meet again and network together.

As Chicago Passing through the fall and winter, Choose Chicago’s new campaign, “Capture the Excitement,” has been launched. The multi-faceted integrated countryside highlights the city’s cultural offer as well as the vacation experience.

The Readers’ Choice Awards 2021 are published on Condé Nast Traveler’s website at and celebrated in the November issue.

Images and video from Chicago, including a special celebration with the famous penguins in love at the Shedd Aquarium, is accessible here. #SheddAquarium

To choose Chicago
To choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global destination for visitors and meetings, leveraging the city’s unrivaled strengths to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. To follow @ChooseChicago on Twitter and on Instagram @choosechicago. Like us on facebook. For more information visit #CaptureChicagoExcitation | #ChicagoHome | # Only1Chicago

About World Business Chicago (WBC)
World Business Chicago is a not-for-profit public-private partnership that drives inclusive economic growth and job creation, supports businesses and promotes Chicago as a leading global city. Supported by a board of over 250 local leaders, WBC’s Innovation & Venture portfolio fosters inclusive growth and opportunities for the city’s tech economy and innovation ecosystem. Flagship programs include the Chicago Venture Engine, Startup Chicago, Venture Engine, and ThinkChicago.



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