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Chicago Should Market City to Gay and Lesbian Travelers
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's announcement April 5 that Chicago is ramping up its efforts to attract tourism is welcome news for businesses throughout the city, given that for years we've spent less than any other major U.S. city to promote our town as a tourist destination.

For now, the city is opening up three new international tourism sales offices -- in Brazil, Germany and Japan -- to go with the five offices Chicago already has in Shanghai, London, Mexico City, Toronto and Beijing. But it was Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau Chairman Bruce Rauner's additional comments that should perk up the ears of LGBT community and business leaders. Rauner said CCTB is launching a strategic process to "find out where we're strong, where we're weak, where might we want to enhance our offerings..."

A good place to look would be in the LGBT community. For years, Chicago has spent virtually nothing to attract LGBT tourists. Meanwhile, cities such as Toronto, Montreal, New York, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and many more have poured considerable resources into doing just that.

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Published on:  April 6, 2012

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