Chicago aims to attract new visitors during IPW 2014

Chicago aims to attract new visitors during tourism show

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

You might not know it, but Chicago is on its best behavior Monday. Thousands of visitors from 70 countries are meeting at McCormick Place to make tourism deals.

It's like the Windy City is on one big job interview, competing for billions in tourism dollars.

Thousands of international tourism representatives came to McCormick Place to buy travel packages, nearly $5 billion in travel business will be done here and Chicago is expected to get a big piece of that pie.

IPW 2014 is the travel industry's biggest event. It typically generates business for the host city, in this instance Chicago, for about three years after it's all over. Chicago is re-branding its worldwide image, trying to be the top destination in the U.S.

For the first time ever, Chicago's unions lined up to applaud and welcome the delegates to McCormick Place, to the bagpipe music of the Shannon Rovers, a Chicago-style welcome.

"Chicago last had this in 1998 and it has changed so much, The host city gets more business," US Travel Association President, CEO Roger Dow told FOX 32 News. "Chicago's doing a great job."

The IPW did studies that indicate the business done here supports more than 100,000 jobs in the country - 5,000 of them in Chicago. They say international travelers drop an average of $4,500 dollars per person when they visit the US.

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