Chicago was voted the "Best Big City in the U.S." by readers of Conde Nast Traveler. 2022 marks the sixth consecutive year Chicago has won the title in the Readers' Choice Awards. Chicago is also the only city to win the honor for more than three straight years in the awards' 35-year history, according to a press release from Choose Chicago, the city's tourism arm. The recognition comes after summer performance data by Choose Chicago that showed leisure and business travel are nearing pre-pandemic levels. "This recognition does not happen by accident—it is a testament to the hard-working people that make Chicago an inviting and welcoming city," Choose Chicago President and CEO Lynn Osmond said in the news release.
According to data from Choose Chicago, group hotel demand for summer 2022 exceeded 2019 numbers, showing that the city's tourism and hospitality sectors are very resilient, bouncing back strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the news release, Mayor Lori Lightfoot praised the hospitality sector. "I want to thank the tourism and hospitality professionals that make this award possible year after year and the millions of visitors that keep coming back to Chicago to explore everything our city has to offer," she said in the release. The Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards consists of input from more than 240,000 readers.