CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Choose Chicago and World Business Chicago announced Tuesday that Condé Nast Traveler recognized Chicago as the #1 Best Big City in the U.S. for the fifth consecutive year according to results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
Since 2017, Chicago has ranked number one in this category for its vibrant dining scene, interesting and diverse attractions, and welcoming residents, according to a press release by World Business Chicago.
“Last year, I said being chosen by Condé Nast four times in a row was truly a testament to rich diversity of our city and an accomplishment unlike any other. Now, we’ve one-upped ourselves,” said Lightfoot in a statement. She also thanked residents, businesses, and visitors for their support.
More than 800,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences across the world.
“The momentum and tourism growth that was built pre-COVID is roaring back, largely thanks to the resilience of the City of Big Shoulders and its residents who continue to look out for and support one another throughout a challenging time," said Glenn Eden, chair of Choose Chicago’s Board of Directors.
"This achievement is a testament to all the businesses that contribute to Chicago’s top-tier tourism and hospitality offerings, and the individuals that work silently to provide entertainment and attractions that captivate seasoned travelers, and residents."
The pandemic also created an opportunity for the city to assess ways to further improve the visitor experience for both tourists and businesses. In September, Choose Chicago announced the launch of a new AI-powered chatbot, The Bean, designed to answer visitor questions including where to eat, upcoming events, and generally serve as an online ambassador to the city of Chicago.
With the help of this new tool, all of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods can be explored by the city’s first-time and repeat visitors.
The 2021 Readers' Choice Awards are published on Condé Nast Traveler's website at cntraveler.com/rca and will be featured in the publication's November issue.