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July 21, 2000

British Readers Vote Chicago Favorite Worldwide City

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan announced today that for the second time in less than a year, Chicago has been voted "Favorite City in the World" by the British public.

In a survey of 17,000 readers, Britain's Guardian and Observer newspapers voted Chicago their favorite city. Less than a year ago, Chicago was also voted "Best City in the World" by the readers of Conde Nast Traveller in the UK.

This news coincides with the recent announcement by Ryan that the state is attracting more overseas visitors than ever before. Statistics show that the number of overseas visitors to Illinois increased 5.2 percent in 1999, with an economic impact of over $1.65 billion to the state of Illinois. This equates to a 16 percent increase in overseas arrivals to Illinois over the last two years.

"Our efforts to market Chicago and Illinois as world-class destinations are paying off," Ryan said. "By aggressively promoting Illinois tourism overseas, we provide a boost to our economy and our international reputation."

The State of Illinois continues to promote Chicago and Illinois as tourism destinations in the UK, Germany and France through the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA). Last week, Ryan increased his commitment to international tourism by announcing $3.6 million in international tourism grants through DCCA.

Meanwhile, Chicago continues to demonstrate it's broad-based appeal by hosting the 2000 BASS Masters Classic this week. The professional bass fishing tournament is expected to have a $45 million economic impact for the Chicago area. DCCA provided grant funds to help the City host and promote the weeklong event.

"Whether it's hosting professional bass anglers on Lake Michigan or Winslow Homer's The Herring Net at the Art Institute, Chicago has something for everyone. The diverse number of attractions and events makes the city a true world-class destination," added DCCA Director Pam McDonough.


Editor's Note: The Guardian is published in the UK Monday-Saturday and The Observer appears on Sundays with a combined circulation of 806,374 readers. The Guardian and The Observer's annual Travel Awards accolade is based on the results of a questionnaire completed by 17,000 readers of both British newspapers. The surveys were tabulated using a scoring system based on the travel industry's customer service questionnaires.


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