Nine Organizations Partner to Launch Visit Chicagoland’s Summer Travel Campaign, The Only Thing Missing Is You

Campaign showcases local attractions, businesses and the metropolitan Chicago area as welcoming and thriving destinations open to visitors this summer

Nine tourism organizations have partnered to launch a summer campaign to encourage travel to and around northeastern Illinois. The Visit Chicagoland campaign, themed The Only Thing Missing Is You, is designed to promote awareness and generate interest in luring visitors back to the region’s many sights and experiences.

Through this collaboration of regional leaders, the new leisure tourism campaign highlights local attractions and businesses within a one-hour drive of downtown Chicago. Visit Chicagoland reintroduces the Chicago metropolitan area as a welcoming, thriving destination and a region that is open for business.

“Our region is home to a range of attractions, from downtown Chicago to exciting destinations throughout the greater metropolitan area,” said Kevin Wallace, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus board chairman. “We are thrilled to see the Visit Chicagoland campaign promote this diversity. As we safely reopen, we look forward to welcoming back visitors and residents to enjoy all that northeastern Illinois has to offer.”

The initial campaign will run May through August 2021. This initiative is the result of the Regional Economic Recovery Task Force, a group convened by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to identify strategies that support a strong recovery.

“The Visit Chicagoland campaign is a unique collaboration of regional partners to showcase community assets in every corner of northeastern Illinois,” said Erin Aleman, executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. “It is just the beginning of our collective work to encourage a safe return to travel and build back a stronger region.”

The Regional Economic Recovery Task Force was convened in 2020 at the request of the region’s seven county board chairs and the City of Chicago. It is co-chaired by Aleman and Paul Goodrich, who represent the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force and Choose Chicago.

The campaign’s collaborating organizations are Chicago Southland, Chicago’s North Shore, Choose Chicago, Discover DuPage, Explore Elgin, Heritage Corridor, Meet Chicago Northwest, Visit Lake County and Visit McHenry County.

“Similar to other parts of the country, regions often have brands that perhaps center on one major urban area and encompass a multitude of other destinations and experiences using a hub-and-spoke framework. Chicagoland is no different, and due to a variety of reasons, regional cooperation is more important than ever before,” said David Whitaker, president and CEO of Choose Chicago. “A primary driver, simply put, is our entire region has to fully recover for us to return to the economic model that fuels our collective success.”

Visit the newly refreshed Visit Chicagoland website, which showcases the region’s variety of activities, including highlights, summer events and marquee attractions. New features include an interactive map and a social media gallery. Animated campaign stickers are available for local business partners and visitors to use in their Instagram and Facebook Stories along with the #VisitChicagoland hashtag.