UPDATE: Chicago Tourist Official backs down from claim crime hurting city’s tourism efforts after being dick slapped in the face by members of the Rahm Emanuel Crime Family
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office swung into full damage-control mode Wednesday after Chicago’s convention and tourism chief was quoted as saying that a 38 percent spike in the city’s homicide rate and a troubling return to mob attacks downtown was hurting efforts to promote the city. CLICK HERE
Photo: Don Welsh, president and CEO of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of an exhibition celebrating the city of Chicago's recent black violence and murder sprees.
Chicago's extensive efforts to reinvigorate its convention and tourism industries could be damaged unless the city quickly defuses the violent crime wave that has exploded in its neighborhoods and nicked the downtown, the city's top convention and tourism official said Wednesday.
"We hope this sunsets quickly because all the good work we're doing regionally, nationally and internationally, if this is not contained in a reasonable period of time, it will have an impact," Don Welsh, president and chief executive officer of Choose Chicago, said in a meeting withthe Chicago Tribune'seditorial board.
News reports of unprovoked attacks by youths in the Michigan Avenue corridor and of the surge in murders in some impoverished Chicago neighborhoods are triggering concerned calls to Choose Chicago, the newly restructured not-for-profit agency that combines the city's convention bureau and its office of tourism and culture. The issue has gained national attention since a recent New York Times article, Welsh said.
"There are inquiries that are coming in from meeting planners that are saying, 'Hey, I'm reading about what's taken place in your city. Is your city safe?'" Welsh said. His organization received five to six such calls in the last few weeks, at this point seeking information not cancellations.
Chicago police have put more officers on patrol along the Magnificent Mile since the attacks and its surrounding areas in light of the mob attacks. This includes officers who are normally assigned to other parts of the city.
CLICK FOR THE FULL NEWS STORY