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Old August 4th, 2006, 12:39 AM   #1
nomarandlee
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How to make Chicago internationally friendly

Even though this was talked a bit a good while ago (I think) I want to get some ideas gong on how Chicago can raise its attractiveness to international tourist, buisness, and migrants alike.

I for one think that the city has to start with putting translation options for its major civic web pages. And maybe non-civic popular ones like metromix and other approved sites. That is kinda a no brainer but I am not sure what kind of expense that would be.

Maybe have an automated calling center that forigners can dial and direct them to information in their native languages for a variety of information (directions, hotels, airlines, transit info etc.). Maybe even have these phones clearly signed in strategic locations around the city.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 01:09 AM   #2
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How about making Ohare more of int'l destination. One of the keys to NY's explosive growth during the 19th and early 20th century was Ellis island.....people came , people saw...people stayed.

Similiarly, LA currently LAX is the number one int'l terminal airport, LA has seen explosive growht via immigrants both Hispanic and Asian...I think is inpart due to LAX's intl' terminus status.

Now if Ohare could become a larger port of entry it would make Chi possibly a more popular final destination for immigrants
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Old August 4th, 2006, 01:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forumly_chgoman

Similiarly, LA currently LAX is the number one int'l terminal airport, LA has seen explosive growht via immigrants both Hispanic and Asian...I think is inpart due to LAX's intl' terminus status.
JFK is the #1 international airport, LAX is #2. I believe Miami, O'Hare and Newark are also highly ranked but I forgot the order.

In regards to immigration, I suspect international flights are an effect, rather than a cause. Newcomers choose a location based on family and job oppportunities rather than direct flights.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 01:49 AM   #4
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you could market yourselves to companies + young professionals as a low cost version of new york........its the same standard of living made affordable
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Old August 4th, 2006, 01:52 AM   #5
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^yeah you are right about JFK....I thought I read somewhere that LAX was # 1 ...guess my memory is failing me..

As to cause / effect ....yeah I agree to an extent, but I do think there is probably asignificant number that get a flight to America and then just adopt whatever city they arrived in.

Interesting that NY, LA are #1,2 and both cities in the most recent census saw significant increases in immigrant popultaion

Also rounding out the top 4 are Miami.....a known immigrant town and CHi which did see a pop gain in the last census largely attributed to immigration......of thos 4 CHi had the largest % increase since 1990 to 2000.

Anyhow this is a complex topic and I was just making a casual observation
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Old August 4th, 2006, 02:04 AM   #6
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I think international flights are important but they are more at the mercy of airlines and market forces then what the city itself can really control. That said hopefully Chicago will get some flights to some last major holdout destinations like Moscow, Bangkok, Africa (probably South Africa), and the Middle East (Dubai or Cairo) soon.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 02:22 AM   #7
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There are probably a number of people who come from abroad to the United States on a trip who attempt to make an inclusive "American vacation".

These folks no doubt want to see New York and DC (and the northeast corridor in general). If there is another destination high on their lists it would be California (SF & LA...and into NV in Vegas).

United is HQ'd in Chicago. It along with AA have Chicago as a major hub. WHY NOT WORK WITH BOTH AIRLINES TO "PACKAGE" CHICAGO AS PART OF A NY/DC TO SF/LA/LV SEE AMERICA TOUR?

Certainly this wouldn't be adding miles to a vacation trip. The city of Chicago could work with both airlines to set up the package deals described above...filled with brochures that highlight Chicago and the 5 coastal area cities. For either a European or Asian traveler, this would geographically speaking be an easy trip to set up. It could also work (less directly admittedly) for Latin American travelers.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 02:32 AM   #8
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If its important enough to have an O'Hare/Midway rapid transit link at Block 37, let's put it to work for us. How about an international visitors center within the base structure that not only serves as a downtown meet-and-greet, but is designed to play super conseigere to our international visitors.

Stock the place with information and exhibit space designed to welcome the international tourist (similiar to the Water Tower pumping station and the Cultural Center...but with a stronger emphasis on the tourist coming from abroad)
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Old August 4th, 2006, 02:37 AM   #9
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Get Macy's into the act. They owe us one. Big time.

Have Macy's have its own tour package offered to visitors abroad through travel agents and the internet.

Calll it: MACY'S FLAGSHIP AMERICA TOUR and tie it in with stop overs in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.....with tourist attractions in all three cities, plus special merchandise deals at the Herald Square, State Street, and Union Square stores.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 02:44 AM   #10
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I've gone to Europe maybe 10 times, many now by myself cause I hate trying to find people to go with. I always go somewhere and then see where else nearby I can go to pack in as much of a punch as possible. I think this is where Chicago needs to gain ground on the East Coast and California. You have Disneyland / Miami / Key west. NYC / Boston / Philly / DC (I mean that's a wet dream for an international visitor trying to see a whole lot) and then LA / San Fran / Vegas. You can get to those places within a few hours at most if you wanted.

Chicago needs to also break the stereotype we have on TV. When I go to Europe there's a nauseating amount of American TV - and I find that a lot of people (not on here) tend to think of American cities by what they've seen on TV. Unfortunately our sitcoms and whatnot are basing shows in cities based on perseption etc. We have Life with Jim, Married with Children, ER, Family Matters, Rosanne (close enough). These aren't really shows that make you all hot and bothered to visit Chicago.

I think this city is amazing and tries to get international visitors - but the one thing we can do is just ***** ourselves out to foreign magazines, websites, newspapers, billboards, etc. Show people what a great place this is - not blue collar, sarcastic, middle class, flannel shirts and snot on your sleeve America.

Sadly, I think a lot of people in our own country have that view of Chicago. Crime, Gangsters - and this one gets me cause it's been around for over EIGHTY years, blue collar, freezing all the time, urban grit, it's just a small NYC - so why not see the real thing and not bother, right?, no beaches, no attractions. Their loss...
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Old August 4th, 2006, 02:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25
If its important enough to have an O'Hare/Midway rapid transit link at Block 37, let's put it to work for us. How about an international visitors center within the base structure that not only serves as a downtown meet-and-greet, but is designed to play super conseigere to our international visitors.

Stock the place with information and exhibit space designed to welcome the international tourist (similiar to the Water Tower pumping station and the Cultural Center...but with a stronger emphasis on the tourist coming from abroad)

I really like the idea of that. O'Hare, Block 37, and a future WLTC are three very important places to emphasize east of travel for such visitors. I was thinking about Block 37 partially when I asked it. There should be a great sense of internationalism to it. Maybe even have the multi-media on the buildings be partially geared towards differant languages relaying information (or ads if there will be those).

Or you could have an internet/computer portal center where Chicago information in a particular langauge could easily be obtained. Regardless some sort of very public location should be at Block 37 where visitors can check e-mail or have quick internet access.

Maybe also requiring that some of the staff at Block 37 tranist station speak at least one forigen langauge (with a pin of some kind indicating which other languages they speak).

Maybe even some countries consulates would like to move into the Block 37 office space?(not sure if it is 100% filled or not).

Obviously being a part of the English speaking world gives the Anglo speaking nations a sense of security and not having to worry about language differances since much of the world bends towards conforming to English then the other way around but I think visitors would love and really appreciate a city doing its best to think of them (especially when such English speaking cities might not really have to since English is already so internationlized).

Also all city tourist and related pamphlets should be made available in a host of languages (do they already do have this?) at such locations especially at O'Hare and Block 37.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 03:10 AM   #12
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Go after Chinese visitors. Showcase Chinatown, the Kam Liu building, our school language program with them. AA and UA already have direct flights from O'Hare to Shanghai so build on that as well.

By the way, has anyone really seen advertisements for Chicago/IL abroad? I have not and I am wondering what they look like if they even exist. I only see those "Mile after Magnificent Mile" commercials on television. Why are they adversiting Illinois in Illinois?!
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Old August 4th, 2006, 03:16 AM   #13
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Take it easy, everyone. Chicago is just now getting into the international tourism business. Before now, Chicago has never really viewed itself as an international tourist destination. It has always focused more on bread & butter--ie attracting business, curtailing the loss of manufacturing, rebuilding streets & sewers, the convention business, etc etc.

I can tell because when you get off Ohare and get to the CTA station, the kiosk to buy CTA cards is ONLY in English! You don't even have the option of buying a card in another language.

I'll never forget--I was in the station at Ohare about a year ago and a tourist from Japan was next to me trying to buy a card, but he couldn't understand a word that was on the screen. He was frustrated and just left (probably got a taxi). Think of the first impression he got of Chicago from that--NOT friendly to tourists, NOT oriented to different cultures, VERY provincial.

Not that any of that is true, but if we're going to start, lets start with the little things like that.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 03:49 AM   #14
nomarandlee
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[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
I can tell because when you get off Ohare and get to the CTA station, the kiosk to buy CTA cards is ONLY in English! You don't even have the option of buying a card in another language.
Very true. It is little things like that make a big differance. To be honest I am not sure if most other English (maybe London and NYC do?) speaking cities have them but even if not Chicago should be the first (or at least one of).

Quote:
I'll never forget--I was in the station at Ohare about a year ago and a tourist from Japan was next to me trying to buy a card, but he couldn't understand a word that was on the screen. He was frustrated and just left (probably got a taxi). Think of the first impression he got of Chicago from that--NOT friendly to tourists, NOT oriented to different cultures, VERY provincial.
True, we are spoiled being an English speaking city. In a competitive enviroment though the more you reach out and make an effort to accomdate others rather then vice vera is increasingly important.

If I had a tough time chosing between two cities and one major differance was between which city was easier to navigate with my own language I would give serious consideration to the city that accomidates and makes it easier on me.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 04:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarandlee
. To be honest I am not sure if most other English (maybe London and NYC do?) speaking cities have them but even if not Chicago should be the first (or at least one of)..
^ In New York's subways you have the option of about 10 languages at the Kiosks.

The CTA needs to get with the program
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Old August 4th, 2006, 05:36 AM   #16
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How about an Olympics.

The bigest PR stunt in the Universe.

Posted on SSP.

"With the stadium's 83,500 seats now selling out for rugby matches, Sydney Olympic Park is showing that there is economic life after the fireworks of a two-week Olympics.
Four years after the Olympic parade moved on, the biggest economic benefits to Sydney may be intangible. ''The Olympics enabled us to shake off the Crocodile Dundee image,'' Ken Boundy, managing director of Tourism Australia, a federal promotion agency, said in an interview. ''It showed the world a sophisticated urban society, one that embraces inclusiveness and friendliness.''
Over lunch at a business club here, David Kent, executive general manager of Invest Australia, a government agency, said: ''The Olympics shifted Australia, from the lucky country, to the clever country, from beaches and surf to logistics, management, savvy and know-how.''

The Olympics also burnished Australia's image in Asia, which is by far the most important trading partner and source of investors here. In 2001, a market research survey of potential travelers from Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong found that the Olympic news coverage markedly enhanced perceptions of Sydney as a multicultural city welcoming to Asians.

This summer, readers of Travel and Leisure magazine, mainly Americans, once again voted Sydney their favorite city. Positive images from the Olympics are credited with helping Sydney win 45 international conventions from 2004 to 2012, according to the Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau. These officials say that during the 12 months ended June 30, the city won about 75 percent of the 61 convention bids it entered."


The Sydney Games was the larges TV operation in history.. Images of Sydney reached 3.7 BILLON viewers in a record 220 countries.

http://olympicstudies.uab.es/pdf/od008_eng.pdf

http://www.coxwashington.com/reporte...NAL05_COX.html

http://www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au/corporate/media_room/media_releases3/sydney_olympic_park,_5.5_million_visitors_cant_be_wrong!
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Old August 4th, 2006, 08:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoago
I've gone to Europe maybe 10 times, many now by myself cause I hate trying to find people to go with. I always go somewhere and then see where else nearby I can go to pack in as much of a punch as possible. I think this is where Chicago needs to gain ground on the East Coast and California. You have Disneyland / Miami / Key west. NYC / Boston / Philly / DC (I mean that's a wet dream for an international visitor trying to see a whole lot) and then LA / San Fran / Vegas. You can get to those places within a few hours at most if you wanted.
Chicagoago, I believe you and I are saying the same thing: places where there are a cluster of exciting tourist destinations (i.e. the northeast, Florida, California, etc.) have an advantage attacting the international traveler (and, to a degree, the domestic one) over places where clustering does not occur (Chicago would be a prime example).

I hope my suggestion here offers a possible way to rewrite the paradigm. Basically, the message needs to be in an age of jet travel, if you are going from the northeast to California, you are not going out of your way or costing yourself more if you include Chicago as part of the trip.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 08:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
The CTA needs to get with the program
They also need to have a credit card option for buying the transit cards.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 04:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarandlee
Maybe have an automated calling center that forigners can dial and direct them to information in their native languages for a variety of information (directions, hotels, airlines, transit info etc.). Maybe even have these phones clearly signed in strategic locations around the city.
I think this is a great idea. Except I would make it partially automated and have some live operators there too. There could also be something like a welcome center, where people that speak different languages can go and get info.

I found this website that has some programs for international visitors to chicago.

http://www.ivcc.org/
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Old August 5th, 2006, 05:34 AM   #20
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I know a way that will make not only Chicago more internationally friendly, but the whole USA more internationally friendly.......








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