>With Chicago's convention biz ailing, luring vacationers is more vital than ever

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>For those planning a vacation, the lure of Las Vegas is undeniable: a gleaming strip of luxury casinos, big-budget stage shows and warm desert breezes. Those considering Orlando, Fla., dream of the Magic Kingdom and gravity-defying roller coasters.

And Chicago? Well, tourists can be a little more hazy on the subject.

“Las Vegas has done a very good job coming up with unique marketing techniques,” says Peter Tarlow, who heads Texas-based consulting company Tourism & More and lectures nationally on tourism and economic development. “If you’re looking at Orlando, you’re looking at a family vacation,” but “it’s a little unclear to me what Chicago is all about.”

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