It's Official: Philadelphia Had a Stellar Summer Season Philadelphia Itself Combined With Great Hotel Prices Led Convention,

Leisure And Business Travelers To Find The City Irresistible



    PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Philadelphia region
 experienced one of its strongest summers to date in 2007, according to
 officials at the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation
 (GPTMC), the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVB) and the
 Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association (GPHA). Philadelphia was in high
 demand this summer for three reasons: there was plenty to do here,
 travelers chose Philadelphia over other destinations for fun and for
 conventions, and Philadelphia hotel prices are the best value among East
 Coast cities.
     Heads In Beds:
     The Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association is reporting a strong summer
 for hotels in Center City and throughout the region. According to the
 latest report by PKF Consulting:
     -- The occupancy rate at Center City hotels this summer was 83%, up 5%
        from last summer. Nearly every night of the week was busy for hotels,
        including Sunday. The toughest nights to find a room were Saturday,
        Tuesday and Wednesday. Throughout the five-county Southeastern
        Pennsylvania region, the hotel occupancy rate was 78% this summer, a 1%
        increase over last summer.
     -- While the average daily rate at Center City hotels increased this
        summer by 8% compared to last summer, Philadelphia was still a better
        value than New York, Boston and Washington D.C. Center City hotels
        reported an average daily rate of $166 this summer, lower than the
        downtown areas in New York ($281), Washington D.C. ($190) and Boston
        ($208).
     Why Leisure Visitors Came:
     The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) said
 leisure travelers account for 75% of all visitors to the Philadelphia
 region. The Philadelphia region has experienced a 63% increase in overnight
 leisure tourism since 1997. Those who visited for fun this summer had
 plenty to see and do. Summer highlights:
     -- GPTMC had several tourism advertising campaigns running this summer
        that appealed to many kinds of visitor interests. Philly's More
        advertising showcases the city's vibrant, cosmopolitan side; Boundless
        Philadelphia(TM) promotes the region's vast outdoor activities;
        uwishunu(TM) highlights Philadelphia's unconventional side; and
        Historic Philadelphia promotes the city's rich American history.
     -- On average, 33% of those who stay over in hotels are leisure travelers.
        Overnight leisure travelers reported spending $899 on accommodations,
        shopping, dining and entertainment during their two-night stay,
        according to a summer 2006 GPTMC study of downtown hotel visitors.
     -- gophila.com, the region's official tourism Web site, experienced its
        highest traffic ever with more than 1.2 million visits in July and
        August, an increase of more than 30% over the same months in summer
        2006.
     Visit gophila.com/pressroom for the latest news from Greater
 Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation.
     Groups And Conventions Were Big Business:
     According to the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB),
 meetings and conventions account for 40% of the total hotel rooms used in
 Philadelphia each year, and this summer was no exception. The PCVB
 continued to attract international and group travel market visitors thanks
 in part to new marketing programs and outreach into new markets including
 Asia. Meeting and convention, international and group traveler highlights
 include:
     -- Boosting hotel occupancy this summer, three major conventions were held
        on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day, usually slower periods
        for hotels. These groups alone filled more than 95,000 hotel rooms and
        brought an estimated $90 million in economic impact. In total for this
        summer, PCVB hosted 134,466 attendees who used 246,338 total hotel room
        nights for an economic impact of nearly $300 million for the region.
     -- The PCVB also launched new visitor guides in German, French, Dutch,
        Italian, Spanish, English and Chinese; increased awareness with
        cooperative advertising and Web promotions, like uwishunu(TM), on sites
        such as Expedia.com and Travelocity; and hosted 11 international press
        trips with more than 25 journalists and tour operators from five
        Western European countries and Scandinavia.
     -- In addition, the PCVB debuted 40 new experiential tours to group tour
        operators, using an Experiential Group Tour brochure and a public
        relations campaign.
     Visit www.PhiladelphiaUSA.travel/mediacenter for the latest news from
 the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.
     Plenty To See And Do In Philly This Summer:
     Visitors to the region had hundreds of options for tours, sightseeing,
 dining, nightlife, museums, attractions and blockbuster exhibitions,
 including the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibition at
 The Franklin Institute; Wicked, the blockbuster Broadway musical at the
 Academy of Music; the newly restored Franklin Square in Historic
 Philadelphia; the Liberty Bell Center, which experienced a 16% average
 increase in visitation during May, June and July, compared to the same time
 last year; and Valley Forge National Historical Park, where visitation
 increased by 22% this summer. For more about the region's top attractions,
 visit gophila.com.
     Philadelphia had a stellar summer because of the combined efforts of
 GPTMC, PCVB, the regional convention and visitors bureaus and the staffs of
 the member hotels.
     The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes
 Philadelphia and The Countryside(R) a premier destination through marketing
 and image building that increases business and promotes the region's
 vitality. For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit
 www.gophila.com or call the Independence Visitor Center, located in
 Independence National Historical Park, at (800) 537-7676.
     The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB),
 www.PhiladelphiaUSA.travel, a private non-profit membership corporation, is
 the official Tourism Promotion Agency for the City of Philadelphia, and the
 primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
 The PCVB competes with its counterparts worldwide for convention and
 tourism business. The organization has departments dedicated to the
 multicultural, sports, and life sciences markets.
     CONTACTS:    Anthony Malerba, GPTMC
                  (215) 599-2291
                  anthony@gptmc.com
 
                  Sarah Hines, PCVB
                  (215) 636-3412
                  sarahh@pcvb.org
 
                  Ed Grose, GPHA
                  (215) 557-1900
 
 

SOURCE The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation

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