Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

All Releases (Newest First)

Dec 23 2014

2014: A Record Year For Leisure Visitation In Philadelphia

Philadelphia On Track For Busiest Year For Hotels Since 1949 & Highest-Ever Weekend Occupancy

Center City Philadelphia is on track to close 2014 with record hotel occupancy and the best Friday and Saturday occupancies to date. The leisure travel segment—those who come to Philadelphia for fun vacations and getaways—is a major contributor to these milestones.

Record Hotel Occupancy: 76%:
Center City Philadelphia’s hotel occupancy is projected to hit 76%—the city’s highest since 1949. Travelers from all segments (leisure, group, business) will have filled a projected 3.1 million rooms. (Source: PKF Consulting)

Leisure: The Segment That Loves Philadelphia Back:
Leisure is on track to close out a record year in 2014. In Center

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Dec 22 2014

The Philly Cheesesteak: Two New Videos Give The Mouthwatering Scoop On This Iconic Sandwich

Learn How To Order & What Makes Them So Great

Here in Philly, the cheesesteak is a civic icon, tourist draw and cultural obsession, and now two short new videos created by VISIT PHILADELPHIA® show how to order this iconic sandwich and what makes it so great. The videos are on view at visitphilly.com/cheesesteaks, where visitors can read about the history of the often-imitated sandwich and find a list of the top 10 spots to get authentic Philly cheesesteaks.

“Every successful destination needs a few strong brands, and the cheesesteak is undeniably one of ours,” said Meryl Levitz, president & CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “We want to do everything we

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Dec 12 2014

New City Council Representative Joins VISIT PHILADELPHIA Board Of Directors

Darwin Beauvais Joins 18-Member Board

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® announced today that Darwin Beauvais has joined its board of directors as the Philadelphia City Council representative, which is appointed by Darrell Clarke, the president of City Council. Beauvais is a shareholder at Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, P.C. and concentrates on zoning, land use and local government affairs.

“Darwin’s commitment to building Philadelphia and his extensive knowledge about city interests will help shape VISIT PHILADELPHIA strategies,” said Manuel Stamatakis, VISIT PHILADELPHIA board chairman. “I look forward to incorporating his ideas.”

Beauvais is on the executive committee of the board of the Free Library of Philadelphia and

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Dec 3 2014

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Wins Three Industry Awards

Work Stood Out Among 1,200 Submissions To Win Two Gold & A Silver

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® announced today that it has won three Adrian Awards from Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). The winners: Gold Adrian Award for “Instagram Press Trip to Philadelphia,” Gold Adrian Award for “Ben Franklin’s Facebook Page” on Time.com and Silver Adrian Award for “Visit Philly Beer Garden Series.”

“These are three prestigious awards,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “The staff at VISIT PHILADELPHIA consistently produces fantastic work, and they’re dedicated to promoting Philadelphia in creative and innovative ways. I’m happy to see this recognition.”

HSMAI received 1,200 entries from travel companies including big-brand hotel

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Dec 1 2014

In Philadelphia, Cooking Classes, Demo Kitchens On The Rise

Hands-on Classes, Demos & Tastings Satisfy The Kitchen Curious

Sure, it’s satisfying to enjoy an incredible meal in one of Philadelphia’s restaurant gems, but learning how to recreate said incredible meal at home is equally appealing for many. With demo kitchens on the rise in Philadelphia, there are countless options for culinary education—often served up with dinner and drinks. From the butchering classes at Kensington Quarters and Wyebrook Farm to the celebrity chefs demonstrating their skills at COOK to vegan and gluten-free baking workshops at P.S. & Co., there’s a lesson for eaters of all tastes. Here are some of the region’s best ways to satisfy hunger and curiosity:

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Nov 16 2014

What's In The Market East Neighborhood?

Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Shops, Art & Culture In Philadelphia's Market East Neighborhood

Steps away from the most historic square mile in America, the Market East neighborhood serves as a gateway to the city’s business, shopping and entertainment district. Originally known as High Street, what is now called Market Street is a busy boulevard, particularly during the daytime as shoppers, workers and visitors fill the streets.

Bordered by Old City to the east, Chinatown to the north and Washington Square West to the south and dominated by Philadelphia’s elaborately embellished City Hall, the Market East neighborhood is largely commercial with boundaries that stretch roughly from 7th to 15th Streets and Chestnut

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Nov 14 2014

Philadelphia’s New Americans Tour Resource Guide

Fast Facts About The Citizenship Process:

  • The study guide for the U.S. citizenship test includes 100 questions. More than half of the questions are related to events that happened in Philadelphia. For a complete list of the questions, contact Adriana Arvizo or Cara Schneider (see above).
  • The U.S. citizenship test is an oral exam given to the applicant by an immigration officer. It consists of 10 random questions from the study guide.
  • The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services hosts an average of 20 naturalization ceremonies each month (sometimes even more) in the Philadelphia area. They also conduct special ceremonies
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In English

Nov 14 2014

Se Estrena El Recorrido De Los Nuevos Estadounidenses En Filadelfia

Los Candidatos A La Ciudadanía Podrán Poner A Prueba Sus Conocimientos En Los Lugares En Donde Todo Sucedió

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® en colaboración con la Oficina del Alcalde para Asuntos de Inmigrantes y Multiculturales (MOIMA por su sigla en inglés) anunció hoy el lanzamiento de El Recorrido para Nuevos Estadounidenses de Filadelfia, una excursión auto-guiada para nuevos ciudadanos y aquellos que estudian para ser ciudadanos a través de los sitios que cuentan la historia de la fundación de Estados Unidos. El tour está disponible en inglés en visitphilly.com/newamericans y en varios otros idiomas, incluyendo español, francés y mandarín, en phila.gov/ima. Para promover el recorrido, VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, invitará a periodistas y personas influyentes en las redes sociales a Filadelfia,

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Nov 3 2014

Make A Date For Romance In The Towns Of The Philadelphia Countryside

Couples Find Lots To Fancy At The Region’s Restaurants, Galleries, Parks & Museums

Romance reigns in the Towns of the Philadelphia Countryside, where lovers can reenergize their relationships at charming B&Bs, cozy restaurants, sophisticated galleries and picturesque parks on or near quaint main streets, all within a short drive of Center City.

Here are some suggestions for those eager to embrace the region’s lovely side:

Bucks County:

  1. New Hope’s unbeatable combination of history, art and country charm are enough to jump start any love connection. While gallery hopping along Main Street, it’s easy to find a token of one’s affection at A Mano Gallery, Exquisite Earth and The Jonathan Rice Collection. Come
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Nov 3 2014

Philly's Signature Sandwiches: Cheesesteaks & Hoagies

Here in Philly, cheesesteaks and hoagies are civic icons, tourist draws and cultural obsessions. Often imitated around the world, the sandwiches are rarely duplicated successfully outside of Philadelphia. Get the lowdown on the cheesesteak and the hoagie at visitphilly.com/cheesesteaks and visitphilly.com/hoagies.

What Is A Cheesesteak?:
A cheesesteak is a long, crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéed ribeye beef and melted cheese. Generally, the cheese of choice is Cheez Whiz®, but American and provolone are common substitutions. The art of cheesesteak preparation lies in the balance of flavors, textures and what is often referred to as

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Oct 22 2014

Philadelphia's Chocolate Exhibit Unwraps The Treat's Origins

Patisseries, Chocolate Shops & More Round Out Philly’s Sweet Side

One of the most delicious exhibitions ever to hit Philadelphia is tempting taste buds all around town. Chocolate: The Exhibition, on view at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University through January 24, 2015, uses interactive displays, special programs and tasting events to trace chocolate beginning with its rainforest origins. After learning the backstory on chocolate, visitors can sample the many ways that Philadelphia chocolatiers, mixologists, pâtissiers and others have transformed the cocoa bean into a delight for the senses.

Chocolate Shops:

  • Those who share chocolatier Gail Warren’s philosophy that chocolate is a “necessary luxury” frequent Bridge Street
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Oct 20 2014

I-95 Billboard Sports Winner Of VISIT PHILADELPHIA® Photo Contest

Striking Image Of Dancer On Art Museum Steps Wows Drivers

The winner of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s summertime photo contest receives her larger-than-life prize this week: a billboard on I-95 sporting her original photo.

Wynnewood’s Vikki Sloviter paired her photo of a young dancer on the top of the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art steps with the line “Run the steps like nobody’s watching.” She beat out 3,000 entries to win the Phillyosophy® billboard contest. The public voted for the five finalists 11,000 times in one week.

“As a Philly native and lifelong supporter of the arts, especially ballet, I thought my photo of a dancer at the top of the Art

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Oct 20 2014

Hospitality Veteran Joins VISIT PHILADELPHIA® Board Of Directors

Kevin Murnane Brings 35 Years Of Hotel Management Experience To Board

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® announced today that Kevin Murnane will join its board of directors, effective immediately. The general manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City, Murnane has held that position at Hilton Hotels Worldwide in Phoenix, Tucson, Houston, Albuquerque and New York City.

“Kevin’s extensive knowledge about hotel operations and his familiarity with other destinations will help shape VISIT PHILADELPHIA strategies,” said Manuel Stamatakis, VISIT PHILADELPHIA board chairman. “Equally impressive is his commitment to the hospitality experience; he knows the value of travel.”

Before moving to Philadelphia, Murnane was the general manager of the 399-room DoubleTree by Hilton

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Oct 16 2014

Backgrounder: Eco-friendly Philadelphia

Obsession For The Environment Takes Over The City Of Brotherly Love

Philadelphia’s bike-share program, to begin in spring 2015, is just the latest news in the city’s eco-friendly efforts. Long a pioneer in the environmental movement, Philadelphia is attracting increasing global attention for efforts to become a leader in urban sustainability. Attractions, organizations and the city itself hold prestigious designations, including a major award from the Environmental Protection Agency. Not to be outdone, the region’s service amenities and modes of transportation are also advancing the green revolution.

Here’s a look at Philadelphia’s green cred:

Eco-Events:

  • The Clean Air Council’s 5K Run for Clean Air is Philadelphia’s largest Earth Day celebration.
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Oct 8 2014

Stats & Facts From City Of Philadelphia Controller's Report

On September 9, 2014, the Office of the Controller released An Analysis of Philadelphia’s Destination Marketing Infrastructure and Its Role in the Hospitality Industry. In the report, Controller Alan Butkovitz praised the work of VISIT PHILADELPHIA, an organization founded in 1996 to build Greater Philadelphia’s image and attract leisure visitors to the region.

Below are excerpts directly from the report that are related to VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s work and mission. Read the full report here.

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Marketing:

  • “Much of [leisure tourism] growth can be attributed to the promotional strategies of Visit Philadelphia.”
  • “In 2013, Center City
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Oct 8 2014

Summer Brings In Big Business For Philadelphia Hotels

Saturday Night Occupancy At Center City Hotels Tops Previous Years

This summer brought in big business for Center City, Philadelphia hotels, with overall occupancy topping out at 79.5%—the highest it has been since 2008. And weekend occupancy, a heavy travel time for leisure visitors, continues to soar. Hotels enjoyed record occupancy on Saturday nights (90.9%), and Friday occupancy (82.6%) matched last summer, showing that travelers are eager to get their weekends started.

“Many people thought that hotel occupancy would be down in Philadelphia this summer because we didn’t have major events like the U.S. Open golf tournament,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “But we

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Oct 7 2014

Visit Philly Makes Top 10 List For Destinations On Social Media

Visit Philly Is The Top-Ranked U.S. Destination In Skift Article

Visit Philly made Skift’s list of the “Top 10 Travel Destinations on Social Media for September 2014,” released on October 1, 2014. Coming in fifth on the list, Visit Philly was the highest-ranked U.S. destination marketing organization, following Tourism and Events Queensland, Walt Disney World Resorts (the park system), Tourism Australia and Travel Alberta.

Visit Philly counts 650,000 fans and followers on a dozen accounts. To come up with the rankings, the travel intelligence company Skift quantifies social media effectiveness by examining “performance on an absolute basis, as well as relative to within a company’s specific industry.”

“Social

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Sep 25 2014

Philadelphia Marks 2015 With New Exhibits, Anniversaries & The Pope

Tall Ships, World Meeting Of Families, Alice In Wonderland & Other Events Dot The Calendar

With 2015 comes plenty of reasons for visitors to plan a trip to Philadelphia. In fact, The New York Times ranked Philly in the #3 spot in its article of the "52 Places to Go in 2015."

So what’s on the calendar? Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden, showing off a dozen historic ships on the Delaware River Waterfront; Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, featuring 80 works by a who’s-who of painters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Down the Rabbit Hole: Celebrating 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland at The Rosenbach of the Free

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Sep 23 2014

Carl M. Buchholz Joins VISIT PHILADELPHIA™ Board Of Directors

VISIT PHILADELPHIA announced today that Carl M. Buchholz will join its board of directors, effective immediately. The managing partner of DLA Piper (US) LLP in Philadelphia, Buchholz concentrates his practice in complex commercial litigation and government relations.

“Carl’s commitment to moving Philadelphia forward and his extensive knowledge about city interests will help shape VISIT PHILADELPHIA strategies,” said Manuel Stamatakis, VISIT PHILADELPHIA board chairman. “I look forward to welcoming him to the board and incorporating his ideas.”

Buchholz formerly served as a special assistant for Homeland Security to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002. During that time, he

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Sep 23 2014

Everything's Coming Up Modern In Philadelphia

From European Impressionism To American Avant-Garde, America’s Most Historic City Doesn’t Shy Away From The New

With one of the largest collections of public art in the country, a wide sampling of great buildings from virtually every contemporary architectural style and an unparalleled assemblage of art museums, Philadelphia shines as a key player in the contemporary art scene. A stellar lineup of galleries, centers and artists’ studios completes the picture. Here are highlights:

Museums:

  • The French impressionists are widely considered the forebearers of modern art, and the new Barnes Foundation, housing one of the world’s premier collections of Renoirs, Matisses, Picassos and Cézannes, is a fitting celebration of their innovation. Designed by the husband-and-wife team
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Tagged: Arts & Culture