Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Jun 3 2016

Memorial Day Weekend Breaks Records For Center City Hotels

Crowds In Historic Philadelphia, Special Events & Exhibitions & Great Weather Played A Part

Center City hotels were full this Memorial Day weekend with both Saturday and Sunday seeing the highest occupancies for those nights in at least a decade.

Overall Weekend Hotel Occupancy:

  • Friday: 82.8% (+5% from 2015 when occupancy was at 78.5%, source: Smith Travel Research)
  • Saturday: 98.0% (+1.4% from 2015 when occupancy was at 96%, source: Smith Travel)
  • Sunday 93.4% (+21.1% from 2015 when occupancy was at 77%, source: Travel Click 2016)

“Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer tourism season, and what a great one it was for Philadelphia thanks to so many factors in Historic Philadelphia and beyond,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA®. “It was also our first great weather weekend, and that always helps drive travel.”

Here’s a look at what else helped Philadelphia draw crowds over the weekend:

  • Historic Philadelphia: In advance of Memorial Day, Philadelphia launched a campaign to redefine and rename the city’s prized historic district, Historic Philadelphia, and the area proved to be a hotspot for warm-weather fun over the weekend. The Once Upon A Nation storytelling benches welcomed 7,000 people to listen to free stories on an increased number of storytelling benches—13 to be exact—around Independence National Historical Park. The National Constitution Center saw record attendance (2,632 people as opposed to an average of nearly 1,400 on other Mondays in May), and the Independence Visitor Center (IVC) drew a high turnout too, drawing 15,461 people this year, up from 14,814 in 2015.
  • 2016 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships: Philadelphia hosted the event in 2015 as well, but both teams in Sunday’s final (Maryland and North Carolina) were within driving distance of Philadelphia. That was not the case in 2015 when a team from Denver appeared in the final.
  • Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest: The popular attraction opened on Friday of Memorial Day weekend and features a roller rink, a mini-golf course, a boathouse-style lodge, a play area for kids, new food and drink options and special events throughout the season.
  • Major Exhibitions: Philadelphia is currently host to a number of special exhibitions, such as Headed to the White House at the National Constitution Center, The Science Behind Pixar at The Franklin Institute and The Golden Age of King Midas at the Penn Museum.
  • Weather: With a wet and cold spring and a great weekend forecasted for Memorial Day weekend, people were eager to enjoy the weather. “We’ve had so much rain in May, leisure travelers had cabin fever,” said Stephen Charamella, director of sales and marketing, Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel. “A nice holiday forecast, and we see last-minute pickup.”
  • Gas Prices: Historically a drive destination, Philly benefitted from the lowest gas prices over Memorial Day weekend in a decade. In fact, AAA projected that travel volume for the weekend would be the second-highest on record, with more than 38 million Americans hitting the road
     

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
 

Contact(s):
  • E-mail

Related Releases

Jun 6 2017

Philadelphia's Classic Fourth Of July Celebration Turns 25

Wawa Welcome America! Includes Four Fireworks Shows, Four Concerts, Free Museums, Boyz II Men & Mary J. Blige

Welcome America turns 25 this year, and Philadelphia is planning a six-day Independence Day festival to celebrate. As always, a birthday party of this magnitude can take place only in the United States’ birthplace—Philly. From June 29 through July 4, 2017, Wawa Welcome America! includes four spectacular fireworks shows, a bigger Historic District Block Party, a delicious Wawa Hoagie Day and a huge July 4th concert—this time, starring Mary J. Blige. Also on the docket: Free Museum Days, outdoor movies—including Rocky on the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps—and new alfresco happy hours.

To take in all the patriotic

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May 3 2017

Philadelphia's Historic District Gears Up For A Revolutionary Summer

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Jun 9 2016

Five Fireworks Shows Add Up To A Blockbuster Fourth Of July Weekend In Philadelphia

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There’s a mega dose of Fourth of July flash and fun this year in Philadelphia thanks to five major fireworks shows taking place over the long holiday weekend, July 1-4. The three Wawa Welcome America! shows will be bigger—and earlier—than last year and all will take place after free concerts. Add in two pyrotechnic displays following Phillies baseball games for glittering and glowing Philadelphia skies all weekend long.

To join in the patriotic festivities, visitors can go to visitphilly.com/hotels to book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, which includes free parking.

Here’s a look at five fantastic shows:

Friday, July

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Jun 4 2015

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With 2015 comes plenty of reasons for visitors to plan a trip to Philadelphia. In fact, The New York Times ranked Philly at the #3 spot in its influential article of the
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So what’s on the calendar for the rest of the year? The Tall Ships festival, 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

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Apr 3 2015

Philly Celebrates The Fourth Of July In Star-Spangled Style

Tall Ships, Gay Rights Celebrations & Fireworks Highlight Eight Days Of Family-Friendly Fun

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Here are a few highlights of Philadelphia’s patriotic party:

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Mar 6 2015

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Jun 10 2014

Philadelphia Throws A Week-Long Fourth Of July Party

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Visitors who book the Philly Overnight® Hotel Package for the long Fourth of July weekend not only get to celebrate America’s birthday in America’s

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Mar 19 2014

Festivals Keep Philly Neighborhoods Hopping All Year Long

Books, Beer, Arts, America, Music, Movies & More Inspire Festivities

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CENTER CITY

Benjamin Franklin Parkway:

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