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A Tale Of Two Host Cities: Philadelphia And Cleveland Put On 2016 Political Conventions
While presidential candidates are going head-to-head in heated discourse, the great American cities of Philadelphia and Cleveland are pushing political banter aside to ready themselves for the national spotlight as they host the Democratic National Convention (July 25-28) and Republican National Convention (July 18-21), respectively. Cleveland’s last political convention was the 1936 RNC; that same year, Philadelphia welcomed the DNC. The cities will be part of history again in 2016.
Both destinations have a loyal fan base; residents love their respective city’s arts and culture, history, music and food, and visitors clamor over much of the same. Here’s a look...
Fact Sheet: The Philadelphia Region
There are 4.0 million people residing in the five-county region (7.8 million in the Philadelphia Designated Market Area) and 1.6 million in Philadelphia, making it the second-largest city on the East Coast and the fifth-largest in the country. Center City ranks second in downtown populations in the U.S., behind New York City’s Manhattan.
Philadelphia is a two-hour drive from New York City, two-and-a-half hours from Washington, DC and 45 minutes from Atlantic City, with convenient access to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-76, I-95 and the New Jersey Turnpike. 25% of the United States population lives within 350
VISIT PHILADELPHIA Wins Major Industry Award For Social Media
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® won an esteemed Gold Adrian Award from Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) for Digital Marketing Excellence. The awards were announced at a gala in New York City last night, February 16.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA earned the win for its “Surprise and Delight” program. Through the #visitphilly hashtag, geotags and keywords, the destination marketing organization finds people who are documenting their Philly trip, getting ready to visit or missing the city, and then surprises—and delights—them with a Philly treat to inspire them to do more during their stays or to invite them to come back. The package...
New Design For Uwishunu.com Makes Loving Philly Even Easier
At today’s VISIT PHILADELPHIA® New Year’s Breakfast, the destination marketing organization announced a brand-new design for uwishunu.com, the what’s-happening blog of visitphilly.com. The popular site received 6.2 million visits in 2015.
“In short, the new uwishunu.com is designed to help people find more things to do, and then go do them,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA.
- Mobile, mobile, mobile. In 2015, 58% of VISIT PHILADELPHIA web traffic came from mobile devices. VISIT PHILADELPHIA designed the new site to be extremely mobile-friendly.
- Big images, a scannable layout and enhanced navigation give the
Record Hotel Occupancy And Leisure Room Bookings In Center City Philadelphia In 2015
Center City Philadelphia is on track to close 2015 with record hotel occupancy. The leisure travel segment—those who come to Philadelphia for fun trips and getaways—is a major contributor to these milestones.
Record Hotel Occupancy: 77.4%:
Center City Philadelphia’s hotel occupancy is projected to hit a record 77.4% in 2015, up from 75.5% in 2014. Travelers from all segments (leisure, group, business) will have filled a projected 3.1 million rooms, another record.
“People are coming for Philadelphia—the destination itself is the reason to visit, and travelers are doing it more and more every year,” said Meryl Levitz, president and...
10 Things You (Probably) Don't Know About The 2016 DNC Host City, Philadelphia
The 2016 Democratic National Convention will take place in Philadelphia, the birthplace of America and the country’s first World Heritage City, July 25-28, 2016. The city has enough history, art, culture, food, vibrant neighborhoods, parks and political landmarks to fill web, newspaper and magazine pages from now until the convention.
Here are 10 things people might not know about the host city, plus key resources for convention and destination coverage.
10 Philly Facts You (Probably) Don’t Know:
- One-quarter of the U.S. population lives within a five-hour drive of Philadelphia.
- The fast-growing Indego bike-share program launched in spring 2015 and
Halftime Report: Leisure Tourism Occupancy Having A Record Year In Philadelphia
Center City Philadelphia hotels are enjoying a successful 2015 so far, with occupancy for the first six months beating last year—76.2% in 2015 vs. 75.2% in 2014 (January through June). All three major market segments (leisure, group, commercial) increased in the first half of the year. Leisure showed the most growth.
Center City hotels reported record leisure bookings in the first half of 2015. From January through June, hotels sold 416,000 room nights to leisure travelers—up 3.8% from the first half of 2014.
“Leisure has been a consistent producer for Philadelphia over the past two decades,”...
Tourism: Philadelphia's $10.4 Billion Industry
Released today, the VISIT PHILADELPHIA® annual report demonstrates the importance of the region’s travel and tourism industry, responsible for $10.4 billion in economic impact in 2014 alone. The report is downloadable at visitphilly.com/annualreport.
“Greater Philadelphia’s tourism industry is strong and getting stronger each year,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “The leisure segment has been particularly successful. It’s increased 90% since 1997, making it the fastest growing segment of all.”
- Greater Philadelphia welcomed a record 39.7 million day and overnight visitors.
- Visitor spending in Greater Philadelphia:
- Generated $10.4 billion in economic impact—or
10 Reasons Biking In Philadelphia Is On A Roll
The sound of ringing bicycle bells is constant in Philadelphia, where a grid layout, mostly flat terrain and 435 miles of bike lanes make it ideal for cyclists, whether they prefer mountain bikes, fixed-gears or classic cruisers. With the late April launch of Indego, the city’s first bike-share program, even more riders can explore Philadelphia’s great outdoors and fantastic attractions—from historic sites to beautiful riverside trails.
Here are 10 reasons Philly’s bike scene is taking off:
- Indego: Everybody Rides
In 1776, Philadelphia became the birthplace of a nation. This April, democracy takes to the streets with the launch of Indego...
Visit Philly Ranks #3 On List Of Top U.S. Cities On Social Media
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® was an early adopter of social media, signing on in 2007, and today the company’s social media accounts—known by fans and followers as Visit Philly—rank #3 in terms of engagement (liking, sharing or commenting on posts) among 13 cities included in a study done by independent social media agency Sparkloft Media.
“Our 15 social media accounts reach nearly 800,000 people, and we’re committed to ensuring that these platforms provide compelling and useful information to locals and visitors,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “This study shows that our significant investment keeps us right up there...
Philly On Film
Philadelphia is no stranger to cinema. While the city may be most well known as the site of the formidable Rocky franchise—the first movie won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1976, and the seventh installment, Creed, is set to debut in late 2015—more than 100 films have showcased the Philadelphia region on the silver screen since the 1970s. From screwball comedies to tearjerkers, inspiring true stories to action-packed adventures, these movies show off the region’s iconic and lesser-known streets and sights. Here’s where to relive some of Hollywood’s most memorable Philadelphia moments:
Sports Flicks For A Sports Town...
2014: A Record Year For Leisure Visitation In Philadelphia
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
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
Summer Brings In Big Business For Philadelphia Hotels
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...
Visit Philly Makes Top 10 List For Destinations On Social Media
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.”
20+ Lists You Didn't Know Philly Made This Year
So far this year, Philadelphia has appeared on many national best-of lists.
“This good press is a good example of the city’s momentum. It goes with the story that’s unfolding right now—the new restaurants, more outdoor dining, throngs of people on Independence Mall and all over the city, more people visiting and visiting for longer periods of time,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA™. “Philadelphia is a premier destination, and the place to be. VISIT PHILADELPHIA is happy to be the promotion agency for a city that over-delivers.”
Here’s just a sample of what people have been...
Fact Sheet: Research & Measurement
Marketing. It’s what VISIT PHILADELPHIA™ has been doing since 1997 to build the region’s image and increase leisure tourism. How does the organization know that its efforts are working?
Here are five indicators of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s marketing success:
1. Advertising Effectiveness
Research of consumers in key VISIT PHILADELPHIA advertising markets (New York; Washington, DC; Harrisburg; and Philadelphia DMA) found that every $1 spent on the With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® ad campaign generates $100 in direct visitor spending and $11 in state and local taxes. (Longwoods International)
2. Hotel Occupancy: Leisure Travel
- Individual leisure travelers accounted for 924,000 Center City hotel
Tourism: $10 Billion Industry In Philadelphia
Released today, the VISIT PHILADELPHIA™ annual report, titled Philadelphia’s New Confidence, demonstrates the importance of the tourism and travel industry—with $10 billion in economic impact, for starters.
“Greater Philadelphia’s travel industry enhances the quality of life for residents,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “Visitor spending generates taxes for our local and state governments, supports jobs for locals and results in destination attractors—museums, art, festivals, restaurants and parks—that we can enjoy all the time.”
- Greater Philadelphia welcomed 39 million day and overnight visitors.
- Visitor spending in Greater Philadelphia:
- Generated $10 billion in economic
Use Your Vacation Days, Says Philly
Inspired and appalled by a recent Oxford Economics study that found that 42% of Americans leave 3.2 vacation days on the table, VISIT PHILADELPHIA™ released a 3.2-day Philadelphia itinerary.
“It’s good for the economy, a person’s work life and their personal life,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “We believe in the power of travel, and we’re inviting people to use their extra vacation days in the greatest place we can think of—Philadelphia.”
“Philadelphia’s ‘3.2-day itinerary’ is a fun and innovative way to highlight an important cultural issue,” said Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association president and...
VISIT PHILADELPHIA™ Unveils New Mobile Website
This week, VISIT PHILADELPHIA™ launched a new mobile experience of its website, visitphilly.com, the official visitor website for Greater Philadelphia. Mobile traffic to visitphilly.com topped 3.1 million visits in 2013—a 325% increase over 2011, when mobile traffic accounted for 680,000 visits.
With the new, more adaptive design, users have access to 100% of visitphilly.com from their mobile device—2,500 pages of content. So, what can they do?
- Use their mobile mapping capabilities to find an attraction, restaurant, etc.
- Reference the roundup of festivals to plan their weekend trips.
- Find top dining picks from Philadelphia chefs.
- Plan a themed trip with