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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 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...
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...
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
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
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 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.”
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...
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
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
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...
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
For the first time ever, Visit Philadelphia’s powerhouse properties visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com welcomed more than 11 million visits in 2013. The sister sites also saw a significant surge in mobile traffic and sent millions of clicks to partner websites during the record-setting year. Visit Philly’s social media soared as well, with 475,000 followers and counting, a new presence on LinkedIn (the ninth platform for Visit Philly) and the second most popular account on Instagram (out of the five most populated cities). Here’s a look at 2013 by the numbers:
One Dynamic Duo: Visitphilly.com and Uwishunu.com:
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) and its partners are extending the With Art Philadelphia™ collaborative campaign to a third year, starting this fall. This decision follows two years of successfully showcasing Philadelphia’s impressive visual arts scene and establishing Philadelphia as a destination for art. The theme for year three will be “A visit to Philadelphia is better with art.”
“People are getting it: If you want to experience art, you should be in Philadelphia, and that’s the message we’ll keep promoting in year three,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of GPTMC. “They come to see treasures by...
Inspired by the new Benjamin Franklin Museum, opening on Saturday, August 24, 2013, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) polled their Philly Friends opinion panel about the city’s favorite Founding Father.
Question 1: What is Ben Franklin's most admirable trait? (sample size: 112)
- His Inventiveness, 40.2%
- His Love of Beer, 17.9%
- His Wit, 17.0%
- His Diplomatic Skills, 14.3%
- His Clever Writing, 9.8%
- His Fashion Sense, 0.9%
Question 2: Of all of Ben Franklin's inventions, which is your favorite? (sample size: 112)
- Bifocals, 42.0%
- Lightning Rod, 19.6%
- Long Arm (used for reaching things on high shelves), 10.7%
- Franklin Stove (furnace
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) announced today that it has received a Social Media in Travel & Tourism Award (SMITTY) from Travel + Leisure for its Visit Philly Twitter account, which currently has 45,000 followers. To win in the “Best Use Of A Social Media Platform” category, Philadelphia competed against hundreds of national and international destination marketing organizations and travel companies.
The SMITTYs—now in its second year—spotlight the travel industry’s most innovative and effective uses of social media that provide value to consumers in this new landscape. To celebrate the 28 winners, Travel + Leisure is hosting an...
Inspired by Philly Beer Week, kicking off today, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) polled the newly created Philly Friends opinion panel about the city’s beer scene. The findings are mouthwatering.
Question #1: What do you think makes Philly’s beer scene so impressive? (Select all that apply.)
- Beer-centric pubs & bars – 76%
- Quality breweries – 69%
- Beer gardens – 54%
- Philly Beer Week – 43%
- Bartenders who know their stuff – 37%
- Home-brewing scene – 19%
- Other – 7%
Question #2: What is your favorite place in Philadelphia to enjoy beer on a hot summer day?...
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) released its 2013 annual report, which reveals that the region welcomed a record 38.8 million domestic visitors in 2012. Those visitors generate economic impact and taxes for the region and support residents’ jobs. Titled The Evolution of a Destination and Its Marketing, the report also emphasizes the major changes in Philadelphia and in marketing since GPTMC began.
“Philadelphia is a better, more complex destination appealing to more types of travelers and more trip types,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of GPTMC. “Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all marketing. Today, we use...
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) maintains a strong social media presence, and here are three new reasons the Visit Philly accounts continue to engage and activate its more than 321,000 fans and followers:
- Philly’s All a-Twitter
Philadelphia landed in the number five spot among the 10 most popular U.S. cities on Twitter, ranked by the number of followers of cities’ official tourism Twitter accounts. The report, compiled by SkiftSocial, a company that measures social data of travel companies, found that during a two-week period, Portland and Philadelphia were the most responsive to people via Twitter. Travel Portland enlists...
It was a record-setting year for the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation’s (GPTMC) web properties, with visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com welcoming 8.7 million visits—a 33% increase from 2011. Both sites, along with GPTMC’s 16 ahead-of-the-curve social media properties, relied on timely content, vibrant photography, technical innovation and all of the company’s integrated marketing muscle to attract and engage potential visitors. Here’s a look at some 2012 news and numbers worth bragging about:
Visitphilly.com Is Tops:
- Out of the 10 largest cities in the United States, Philadelphia has the most-visited destination website in visitphilly.com, ranking above powerhouse destinations such as