Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Jan 24 2018

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Reports A Record 2017 For Leisure Tourism & Announces Marketing Plans For 2018

Key Stories & Stats From The Annual Hospitality Event

At the 9th annual New Year’s breakfast for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® today, the destination marketing organization (DMO) released record numbers for hotel occupancy in 2017 in Center City Philadelphia. The tourism marketing organization also announced a strengthening of its focus on food, with plans to:

  • launch a video series in partnership with Bon Appétit,
  • bring the 2018 James Beard Awards Nominations Announcement to Philadelphia and
  • create a dining-centric Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for spring.

In addition, VISIT PHILADELPHIA announced it has evolved its With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® campaign around the new City of Brotherly Love theme. The DMO is also readying to launch Homesick Philly, a visitor attraction campaign that aims to inspire former Philadelphians everywhere to come spend a weekend, a few days or longer in the place they are proud to call home.

2017: A Record Year:
Last year, Center City Philadelphia saw a 4.5% increase in hotel rooms; nevertheless, 2017’s hotel occupancy rates kept up—and increased to:

  • Record total occupancy – 78.2%
  • Record leisure room nights – 1.1 million (projected)
  • Record Saturday night room occupancy (average) – 90%

(Source: Smith Travel Research and CBRE Hotels)

Philadelphia enjoys three equally strong lodging segments. In 2017, as in years past, approximately one third of all Philadelphia hotel guests were leisure travelers; another third were convention/group travelers; the other third, transient business travelers. In 1997, when VISIT PHILADELPHIA began marketing the city as a leisure destination, leisure travelers accounted for just 14% of hotel room nights.

African-American Marketing Initiative: We Got You:
In September 2017, VISIT PHILADELPHIA launched We Got You, a documentary-style, five-episode travel video series hosted by Philly native Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots. The series harnessed the latest in digital storytelling, casting some of the nation’s most trendsetting influencers to show off the city’s vibrant food, cultural, art, history, outdoors and shopping scenes. In four months, We Got You garnered more than 10 million views—and major national acclaim. In 2018, VISIT PHILADELPHIA will continue to leverage the success of We Got You with a whole new cast of influencers, delivering an even larger audience.

Advertising: City of Brotherly Love:
VISIT PHILADELPHIA has refined its iconic With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® campaign for winter advertising. The organization’s creative team developed the campaign around the meaning of the word Philadelphia itself: the City of Brotherly Love. In Philly and beyond, digital and permanent billboards, bus shelters and more, the bold ads play on “Brotherly Love” by inviting visitors to the “City of Brewery Love,” “City of Legendary Love,” “City of Foodie Love” and, certainly, the “City of Sisterly Love.”

This new campaign launched in the fall of 2017, when the creative team was tasked with making Philadelphia stand out in its bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. The idea: Put these compelling messages on 48 buses and trolleys in Seattle, within neighborhoods near Amazon’s original headquarters. The goal: Attract attention.

Focus on Food:
Food is a major marketing theme for VISIT PHILADELPHIA in 2018. The organization recognizes the power of dining—or, rather, traveling for a great meal—to motivate visits. According to Bon Appétit, 81% of leisure travelers travel for food. To this end, initiatives in the coming year include:

  • The 2018 James Beard Awards Nominations Announcement is the first event leading up to one of the most anticipated food events of the year. This year, the announcement will take place on March 14 in Philadelphia, home to three of last year’s top James Beard Award Winners. VISIT PHILADELPHIA will be a producing partner for the event.
  • VISIT PHILADELPHIA has entered into a partnership with top food magazine Bon Appétit to produce a luscious, eating-around-town video series, hosted by Bon Appétit Restaurant Editor Andrew Knowlton. The series is expected to launch this spring.
  • The spring edition of the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package will include much more fare for foodies. The package will be available March 5 through June 15, for one- and two-night stays at 45 participating hotels.

New Marketing Initiative: Homesick Philly:
Launching later this year, Homesick Philly will tap into the deep connections and feelings of nostalgia people have for Philly. The initiative will focus on former residents’ loyalty to and love for their neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, sports teams, culture and more. The concept comes from an initial survey of Visit Philly’s 1.5 million social media fans and followers, many of whom once were lucky enough to live locally—and most of whom long for Philly realness. More details to come.

Major Happenings In 2018:
The New Year’s Breakfast also included presentations by organizations offering some of 2018’s most exciting events and news. They included:

  1. Chemical Heritage Foundation Becomes Science History Institute, February 1, 2018
  2. Philly Theatre Week, February 8-18, 2018
  3. Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music, National Museum of American Jewish History, March 16-September 2, 2018
  4. African American History & Cultural Showcase, Pennsylvania Convention Center, March 31-April 1, 2018
  5. TreeTop Quest, West Fairmount Park, March-November 2018
  6. Sail Philadelphia, Penn’s Landing, May 24-28, 2018
  7. Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), May 31-June 10, 2018
  8. Juneteenth Music Festival & Parade, June 22-23, 2018
  9. Cherry Street Pier Debut, Penn’s Landing, summer 2018
  10. The Bourse Reopening, summer 2018
  11. Nuevofest, Fringe Arts Building, July 15, 2018
  12. BMW Championship, Aronimink Golf Club, September 4-9, 2018
  13. Comcast Technology Center Opening, fall 2018
  14. Parkway 100 Celebration, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, through October 26, 2018

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

Jan 19 2018

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Board of Directors Announces Leadership Transition as Founding President & CEO, Meryl Levitz, Plans Departure in 2018

Founding President & CEO, Meryl Levitz, Plans Departure in 2018

The Board of Directors of VISIT PHILADELPHIA® today announced that its founding president and CEO, Meryl Levitz, plans to leave her leadership post by the end of the year. A search committee has been established by the Board of Directors to oversee the process of identifying the organization’s new chief executive and it has engaged Diversified Search to undertake a national effort to recruit and secure a highly qualified and passionate candidate. Until the transition to a new leader is complete, Ms. Levitz will continue in her current role as president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA to ensure a

...
Dec 19 2017

The Rittenhouse Hotel General Manager Joins VISIT PHILADELPHIA Team

Reginald Archambault Is The Most Recent Addition To The Company’s Board Of Directors

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® announced today that it has welcomed Reginald Archambault, general manager of The Rittenhouse Hotel, to its board of directors.

“We are pleased to have Reg join our board,” said Manuel Stamatakis, VISIT PHILADELPHIA board chairman. “He has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality sector, and we look forward to taking advantage of his knowledge and expertise as we develop marketing plans and strategies for VISIT PHILADELPHIA moving forward.”

Archambault started his career in the hospitality industry in 1991—serving as restaurant manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island in Florida. He quickly moved up the ranks

...
Nov 20 2017

Winter Brings Seasonal Perks To The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package

Visitors Now Receive Dining Discounts & Museum Admission In Addition To Free Parking

The popular Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package returns for the winter with dining discounts and museum admission, plus its ever-popular and convenient free hotel parking. Bookable now at visitphilly.com/overnight, the winter edition runs from December 1 through March 4, 2018.

Package Perks In Detail:
The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, responsible for more than 16,000 room nights in 2016, is available for one or more nights at more than 40 hotels in Center City and beyond. The winter hotel deal includes parking and tickets to the following with a combined value of up to $235:

  • Free parking:
...
Oct 31 2017

VISIT PHILADELPHIA & City Of Philadelphia Bring Philly To Seattle As Part Of Amazon Headquarters Bid

Ads Showcase Philly’s Art, Food, Outdoors & Neighborhoods To Amazon Community

Now through November 26, Seattleites will catch a glimpse of Philadelphia in 48 transit ad placements and social media posts highlighting the city’s food and drink, arts and culture, neighborhoods, outdoor activities and people. The campaign reinforces the message driven home in the city’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters: that Philadelphia residents enjoy a high quality of life.

VISIT PHILADELPHIA collaborated with the City of Philadelphia and its Amazon HQ2 Coalition on the strategy and development of the four-week paid-media campaign, which began running the week of October 23. The newly created ads, concepted and designed in house at VISIT

...
Sep 25 2017

Fall Brings Seasonal Perks To The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package

Visitors Now Receive Dining Discounts, Plus Indego & PHLASH Passes Return

The popular Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package returns for the fall with seasonal perks, plus its ever-valuable and convenient free hotel parking. Bookable now at visitphilly.com/overnight, the autumn edition runs from September 5 through November 30, 2017.

Package Perks In Detail:
The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, responsible for more than 16,000 room nights in 2016, is available for one or more nights at more than 30 hotels in Center City and beyond. The fall deal includes the following with a combined value of up to $173:

  • Hotel parking (up to a $100 value for a two-night
...
Sep 12 2017

Fact Sheet:

VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s African-American Video Series

OVERVIEW:
Part of the With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® campaign, VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s latest African-American marketing initiative centers on a documentary-style travel video series hosted by Philly native Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter of Grammy-award-winning, hip-hop band The Roots. The five-episode series, dubbed We Got You: Philly by Tarik, taps into the power of a national celebrity, pairing Trotter with trend-setting influencers to show off Philadelphia.

The videos will be promoted across all of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s marketing channels to gain video views, visits and, of course, hotel stays.

The full series is viewable online at visitphilly.com/wegotyou.

RESEARCH & STRATEGY:
Philadelphia

...
Sep 12 2017

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Debuts New African-American Travel Series

Five-Episode Series & New Ads Spotlight Philly To Reach African-American Travelers

Today, VISIT PHILADELPHIA® launched its latest African-American marketing initiative—the key component of which is a documentary-style travel video series hosted by Philly native Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots. The five-episode series, dubbed We Got You: Philly by Tarik, taps into the power of a national celebrity, pairing Trotter with trendsetting influencers to show off Philadelphia. The videos will be promoted across all of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s marketing channels to gain video views, visits and, of course, hotel stays.

Part of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® campaign, the series is viewable online at visitphilly.com/wegotyou. Digital

...
Sep 6 2017

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Releases Philadelphia Messaging Toolkit

Entrepreneur in Residence Creates Resource For Local Businesses To Help Tell Philly’s Story

Today, VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, together with its Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), launched the Philadelphia Messaging Toolkit to help local entrepreneurs and business leaders talk about Philly. The new resource is available to view and download online at visitphilly.com/messagingtoolkit.

“We’re enlisting entrepreneurs and business leaders to join us in spreading the good news of Philadelphia’s vibrancy as a place to visit, work and play,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “As the region’s official tourism-marketing agency, VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s mission is to do this every day, but many others can help us tell Philadelphia’s story. The

...
Jul 14 2017

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Marks World Emoji Day With New Philly Stickers

Philly Emojis Now Available For Apple's Messages App

In honor of World Emoji Day, VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, the region’s official tourism marketing agency, today announced the launch of its sticker pack, featuring expressive Philly-themed illustrations and animations that locals and visitors can use in iMessage chats on iPhones and iPads.

The sticker pack features 33 shareable emojis that give Apple users a creative way to talk about the City of Brotherly Love in their private day-to-day messages. Graphics include an animated Liberty Bell with heart-eyes, a Philly cheesesteak, VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s own “XOXO” from the beloved With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® campaign and, of course, an illustration of

...