Philadelphia surprises people.
It reveals its multifaceted, captivating personality to them block by block, mural by mural, garden by garden, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Here, 100-year-old cheese shops happily live a few doors down from lauded chef-run restaurants. There’s so much art; it’s inside, outside and on the sides of buildings. The corner bar thrives, and just about everyone is a craft beer enthusiast. Clothing design, building design and park design inspire. Creativity bursts from art galleries, modern dance troupes, street performances, story slams, concerts and DJ parties.
Philadelphians count on festivals for any and all reasons, bike trails for fun and bike lanes for transport and people just being themselves.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA invites people to…well, visit Philadelphia.
We believe in the power of travel; it shapes a person and expands horizons. Philadelphia delivers on our promise of an urban, main street, foodie, historic, cultural, cool, eye-opening, independent experience. It’s one destination, five counties, countless things to do.
Philadelphia is our job and our passion. Some may call us Philly freaks, and we’re ok with/proud of that.
We want you to get to know Philadelphia. Smile at our ads; click around our websites; watch our videos; follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest.
But mostly, we want you to visit Philadelphia.
And love it like we do.
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.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do. These marketing efforts also enhance the quality of life and sense of pride for residents.
We build Philadelphia’s brand and image. We give Philadelphia a voice through VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s campaigns, media relations, advertising, websites and social media. It’s important that people feel that they know a destination — that’s what makes them want to visit.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA was founded in 1996 as Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia and The Pew Charitable Trusts.
In 1998, House Bill 2858, Act 174 designated VISIT PHILADELPHIA, then GPTMC, to serve as the official Regional Attractions Marketing Agency.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s 2018 Annual Report
For more information on the importance and impact of the tourism and travel industry in Philadelphia, download VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s full 2018 Annual Report or click the button below.
Visit Philadelphia’s 2018 Annual Report
Tourism and hospitality is one of the largest industries in the region and important to the vitality of Greater Philadelphia. The growth of the industry depends on all types of visitors — leisure, business and convention — traveling to Philadelphia. In 2017, this industry generated more than $11.5 billion in economic impact in the region.
The money visitors spend supports local businesses, creates jobs and generates taxes, helping to build quality of life in Philadelphia.
43.3 million people from the U.S. visited Greater Philadelphia in 2017.
$7.1 billion was the amount visitors spent in Greater Philadelphia in 2017.
$11.5 billion in total economic impact from tourism generated in Greater Philadelphia.
That equates to:
$31.5 million every day.
98,300 jobs for Greater Philadelphia residents were supported by visitor spending in 2017.
$938 million in state and local taxes was generated by visitors in 2017.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA invites all travelers to visit the region, but our marketing specifically targets leisure travelers from America and Canada — those who come to Philadelphia to have fun.
Of the 43.3 million visitors from the U.S. to the region in 2017 – a record year for visitation – leisure travelers made up 88% and VISIT PHILADELPHIA has been an integral part of attracting and welcoming them here.
An additional 502,000 people visited from Canada — Philadelphia’s #1 international feeder market — and more than 23,000 visited from Mexico, for a total of 43.8 million North American visitors.
The graph below illustrates the growth in U.S. visitation to the Philadelphia region from 1997 to 2017.
In 2017, 15.4 million more leisure travelers came to Greater Philadelphia than in 1997, when VISIT PHILADELPHIA began advertising. There’s been a 100% increase (doubled!) in overnight trips and a 107% increase (more than doubled!) in overnight leisure trips.
As Philadelphia’s appeal as a destination has grown, the leisure segment has become a key driver of downtown hotel demand.
Since VISIT PHILADELPHIA began advertising in 1997, Center City has seen a 334% increase in leisure hotel demand.
Leisure hotel demand in Center City has grown by an average of 8% a year over the last 21 years, more than twice as fast as overall demand (3%).
In 2017, Saturday night average hotel occupancy reached a record high of 90%.
For the past 14 years, Saturday night has been the busiest night of the week for Center City hotels.
Saturday night occupancies in 2017 were higher than 90% (nearly sold out) for 38 out of the 52 Saturdays — a new record.
The continued growth in weekend occupancy rates means Philadelphia is increasingly being seen by potential visitors as a must-see leisure destination. And that’s what we do here at VISIT PHILADELPHIA — we help people see how much fun there is to be had in Philadelphia and, in return, people are coming to Philadelphia to have fun.
For more information on the importance and impact of the tourism and travel industry in Philadelphia, download VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s full 2018 Annual Report.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s Research
The in-house research department at VISIT PHILADELPHIA tracks visitor statistics, measures tourism’s impact on the region and provides insight and tracking for every marketing program VISIT PHILADELPHIA develops. For more information on the research that VISIT PHILADELPHIA does, visit our Research page by clicking the button below.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA’S RESEARCH PAGE
Branding and Image Building
We bring people to Philadelphia and The Countryside®. We get them to experience more while they’re here and to stay in hotels. How? Branding, image building and activating.
Everything we do — advertising, communications, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, social media, media relations, event and attraction promotion, hotel packages, product development and even playing up Philly’s starring role in pop culture — showcases and strengthens the ever-evolving Philadelphia brand.
As a marketing agency, VISIT PHILADELPHIA is always open to adapting how we brand and market Philadelphia to ensure that our messages are heard clearly and convincingly. Here are some of the ways we achieve our mission.
The most powerful way we communicate the voice, essence and image of Philadelphia is through our two official websites, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com.
The sites are powerful calls to action that move people to visit and help them find the region’s hotels, restaurants and attractions.
In 2017, these two sites had more than 16 million visits. That’s more than 1 million visits per month.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA seeks website visitors because we can convert “online visits” into “real-life visitors.” Each web visit is an opportunity for VISIT PHILADELPHIA to improve that person’s impression of Philadelphia, increase their desire to visit and get them to do more things while they’re here.
And to that effect, great content is a conversion machine for
Getting People To Do More While They’re Here
90% of survey respondents on visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com said the websites helped them find more things to see and do in Philadelphia.
Visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com sent
3.5 million clicks
to our partner websites in 2017.
Leveraging the Power of Digital Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Called one of “Social Media’s Most Innovative Travel Companies” by Travel + Leisure, VISIT PHILADELPHIA takes its social standing seriously. We embraced social media as part of an integrated marketing strategy early on, breaking into the newest and most effective platforms, and we continue to refine our properties.
We now have more than
1.5 million fans
on nine platforms, including:
Our social media marketing gets results.
77% of our out-of-town fans said that being a fan of our social media pages improved their impression of Philadelphia.
87% of our out-of-town fans said that following our social media accounts made them more likely to visit Philadelphia.
Activating Our Fans
79% of our fans said they visited the website of a place or company mentioned in a social post.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s advertising uses creative messaging that engages our key audiences and reaches them in locations where they’re most receptive to our invitations to visit. We enhance our traditional media buys and search-engine marketing with buzz-worthy tactics such as station dominations in New York and Washington, DC.
2018 brings with it the continued evolution of our iconic
With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® advertising campaign.
With Love shows you how Philly speaks — and thinks.
We know who we are, and we’re proud to be just that. With Love showcases Philadelphia’s robust cultural offerings — beyond the obvious — and invites travelers to come experience the unexpected. The campaign touts our great city’s storied attractions and highlights under-the-radar activities for travelers’ to-do-and-see lists.
Our With Love echo the city’s new confidence, embodying how people are thinking, feeling and talking about Philadelphia today.
Through high-quality content, direct pitches, media events, an ever-expanding Visiting Media Program and strong media relationships, our media relations team places thousands of positive stories each year about Greater Philadelphia in a blend of high-value print, television, websites and blogs. Here’s just a sampling of some of the accolades Philadelphia won this year and a look at some of the 10,700 stories generated last year:
More About VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s Work
In addition to the aforementioned web, social media, advertising and communications efforts, VISIT PHILADELPHIA has several other initiatives aimed at bringing even more people to the region.
We run multiple campaigns at any given time — efforts that speak directly to art lovers, urban adventurers and millennials, along with African-American, Latino, LGBT and Canadian travelers.
For more information on these and all of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s marketing initiatives, take a few minutes to review our full 2017 Annual Report.
President & Chief Executive Officer
At the helm of VISIT PHILADELPHIA since its inception in 1996, President and CEO Meryl Levitz has excelled in building the region’s image, driving visitation and boosting the economy. In fulfilling the mission of the region’s official tourism marketing organization, she has helped change perceptions about Philadelphia as a fun place to visit, built lasting and impactful partnerships and put Philly on people’s must-visit lists.
Recognized nationally for their tourism marketing work, Levitz and her team have worked hard to entice visitors — a record 43.3 million of them from the U.S. in 2017 — to stay overnight during the week, weekend and all year long. They do this through advertising, public relations, web and social media tactics, hotel marketing and research.
These efforts have grown the regional economy by creating jobs, boosting local businesses and generating tax revenue. In 2017, tourism generated $11.5 billion in economic impact and supported 98,300 jobs for Greater Philadelphia residents.
In January 2018, VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s board of directors announced that Levitz plans to leave her leadership post by the end of the year. Read more in the press release here.
To read Meryl Levitz’s full bio, click the button below.
MERYL LEVITZ BIO
New CEO Announcement
In September 2018, VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s Board of Directors announced that, following an extensive national search, Jeff Guaracino, current president and CEO of Welcome America, Inc., has been selected to lead VISIT PHILADELPHIA® as president and CEO beginning on October 29, 2018.
Read more in the official press release here.
Every month, Meryl emails thousands of VISIT PHILADELPHIA stakeholders with news and updates on the latest and greatest in Philadelphia. Click below to see the most recent editions:
Manuel N. Stamatakis, Chair
Founder and CEO, Capital Management Enterprises
Rhonda R. Cohen, Esquire, Vice Chair
Robert W. Bogle, Vice Chair
President and CEO, The Philadelphia Tribune
General Manager, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia
General Manager, The Rittenhouse Hotel
Darwin Beauvais, Esquire
Partner, Dilworth Paxson LLP
Craig R. Carnaroli
Executive Vice President, University of Pennsylvania
Anthony J. Conti
Managing Partner (Retired), PricewaterhouseCoopers, Phila Ofc
City Representative, City of Philadelphia
Honorable James F. Kenney
Mayor, City of Philadelphia
Obra Kernodle, IV
Commissioner, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
General Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City
Vice President, External and Government Affairs, Comcast Corporation
William R. Sasso, Esquire
Chairman, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP
Chairman, Governor’s Woods Foundation
Fred A. Shabel, Chairman Emeritus
Vice Chairman, Comcast Spectacor
President and CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA
We want to hear from you. And we want you to help us spread the word about Philadelphia’s new confidence.
Engage with us. Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, subscribe to our emails and help us reach even more people.
PHILADELPHIA’S HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY ASSEMBLED ITS RANKS ON NORTH BROAD STREET TO PUT A FACE ON AN INDUSTRY THAT GENERATES $10 BILLION A YEAR IN ECONOMIC IMPACT IN GREATER PHILADELPHIA AND EMPLOYS 90,000 PEOPLE. (PHOTO BY R. KENNEDY FOR VISIT PHILADELPHIA)
If you have a question or comment for VISIT PHILADELPHIA or regarding visitphilly.com, please contact us via phone or email at:
Telephone: (215) 599-0776
30 S. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Click here to review job openings at VISIT PHILADELPHIA.
Stay in touch with us to see first-hand how we think, talk and live VISIT PHILADELPHIA every day. Our social media properties are engaged and engaging, offering an immediate way to be a part of our community.
We also encourage you to sign up for our e-newsletters. Always free-of-charge, our e-newsletters offer the best and latest information as to what’s happening with VISIT PHILADELPHIA and our work with the region.
See a complete list of our social media accounts and e-newsletter offerings
In the world of destination marketing, more collaboration means more visitation. That’s why VISIT PHILADELPHIA has been teaming up with regional partners for years. Learn how we can work together to promote your business and Greater Philadelphia to travelers. We want to share your stories through our communications, advertising, websites and social media.
Partnership Opportunities: We offer in-kind support to our partners through communications, advertising, social media, hotel, web and research initiatives.
Advertising on visitphilly.com: VISIT PHILADELPHIA provides advertising opportunities for museums, attractions, restaurants, hotels and more in the region interested in advertising on visitphilly.com.
Joint Marketing Program: The campaign With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® is a proven image builder and business driver. Organizations can get in on the media buy through this program, which includes strategic direction, creative support and matched investment from VISIT PHILADELPHIA.
Special Sections: Get your message in the hands of travelers while they’re traveling. We’ve spearheaded several special sections in American Way and The National — the on-board magazines of American Airlines and Amtrak, respectively — that highlight the region to national and international travelers in the sky and on the rails.
Read more about VISIT PHILADELPHIA partnership opportunities
To learn more about our intellectual property and trademarks, please click here.