May 24, 2017

2016 Shows Record Visitation Again To Greater Philadelphia

Five-County Region Welcomed 42 Million Visitors Last Year

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Taken from the 33rd floor of the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, this photo shows off the sleek and modern buildings that dominate Philadelphia’s skyline. Photo by C. Smyth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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VISIT PHILADELPHIA® announced yesterday that Greater Philadelphia—that’s Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties—welcomed 42 million domestic visitors in 2016. This marks the seventh consecutive year for record visitation and a 2.4% increase over 2015. Of those 42 million visitors, 37 million (88%) visited for a leisure purpose. More details appear in VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s annual report, downloadable at

“Since 1997, Philadelphia has become a better destination—with investments in the region’s attractions, art, history, culture and parks—all of which have been amplified by consistent marketing,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “Today, Philadelphia is a place where people want to start a restaurant, open a new hotel, come for an overnight visit and return again and again.”

2016 Numbers:

  • Greater Philadelphia welcomed a record 42 million day and overnight visitors—a 2.4% increase over 2015 and a 58% increase since 1997.

              In that time, overnight leisure visitation to the five counties doubled—a 101%                                      increase—from 7.3 million in 1997 to 14.7 million in 2016.

  • Visitor spending in Greater Philadelphia:

Generated $11 billion in economic impact—or $30 million every day.
Supported 96,600 jobs.
Generated $634 million in state and local taxes. That’s money that then supports priority programs such as schools and sanitation.

Sources: Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Longwoods International

The Leisure Story:

  • Of the region’s 42 million visitors, 37 million (88%) were here for a leisure purpose.
  • Leisure is a major driver of hotel occupancy. Of the 3.2 million hotel room nights occupied in Center City Philadelphia in 2016, 32% were leisure stays.

That’s 1 million leisure room nights—up 296% since 1997 when VISIT PHILADELPHIA began marketing the region as a leisure destination.

  • Philly’s Saturday hotel occupancy:

Topped 88% for the third year in a row
Busiest night of the week for the 13th year running
Reached 90% occupancy or higher on 37 Saturdays in 2016

Sources: Econsult Solutions, Inc. and CBRE Hotels

VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s annual report and event were supported by generous sponsorships from PNC, Where Philadelphia and KYW Newsradio.

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, and, 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.