Travel Responsibly: As the region recovers from COVID-19, safety guidelines have evolved at attractions, restaurants, shops and hotels. Advance tickets or reservations remain recommended or necessary at many spots. Your best bet: Check online or call ahead.
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 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 2020 Annual Report
For more information on the importance and impact of the tourism and travel industry in Philadelphia, download VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s full 2020 Annual Report or click the button below.
Visit Philadelphia’s 2020 Annual Report
— Photo by Elevated Angles for Visit Philadelphia
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 2019, this industry generated more than $12.3 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.
46 million people visited Greater Philadelphia in 2019.
$7.6 billion was the amount visitors spent in Greater Philadelphia in 2019.
$12.3 billion in total economic impact from tourism generated in Greater Philadelphia.
That equates to:
$33.8 million every day.
105,500 jobs for Greater Philadelphia residents were supported by visitor spending in 2019.
$1.01 billion in state and local taxes was generated by visitors in 2019.
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 46 million visitors to the region in 2019 – a record year for visitation – leisure travelers made up 88% and VISIT PHILADELPHIA has been an integral part of attracting and welcoming them here.
The graph below illustrates the growth in U.S. visitation to the Philadelphia region from 1997 to 2019.
In 2019, 16 million more domestic leisure travelers came to Greater Philadelphia than in 1997 when VISIT PHILADELPHIA began advertising. There’s been a 108% increase in overnight trips and a 114% increase 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, topping 1 million room nights in 2019.
In 2019, the leisure segment made up approximately one-third of all hotel nights consumed in Center City Philadelphia.
Strong weekend occupancy is an indication that a destination has a very strong leisure demand. In 2019, Saturday and Friday nights were the two highest occupancy nights of the week.
Saturday night was the busiest night of the week in 2019, hitting an average occupancy of 88%. This is the 16th consecutive year Saturday night has been the busiest night of the week in Center City Philadelphia.
In 2019, Friday-night occupancy was the second busiest night of the week, with an average occupancy of 81%.
The continued growth in weekend occupancy rates means Philadelphia is increasingly being seen by potential visitors as a must-visit 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 2020 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
— Photo by Visit Philadelphia
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, 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 official website, visitphilly.com and its blog, Uwishunu.
The site is a strong call to action that moves people to visit and helps them find the region’s hotels, restaurants and attractions.
In 2019, the website had more than 14 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 said the websites helped them find more things to see and do in Philadelphia.
Visitphilly.com and Uwishunu sent
3.4 million clicks
to our partner websites in 2019.
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
1.6 million fans
on nine platforms, including:
Our social media marketing gets results.
80% of our out-of-town fans said that being a fan of our social media pages improved their impression of Philadelphia.
73% of our fans said that following our social media accounts made them more likely to visit Philadelphia.
Activating Our Fans
81% 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 where they’re most receptive to our invitations to visit. We rely on research to better understand our audience — and we let that data guide us towards using the right channel at the right time. We enhance our traditional media buys and search-engine marketing with social media advertising and buzz-worthy out-of-home tactics.
Our campaigns showcase Philadelphia’s robust cultural offerings — beyond the obvious — and invite travelers to come and experience the unexpected. It represents shared experiences, spotlights Philly’s rich dining scene and shows off historic icons and exhibits.
Our advertisements echo and embody Greater Philadelphia as a multidimensional, dynamic and diverse destination.
Through high-quality content, direct pitches, media events, a 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 positive stories about travel to Philadelphia placed by us and our many, many partners recently:
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 2020 Annual Report.
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
The team is made up of:
Trino Boix, Esq., Chief Administrative Officer
Trino Boix leads VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s administrative functions, including legal affairs, human resources, contract management, risk management and facilities management. With more than two decades of experience in nonprofit management and operations, he collaborates with the executive leadership team to drive the organizational vision and operational strategy.
Rachel Ferguson, Chief Innovation and Global Diversity Officer
Rachel Ferguson helps to grow the leisure tourism segment by identifying and leading marketing programs focused on multicultural and multigenerational travelers and new geographic markets. She also leads VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s diversity, equity and inclusion program, communications and revenue-generating partnerships.
Neil Frauenglass, Chief Marketing Officer
Neil Frauenglass develops VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s marketing strategy and the Greater Philadelphia region’s brand identity. Frauenglass leads the organization’s advertising, web and social media teams and brings two decades of experience marketing for top global brands.
Michael Newmuis, Chief of Staff
Michael Newmuis serves as a strategic advisor to Jeff Guaracino and executive leadership team. He manages VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s local government and community affairs, stakeholder engagement and grant development. He also serves as the liaison for the company’s Board of Directors.
Jim Werner, Chief Tourism Officer
Jim Werner manages VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s tourism and hospitality industry relationships, working with hotels on marketing strategies, the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package and other overnight leisure initiatives. He also oversees the organization’s research and guides policy and advocacy efforts.
Manuel N. Stamatakis, Chair
Capital Management Enterprises
Rhonda R. Cohen, Esquire, Vice Chair
Robert W. Bogle, Vice Chair
The Philadelphia Tribune
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia
The Rittenhouse Hotel
Darwin Beauvais, Esquire
Dilworth Paxson LLP
Anthony J. Conti (Retired)
Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square
Penn National Gaming
City of Philadelphia
Mayor James F. Kenney
City of Philadelphia
Obra Kernodle, IV
Delaware River Port Authority
Kevin Murnane (Retired)
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City
James D. Schultz
Holland & Knight
University of Pennsylvania
Fred Shabel, Chairman Emeritus
Governor Tom Wolf
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
President & CEO, 2018-2021
Jeff Guaracino led VISIT PHILADELPHIA for three years, until his passing in December 2021. Throughout his tenure, Guaracino forged innovative and creative partnerships with organizations like the James Beard Foundation, Live Nation, Comcast/NBCUniversal and the City of Philadelphia. He also brought with him significant crisis-management experience, which guided his work with a cross-functional team of municipal, regional and state leaders to rebuild the hospitality and tourism sector in the wake of COVID-19.
Under Guaracino’s leadership, VISIT PHILADELPHIA continued driving leisure tourism throughout the pandemic through omni-channel marketing efforts, including Philly Live Weekends, a collaboration with NBC Philadelphia; Love + Grit, a Philly podcast focused on diverse Philadelphia stories; a Black- and Brown-owned business initiative; and marketing campaigns ranging from Our Turn to Tourist, which drove regional spending at the height of the lockdown, to Pack Light. Plan Big. For Philly., which promoted visitation as the city and region reopened.
President & CEO, 1996-2018
In October 2018, VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s founding president and CEO, Meryl Levitz stepped down from her role. Read more in the press release here.
While at the helm of VISIT PHILADELPHIA for more than two decades, Levitz excelled in building the region’s image, driving visitation and boosting the economy.
She 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 during her 22-year tenure.
— Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia
We want to hear from you. And we want you to help us spread the word about Philadelphia.
Reach out to us. 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
Email: [email protected]
30 S. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Visit Philadelphia is made up of people who are committed to Greater Philadelphia — to building Greater Philadelphia’s image, driving visitation and boost the economy. Click the button below to view the staff that can help you connect with our campaigns, media relations, advertising, websites and social media.
VIEW CONTACT LIST
Engage with us. Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, subscribe to our emails and help us reach even more people.
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.
Hear from us. We also encourage you to sign up for our e-newsletters. Our e-newsletters offer the best and latest information about what’s happening in Greater Philadelphia, 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
Visit Philadelphia gives the city and region a voice and look through our advertising, social media, websites, media relations and marketing campaigns. Interested in working with Visit Philadelphia as a freelancer or vendor? We encourage diverse creative professionals to share their interests and connect with us. Click the button below to view and complete a form and start the conversation.