Tourism: Philadelphian’s $10.4 Billion Industry

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® Annual Report Shows Record Visitation Numbers

the VISIT PHILADELPHIA® annual report demonstrates the importance of the region’s travel and tourism industry, responsible for $10.4 billion in economic impact in 2014 alone. The report is downloadable at

“Greater Philadelphia’s tourism industry is strong and getting stronger each year,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “The leisure segment has been particularly successful. It’s increased 90% since 1997, making it the fastest growing segment of all.”

2014 Numbers:

  • Greater Philadelphia welcomed a record 39.7 million day and overnight visitors.
  • Visitor spending in Greater Philadelphia:

o        Generated $10.4 billion in economic impact—or $28.6 million every day.

o        Supported 92,000 full-time jobs.

o        Generated $655 million in state and local taxes. That’s money that then supports priority programs such as schools and sanitation.

Sources: Tourism Economics and Longwoods International

The Leisure Story:

  • Of the region’s 39.7 million visitors, 34.9 million (88%) were here for a leisure purpose.
  • Leisure is a major driver of hotel occupancy. Of the 3.1 million hotel room nights occupied in Center City Philadelphia, 30.7% were leisure stays.

o   That’s 948,000 leisure room nights—up 273% since 1997 when VISIT PHILADELPHIA began marketing the region as a leisure destination.

  • Philly’s Saturday hotel occupancy (88.2%) is second only to New York City (90.4%) among major northeast cities, includingBoston, Baltimore and Washington, DC.
  • Weekends aren’t the only time leisure travelers are coming to Philadelphia:

o   34% of all hotel room nights were booked by leisure travelers.

o   20% of all weekday hotel room nights were booked by leisure travelers.

Sources: PKF Consulting and Smith Travel Research

VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s annual report and its eighth annual Hospitality Leaders Luncheon were supported in part by a generous sponsorship from PNC.


VISIT PHILADELPHIA® makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.

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.

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