PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia's Center City District is applauding the city's decision to impose a new mask mandate to combat the rise in COVID-19 cases.
"We believe this policy will make people feel even more confident that they can come into Center City to dine, shop or enjoy the arts safely. So we don't see it negatively impacting foot traffic and may even help increase it," the district said.
The mandate that went into effect Thursday requires everyone to wear masks inside businesses unless the business requires proof of vaccination.
According to the city's tourism department, Visit Philadelphia, the new mask mandate isn't changing its approach to marketing.
In fact, officials say weekends have been particularly busy for hotels approaching 90% occupancy in Center City.
But the guests are mostly domestic leisure travel.
"We're seeing our leisure travelers come back. We have conventions on the books, we're hoping for a robust convention calendar," said Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association President Ed Grose.
But what he is worried about is business travel.
He says the city's hotels need office work to resume in order to really start generating revenue again.
"Our concern with this mandate is will this prolong the office buildings from opening back up? When the office workers come back, that means business meetings take place and that means business travelers," said Grose.
On Wednesday evening, outside some of the must-see Philadelphia sights, Action News already saw visitors opting for masks. Some agree with the new mandate.
"You're in close proximity and don't have the air circulation. It seems like it would make sense for people to start masking up," said Chris Lewis of Southern California.
Others say they likely won't be back in the city because of it.
"I feel like at this point I am vaccinated. I think it's my personal choice," said Sachit Sabapathy of Connecticut.
The new mandate also requires those attending unseated outdoor gatherings of more than 1,000 people to wear a mask.
If you're headed to the "Made In America" festival in Philadelphia next month, you're going to need to bring more than a mask.
According to Roc Nation, who produces the two-day festival, in addition to wearing masks, all attendees will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or printed proof of full COVID-19 vaccination upon entry.
"The negative COVID-19 test result must be obtained within 48 hours of attending the 'Made In America' festival," said Roc Nation in a statement to Action News.