Philadelphia's comeback hinging on tourism, booming summer season

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The City of Philadelphia says it is ready for a comeback after this year of shutdowns and lost profit.

To make that happen, the City of Brotherly Love is making this moment is all about the tourists.

City leaders and organizations gathered at the Independence Visitors Center at 6th and Market streets to lay out heavy-hitting plans to get travelers back.

They're setting their eyes on summer.

"Our campaign is called 'Pack Light, Plan Big for Philly,'" said Jeff Guaracino, the president & CEO of Visit Philadelphia. "It's about booking hotel rooms, buying tickets to museums and attractions, encouraging people to dine outdoors and indoors and to take tours. It's about reconnecting with family and friends."

They say the signs are good: a record number of people say they're ready to travel, and Center City hotel demand is pacing 33% ahead of what was forecast.

Greater Philadelphia tourism leaders also debuted a series of new ads, knowing the travel market is going to be more competitive than ever.

"Tourism is about so much more than visitation," says Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. "Tourism is about creating jobs for residents, generating tax revenue that can fund critical city services, and enhancing the quality of life in all of our neighborhoods."

Kenney says before COVID, tourists spent $7 billion in our region, generating nearly $1 billion in tax revenue.

While it may take several years to recover, the rebuilding begins now.

They are offering special deals at hotels, restaurants and all of our historical attractions to bring tourists here.
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