Visit Philly Touts Tourism’s $10 Billion Economic Impact in Annual Report


May 15, 2014 6:00 am

Skift Take

We’ve written many times about Philadelphia’s industry-leading efforts and overall destination savvy. Even if these numbers seem, well, ambitious, we are going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

— Samantha Shankman

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Visit Philadelphia

To mark National Travel and Tourism Week, Philadelphia’s hospitality industry assembled its ranks on North Broad Street. Visit Philadelphia

Visitors to Philadelphia generated $27.5 million a day in economic impact in 2013, according to Visit Philadelphia’s annual report released this week.

That’s a record $10.04 billion for the year, up from $9.75 billion in 2012. Data is based on research from Tourism Economics.

Visit Philadelphia does not have data breaking down impressive economic impact, but if it follows a similar pattern as 2012 then about half has come from food and beverage (25.4%) and lodging (23.5%). The remainder is divided between shopping (16.1%), local transport (16.1%), entertainment (11.6%) and air transport (7.3%).

The 3 percent annual increase in economic impact outpaced visitor growth for the city. Philadelphia welcomed 39.2 million visitors in 2013, up just 1 percent from 2012.

The newly released figures put Philadelphia’s tourism economy somewhere between its neighbors New York City and Washington, D.C.

Approximately 54 million tourists visited New York in 2013 leading to an economic impact of about $57.4 billion, according to NYC & Company. On the other hand, the nation’s capital welcomed 18.5 million visitors in 2012 (latest figures available).

Leisure and hospitality services is the fifth largest industry in the city making up 8.2 percent of the city’s economy. Larger local industries include education and health services; trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; and government.

Visitor Profile

The majority of Philadelphia’s visitors, or 34.4 million of the total, are leisure travelers and most, 20.9 million, are taking day trips.

Of the 13.4 million leisure overnight visitors, more than half are still from nearby drive markets in middle atlantic region including New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Click here for the full Visit Philly report.

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