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Philadelphia hosts record numbers of conventions in 2018

The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) has announced that the city hosted 18 citywide conventions, the most in a decade, in 2018.The 18 conventions brought 1.3m overnight visitors to Philadelphia, PHLCVB said in its Annual Report Business Meeting.

“Philadelphia is now viewed as a top destination for meetings, conventions, sporting events and visitors from across the globe,” Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia, said.

“2018 set new records across most of our industry’s key performance metrics – more visitors came to our city, stayed in our hotels and spent money with local businesses,” said PHLCVB Chairman of the Board Nick DeBenedictis.

“This economic activity drives results for our city and region by generating taxes and supporting the 74,300 hospitality-related jobs in Philadelphia, which has grown by 15% since 2013. Tourism and hospitality is one of the city’s largest and fastest growing employment sectors and the visitors we bring to the city create stability and opportunity for workers across a broad spectrum of jobs,” he added.

The report also announced that Philadelphia’s city centre hotels set modern-day records for annual occupancy (79.6%), average daily rate ($191), and hotel room revenue ($675M). Room revenue soared 9.2% above the previous record set in 2017.

The convention and group segment generated 1.2 million hotel room nights in Philadelphia, leading to $208 million in hotel room revenue, more than any other market segment.

In 2018, PHLCVB-booked events brought 604,000 attendees to Philadelphia, who contributed to a direct spend of $324 million. The meetings, conventions and sporting events that the PHLCVB brought to Philadelphia generated a total estimated economic impact of $500 million.

In 2018, the PHLCVB sales team booked 607 meetings, conventions and sporting events for future years, which are estimated to generate 827,177 hotel room nights.

One of the major victories in 2018 was securing Natural Products Expo East for multiple years, beginning in 2020. The citywide will bring 32,000 attendees to Philadelphia, generating over 25,000 room nights each year.

The United Kingdom remains the top feeder market for Philadelphia, attracting 108,900 visitors in 2017. China remained the number two feeder market, increasing visitors YoY by 2.1 per cent, and South Korea jumped in YoY growth by 18.1 per cent.

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