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Volume ~
Parter International, Inc.
LDR International, Inc.
Madigan Pratt & Associates
1101 Fi/1.h Avenue
N," y",.i<. NY 11)017
(2.1.21 Hf:l'i'-l 71 'i'
~ (2)21 8708390
July 14, 1995
Dear Reader;
May 1, 1996
:";01 Firth Avenue
N(!w \"ol'k, ;-';'y 1001 i
I;?' L!i H(j'i'" 1717
The research, analysis and writing of the Philadelphia Tourism study was conducted from J\lly
1994 to June 1995. In our report we reflected that: .
"Studying tourism development in Philadelphia during these past few months has been
more like running alongside a train. rather than watching one stopped at a station. It has
been an evolving situation with a constantly changing landscape. The train has kept
moving forward. coming upon new vistas, wllile more and more people pay attention to it
as it gradually picks up steam,"
Since the completion of our study ten months ago the speed of that train has been increasing
exponentially, the Aumber of people involved rising dramatically and the quantity and quality of
new vistas or ideas growing significantly.
As a result of this rapid change certain of the findings have become dated, while some of the
recommendations are already in the process of being implemented, For instance the ASTA
convention has taken place and by all accounts was a huge success, the Commonwealth has
announced a new tourism initiative, co"op advertising for the Cezanne exhibit is underway, new
relationships have been formed and there has been improved coordination among the hospitality
industry stakel1olders. The Pew Charitable Trusts have decided to pursue the two major
recommendations of the report, They have launChed a feasibility study for the Gateway Visitor
Center and contributed to the funding of a tourism marketing organization.
Our assignment from The Pew Charitable Trusts was to examine tourism in Philadelphia and
make recommendations accordingly. The study responded to that task. However, since tourism
is basically regional, a particularly gratifying outgrowth of this exercise is the manner in whiCh the
City and Commonwealth have come together to support new tourism initiatives and promote the
Greater Philadelphia Region.
Our objective from the outset has been to assist in facilitating change, not just add another report
to the files. Therefore. we are pleased that the local public and private leaderShip, realizing that
tourism promotion has been and continues to be among the best economic development tools
available, has embraced with enthusiasm and commitment the goal of establishing Philadelphia
and the surrounding region as a desirable vacation destination. Assuming this energy, dedication
and cooperation continue, the future looks bright.
The opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily ref'lect the
views of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Parter International, Inc
LOR International, Inc.
Madigan Prall & Associates
.......... __ . __ ...... " ........ _--_._-_._- -",'.,-._,---------._--_ ..... " ... _--. __ ......... ,',,,"",,, ................... _. __ .. , ..... , ..................... --........ "" .. ".
H Cork Strod Milyfhil' l.,,(HHlon W1X lPD, Eng'land
.......... )
I INTRODUCTION. . . . . . ..... ,
BACKGROUND . . . . . , .. , .
TOURISM'S IMPORTANCE ..... ' , ..... ,. I
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF TOURISM. , . , . . . . . . . . 3
1TIE TIME IS RIGI-IT , . , ....... , . , . . . . , , . , .. ' , 7
DESTINATION PHILADELPHIA, ... , .... , . , ' . , . , . . 8
Pll1LADELPHIA FIRST ..... , . . . . , .... , . . . . . . 9
ASSIGNMENT .. , , .. , . . . . . . . . , ... , , .. , .. , . , ... 10
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES. . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . , , 11
TOURISM DEFINED .... , ' .... , ........ , , , ' ...... , , .... 12
Extended Stay Vacationers .. , ....... , ...... , .......... 13
Conventioneers . . . . . . . . . ' . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . , , . . . . 14
Day Trippers . . . . . . . . , . . . , , . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . , . . 14
Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFRs) ..... , , ........ , , , , ... 15
Business Tnlvelers . . ,. ......'.......,',......... 15
II METHODOLOGY ... , .... " ., ...... ". . ..... , , . 16
INTERVIEWS .. , ..... " , ... "..... , .... , ... 16
COLLECTION OF DATA AND MATERIALS . . . . . , . . . , , . . . . 18
ON SfI'E VISITS. , . . . . . . . . ... , ......... , , ......... 18
THE TEAM.. . .. ...... , .. . ...... " .. 18
THE PROCESS ...... , , ..................... , ... 19
In WORLD TOURISM TRENDS. . .... , , ... , ...... , ....... 20
CHANGING COMPETITIVE FRAMEWORK . . , , . . . . , . . . , , ' . . , . . . 23
CHANGING TRAVELER CHARACTERISTICS. , . , ' . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . 24
WORD OF MOUTH . . . . , . . , , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . , . . . 24
DEMAND FOR IRA VEL INFORMATION. . . . , , ' . , . . . . . . . . . , _ , .. 25
THE PRODUCT COUNTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , ' . . ' . , . . . . . . . 26
CONCLUSIONS .. . .............................. ,., 27
IV DATA & RESEARCH ., ................ , ........... ,., .29
OVERVIEW OF TOlJRISM INFORMA TrON. . . . . , . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . 29
Tl-IE DATA CONCLUSIONS ... , ....... , ... 31
DATA GAPS AND NEEDS ............... , ....... , ....... 34
PRODUCT T.HREATS . . . . . .43
Product SWOT' Analysis lIlustration .44
Transportation, Gateways, Access & Parking Map, . 46
VISITOR DISTRICTS . , , , , , . . . . . . . .47
Visitor Districts Map . . . . . , , , , , , , . 48
Visitor Attractions and Linkages Map . . . . 50
Visitor Domain and Visitor Center Map . . . , 52
Independence National Historical Park Visitor Center. . 53
Philadelphia Visitor Center. . . . . 54
A New Visitor Center at the INHP . 55
The National Constitution Center, . 57
The Visitor Center Experience . . . 57
Charleston, South Carolina . . , , . 57
Kennedy Space Center, Spaceport USA . 59
LESSONS LEARNED , . , , , . . . , . . . 60
Visitor Center Elements. . 62
Linkages Model, , , , , 64
Corning Illustration , . . 65
Columbus lIlustration . , 66
Preliminary Costing, , . 67
Visitor Center Issues , . 67
Conclusions, , . , . . . . . . . , . . . . , . . 68
Recommendations. , , , . . , . . . . . . . . . 69
Organize and prioritize investment in visitor product enhancement and
development in Philadelphia's primary "Visitor Domain". . . . . . . 69
II Plan and build "Philadelphia's Independence National Hist\)rical Park
Visitor Center". . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . , , . . . 70
III Impmve and enhance the linkages between attractions and districts. . 70
iv Improve public infrastructure to support expanded tourism indushy, . 71
Visitor Opportunities Map . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
BACKGROUND . , ... , ...... , ..... , , ........ .
M(lrketing SWOT' Amllysis Illustration.
Philadelphia Vacation Image Chmi " Metropol .
SUMMARY ....... , ..... , ....... , , .. .
Image Advertising . . . . . .
Cooperative Advertising , , .
Positioning Defined
Frame of Reference .....
'farget Market. . . . , , , .
Point of Difference/Benefit.
Positioning Summary.
Positioning Rationale . . . .
RESEARCH. ........ , , .
ORGANIZATION, , ........ , ..... .
INTRODUCTION ...... , ....... , , , .
Government. . . . . , . . .
An Existing Organization, ,
Create a New Organization .
1. Leadership. . . . . . .
II. Continuity & Stability.
Ill. Marketing..
IV. Coordination
v. Funding . . ,
I. Working title .
ii. Legal Structure
Ill. Mission....
iv. Staffing . . . .
v. Responsibilities.
VJ. Budget. ...... .
Vll. Relationship to Other Organizations
Vlll. Funding........
Private Sector.
Vacation Travel to Philadelphia Survey - Travel Trade
Vacation Travel to Philadelphia Survey - Vacationers
Data & Research
Philadelphia Tourism Data
Philadelphia Tourism Promotions & Creative
Target Markets
Research On The Image Of Philadelphia
Philadelphia Tourism is the result of an assignment from the PEW Charitable Trusts to
assess and evaluate Philadelphia's tourism activities, resources and potential and
develop a strategic plan to establish Philadelphia as a desirable vacation destination
In order to develop a strategic plan the answers to three primary questions were
What improvements, enhancements and additions need to be
made with respect to Philadelphia's attractions and tourism
infrastructure to make it a competitive and successful tourism
What activities need to be undertaken and what resources need to
be committed to develop a competitive and successful marketing
Organization What organizational structure could most effectively and efficiently
accomplish the objective of making Philadelphia a destination city?
The assessment and analysis conducted to answer the three questions included over
100 interviews of local leaders, review of tourism related materials and data for
Philadelphia and other cities, visits to attractions, interviews with more than 50
practioners from competitive destinations and a qualitative survey of recent visitors to
Philadelphia and travel agents in the Mid Atlantic region.
For almost a decade Philadelphia has concentrated on marketing to the convention
business and, as a result, marketing geared to attracting extended stay vacationers has
been a secondary concern.
Philadelphia's tourism is static in a country and world where tourism is the fastest
growing industry. Philadelphia's record of attracting tourists is weak and there is
considerable room for improvement.
a relatively small portion of its visitors are tourists (12.5%)
its proportion of visitor related employment ranked last among 12 major metropolitan
areas and its visitor related employment growth rate ranked 11 th
the length of stay by a significant proportion of tourists is only a few hours
visitation at the Liberty Bell, the number one tourist attraction in Philadelphia, has
been relatively static over the last five years
the number of visitors staying in hotels falls far behind other major destination cities
visitors generate a relatively small proportion of Philadelphia's retail sales
the image of Philadelphia as a tourist destination is weak among both potential
vacationers and the travel trade
meeting planners rank Philadelphia 32nd out of 50 cities as a potential vacation
A recent confluence of interest and events taking place in Philadelphia has created an
environment in which great strides toward increasing tourist arrivals and expenditures
can be accomplished if the key players come together and resources are properly
allocated. The most important factors that have created this environment are:
1. Mayor Rendell's commitment to tourism and his leadership in marshaling the
forces toward this end.
2. The opportunity to reach a critical tourism audience when the American Society
of Travel Agents (ASTA) holds its annual conference in Philadelphia in
November 1995.
3. The National Park Service is conducting a General Management Plan, the first in
more than 20 years, for the Independence National Historical Park which will
affect the city's most important tourist attraction for many years to come.
4. A number of different local groups have become involved in activities that have
the potential to substantially improve the tourism product.
The trends in travel and tourism will impact on Philadelphia's efforts to become a
destination city. Among the trends Philadelphia should focus upon are;
the growing importance of cultural and heritage tourism
the changing competitive framework with the ability to pursue niche markets such as
multi-cultural tourism
changing traveler characteristics with the growing importance of senior citizens,
family oriented vacation alternatives and a host of increasingly important niche
the demand for travel information and the new technology that Can distribute that
attraction related issues such as product maturity, product access, price/value
perception and new products
Although there is a significant amount of information about Philadelphia tourism from
several studies, the data is largely derived from limited surveys which are, anecdotal
and sometimes conflicting. None of the research focusses on identifying and
understanding the travel motives of the most profitable tourist, those that vacation for
several days and stay in hotels. In order for Philadelphia to make informed decisions
with respect to product improvement and marketing, research gathering and tracking
will need to be significantly improved.
From the current studies a number of insights can be gleaned:
Most hotel visitors to Philadelphia are business and/or convention travelers, yet the
overwhelming majority of visitors at the attractions are "pleasure" visitors.
Conclusion; there are many pleasure visitors coming but a significant portion are
1'1{J/_,WE'Ll'lllA l'OURISM REPORT:
not staying overnight.
Most visitors to the Liberty Bell are coming for the first time (about 75%). Two-
thirds of the Flower show attendees and 72% of the Museum visitors are repeat.
Conclusion; Steps to keep attractions fresh and interesting help attract repeat
Business travelers are supportive of attractions. Conclusion; business visitors
should be included in tourism development.
Two surveys indicated that only one third of visitors came to Philadelphia attractions
as a result of a personal recommendation. Conclusion; Either people are not having
a positive enough experience to recommend it to others and/or Philadelphians are
not speaking positively about their city. As a result Philadelphia is missing out on
one of the most important tourism marketing tools, word-of-mouth.
Philadelphia has access to an extensive source market but it is not capturing its
potential market. Conclusion; the lack of tourism business is related to a failure to
promote the richness of the vacation experience in the city.
There are a number of important data gaps and needs including; tourist demographics,
tourist opinions, group tours, regional tourism, trend data and market segments.
A chart containing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats relating to
the tourism product appears on page 44.
The focal point of tourism in Philadelphia is to be found at the Liberty Bell and many
tourism attractions are found within a ten minute walk of the Liberty Bell, the area we
refer to as the primary Visitor Domain.
Philadelphia has a wide array of quality attractions and experiences that are essential
for successful tourism in an urban setting but it suffers from a lack of critical mass of
tourism product.
The Center City's safe and clean program, the new convention center, the new and
improved hotel accommodations and linkages such as the Philly Phlash are among the
improvements that are beneficial to tourism attraction.
Further product and infrastructure enhancement and development is necessary to
improve Philadelphia as a destination city. Among the weaknesses are: a dearth of
convenient, inexpensive visitor parking; a scarcity of pedestrian and vehicular signage
systems and under utilization of riverfront resources.
1. Concentrate product investment, enhancement and development in Philadelphia's
"Visitor Domain". This should be the focus of attention for tourism product
development and management for at least the next five years, The greatest return
on investment will result from building on Philadelphia's strength, a strategy
successfully used by other cities such as Baltimore and San Antonio.
2. Plan and build "Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park Visitor Center"
a state-of-the-art, user friendly facility designed to provide a welcoming, informative
and pleasing experience that will influence the visitor to:
- participate in all aspects of the INHP
- visit the Old City Historic District
- visit other Philadelphia districts and attractions
- visit regional communities and attractions
- stay longer in Philadelphia
- leave as satisfied visitors and goodwill
ambassadors for the INHP, the city and the region
3. Improve tourism infrastructure such as enhancing the quality of the "Visitor
Gateways", providing directional signage to attractions and parking areas, improving
visitor parking and enhancing pedestrian routes from parking to attractions and the
linkages between attractions.
4. Improve the linkages between attractions and districts.
Philadelphia faces serious awareness, identity and image issues. Philadelphia as a
desirable place to visit has a more negative image than local tourism stakeholders
l'lJlI..ADEI.I'IJIA l'OUII/.\'''' I1m'OIl],:
Lack of any sustained or focused image marketing over the past decade has lead to a
lack of awareness among the travel agent community and a lack of awareness and
demand on the part of travelers.
Tourism as an economic engine for communities is becoming an increasingly
competitive business. Philadelphia has failed to be competitive" decreasing its
advertising spending while promotion for most other cities is increasing.
Philadelphia contains more early American History than any other city, yet, this fact has
not been recognized by many Americans. As a result of strong promotion by other
cities, Philadelphia's historic product is seen as "at parity" with Boston and Washington.
Further, as a result of strong competitive promotion, the other cities are seen as offering
a richer vacation experience with many more things to do outside of the heritage
Despite the fact that Philadelphia does have a good product, the perceptions ". and
therefore the reality -- among potential travelers is that the product is weak. There is
particular concern about personal safety and cleanliness, two of the key criteria for
selecting a destination.
There is little awareness of the fact that Philadelphia possesses modern, interesting
and exciting urban vacation experiences such as world class dining.
There is limited research available upon which to base tourism marketing decisions.
There has been limited packaging of Philadelphia making it difficult for travel agents
and consumers to buy the product.
Advertising Spending
Tourism advertising spending for major cities has increased by nearly 30% over
Television is becoming an increasingly important medium for promoting city
destinations "" accounting for nearly 50% of total spending. Magazines, although
still playing a major role in destination advertising, are becoming a less dominant
Although Philadelphia is one of the largest cities in the country, it has been virtually
invisible in the advertising marketplace. In 1994, its measured media spending
ranked 21 st out of 28 major cities monitored. When compared against the
advertising spending of 16 smaller cities, Philadelphia would have ranked last in
Trends in advertising spending in Philadelphia are running counter to the majority of
other cities.
Comparable Promotional Efforts
An analysis of competitive case histories highlight the following lesson which can be
applied to marketing Philadelphia:
Strong leadership is required in order to have a successful tourism product
Developing/possessing unique product offerings are important
Consistent/heavy marketing support is critical
A perception of crime can seriously impact tourism
Heavy marketing support can help overcome problems with crime
History can be both fun and educational
Creating a favorable image of a city among its own residents can have a positive
effect on the city's tourism business.
Since the city has not mounted a sustained and serious marketing effort to attract
overnight vacationers, it 11as not achieved the status of a destination city in the minds of
travelers and the travel trade and has not gained the significant tax revenues and
employment opportunities available.
Philadelphia should, in order to improve its tourism, undertake the following marketing
1. Advertising -- Immediately begin to promote Philadelphia tourism through
an aggressive marketing communications campaign. Allocate a minimum of
$3,000,000 annually toward this effort; $2,000,000 for image advertising and
an additional $1,000,000 for cooperative marketing/promotional efforts.
2. Positioning -- Promote the City as the overnight vacation destination
representing the quintessential All-American City experience - past and
3. Research -- Develop an extensive marketing research program to monitor the
success of the communications effort and to aid in fine-tuning future efforts.
Allocate $175,000 annually for research.
There are a number of characteristics which are present in successful tourism
These include:
"Philadelphia Tourism" is the result of an assignment from The Pew Charitable Trusts
to assess and evaluate Philadelphia's tourism activities, resources and potential and to
develop a strategic plan to establish Philadelphia as a desirable vacation destination
Developing Philadelphia as a destination city for tourism is not a new idea,
Philadelphians, both in the public and private sector, have been talking about it for
years, While considerable time, effort and resources have been devoted during the last
ten years to building the Pennsylvania Convention Center and attracting conventions
and conventioneers to the City, efforts to attract vacationers during that same time
received little attention, Only recently has the focus and activity shifted to vacationers,
In the course of our work we have assessed and analyzed the situation in Philadelphia,
reviewed the activities of competitive cities and generated recommendations to help
accomplish the goal of making Philadelphia a destination city, This report contains our
findings and suggestions, Our ultimate objective, however, is not just adding another
report to the files, Our goal is to assist in facilitating change and to expedite the action
necessary to start Philadelphia on the road to becoming the destination city it should
The report consists of two volumes, Volume I. contains the Assessment, Analysis
and Recommendations, Volume II. entitied, "Comparables", contains research on
competitive destinations,
The interest in improving tourism to Philadelphia is understandable, Tourism has been
and continues to be an excellent economic development tool for government entities,
Examples abound of municipalities whose economies and general well being have
improved dramatically because of increased tourism, As expressed by Greg Farmer,
the Under Secretary for Commerce for Travel and Tourism, "the travel and tourism
industry is one of the unsung heroes of the American economy,"
----"----------------------------- ,--
I'ElII.4DELl'll1A 1'01II<,1,\'M REl'ORT:
With respect to job creation, the travel industry is the nations second largest employer
providing jobs directly and indirectly for more than 11 million Americans. Contrary to
popular belief tourism does not only generate "low paying, dead end jobs." Top paying
executive employment in the industry is expected to reach over 885,000 within the
Tourism is also the nation's single largest service export, generating a $22.2 billion
trade surplus. Currently direct and indirect tourism expenditures generate 13.9% of our
country's gross national product.
Travel and tourism combined represent the world's largest industry. Together they
contribute more to overall worldwide employment and gross domestic product than any
other industry.
For the past ten years, travel throughout the world has increased at the rate of 9.6% per
year. The industry's value to government entities is easily understood when one
realizes that in 1992 it generated over $51 billion in U.S. federal, state and local tax
The White House, in its special conference on tourism scheduled for October 1995, will
focus its attention on this important industry and concentrate on the key issues that will
impact the future of the industry such as; Product Development, Technology, Research,
Promotion, Infrastructure Development, Educationffraining and Safety and Security.
With many other industries shrinking in size and contributing less to local revenue
coffers, it is little wonder that, with the need by municipalities to increase revenues,
tourism has risen to the top of the agenda for countries, states, cities, counties, regions,
in the United States and throughout the world.
Today tourism is seen by many destinations as an excellent source of economic
development - contributing direct tax revenues as well as providing a source of local
employment. The degree to which tourism contributes to local economies varies
Among the many factors fueling this lucrative industry is the aging of our population in
which increased numbers of retirees and baby boomers reaching the peak of their
earning potential do a great deal of traveling. Municipalities and metropolitan regions
are among the greatest beneficiaries of this increasing travel trend as shown by many
tourism studies such as Destination New York-New Jersey: Tourism and Travel to the
Metropolitan Region, researched and written by the Port Authority of New York & New
The importance of tourism to Philadelphia has been discussed in recent years in a
number of reports, The studies for the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Destination
Philadelphia prepared by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, the economic
development section of the City of Philadelphia Five Year Financial Plan, a Research
Report on Cultural Tourism prepared for the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Peirce
Report all agreed that improved tourism would have a significant positive economic
impact on Philadelphia and concluded that more needed to be done if Philadelphia was
to compete effectively as a destination city,
The above mentioned reports and many of the interviews we conducted made it clear to
us that there was already an understanding of the valuable economic impact increased
tourism would have on Philadelphia and the surrounding region, Destination
Philadelpllia highlighted some of the economic benefits of tourism recorded in the early
1990's such as; $667 million spent per year in Philadelphia by all classes of visitors,
travel related employment accounted for 7% of total jobs in the city and businesses in
the hospitality sector provided over $30 million in tax revenues,
Despite the fact that little has been done to promote tourism, the extended stay
vacationer is already an important source of economic contribution to the City of
Philadelphia. A September 1990 study on Hotel Guests In Philadelphia by Coughlin,
Keene, and Associates reported that general tourism/personal and weekend package
hotel guests represent more than 28% of all hotel guests, and approximately the same
percentage of total hotel revenue.
Aggregate Initial Expenditures
by Hotel Guests ~ Philadelphia 1989
<,000.000) I
G 1137.8
1 1 2 8 . 8 ~
o TOTAL $371 .8
Source: Coughlin & Keene, 1990
- - - - ~
The total economic impact (including the multiplier effect) of pleasure travelers staying
In local hotels on the Philadelphia economy in 1989 was $161 .6M or 27% of the total
contribution of all hotel stayers of $579.6M. It was estimated that vacationers
accounted for 3,675 City jobs.
As this report will point out, there appears to be substantial room for improvement on
the part of the City when it comes to increasing the volume and length of stay of
vacationers and therefore the economic contribution of vacation travelers.
The Coughlin, Keene, and Associates report stated that, the average length of stay for
vacationers is close to that of individuals going to Philadelphia for business purposes
(1 .8 vs. 2.0 days). During the interview/assessment stage of this study, the consultants
frequently heard members of the community mention that the average length of stay by
tourists, "is only 3 hours." This has become the conventional wisdom or almost
Philadelphia folklore.
Given the definitions which follow, however, it is not true that the average length of stay
for {QYrists is 3 hours. What is true, is that the average stay of the day-triQQer - those
individuals coming primarily to visit Independence National Historical Park" is only 3
hours. The average yacationer stay, although nat long enough for a city with the range
and diversity of attractions that Philadelphia has, is 43 hours (1.8 days). This is
significantly longer than the 3 hours generally believed and provides vacationers an
opportunity to shop and dine as well as stay overnight in a hotel. It is important to use
the proper definitions.
Vacation travelers - those who stayed in a hotel, were as expected, "much more likely
to visit one or more of the major attractions than were business guests," according to
the Coughlin, Keene, and Associates report. Consequently, vacationers provide an
important source of revenue to local events and attractions within the City - something
conventioneers and business travelers also do, but not with the same intensity.
Increasing vacation travel to Philadelphia will have a definite positive impact on both
attraction and event attendanCe.
Considering how little had been done to promote Philadelphia tourism for more than a
decade, those people we interviewed believed that the economic impact numbers
referenced in the Destination Philadelphia and Coughlin, Keene & Associates reports
could and would be significantly increased if more attention and resources were
devoted to tourism. One prominent private sector CEO stated that,
"Tourism provides the clearest opportunity for Philadelphia to gain a solid
economic footing. Hospitality has the potential to be the life blood of
Philadelphia in the next five years."
Our interviews disclosed that there was both an understanding of the significant
economic impact of tourism and a commitment to devoting more energy and resources
to improve tourism. As a result we concentrated on assessing and analyzing the
situation in Philadelphia and making recommendations to develop Philadelphia into a
destination city, rather than further justifying the value of tourism as an economic
development tool for Philadelphia.
It is critical, however, to remember that tourism promotion is indeed economic
development and that the entire effort needs to be considered from that point of view.
Philadelphia, the 5th largest city in the US, the 2nd largest city on the east coast, the
largest city in Pennsylvania and a city steeped in American history does not rank well
when it comes to tourism. As referenced in Destination Philadelphia, the Metropoll
studies compiled by Economics Research Associates and other reports, Philadelphia's
tourism record leaves much to be desired.
A relatively small portion of its visitors are tourists (12.5%)
Its proportion of visitor related employment ranked last among 12 major
metropolitan areas and its viSitor related employment growth rate ranked 11th
The length of stay by a significant proportion of tourists (day-trippers) is only a
few hours
Visitation at the Liberty Bell, the number one tourist attraction in Philadelphia,
has been relatively static over the last five years
The number of visitors staying in hotels falls far behind other major destination
Visitors generate a relatively small proportion of Philadelphia's retail sales,
especially eating and drinking sales
The image of Philadelphia as a tourist destination is weak
In a survey of professionals in the convention planning and tourism industry
Philadelphia was ranked 32nd out of 50 as a vacation destination
Clearly there is considerable room for improvement. The seminal question is, with the
limited resources available, what activities will provide the greatest return on
In a city the size of Philadelphia there are innumerable suggestions that can be made.
It is our intent, however, to limit our recommendations to a few that will make a
substantial difference and have a good chance of being implemented quickly.
The time is right in Philadelphia for all parties to work together to help make
Philadelphia a destination city. Together with the understanding of the tremendous
economic value of increased tourism, there has been a recent confluence of interest
and events which can shape the future of tourism in Philadelphia.
Studying tourism development in Philadelphia during these past few months has been
more like running alongside a train, rather than watching one stopped at a station. It
has been an evolving situation with a constantly changing landscape. The train has
kept moving forward, coming upon new vistas, while more and more people pay
attention to it as it gradually picks up steam.
The confluence of interest and events that is taking place in Philadelphia has created
an environment in which a great deal can be accomplished if the key players come
together and resources are properly allocated. The most important factors that have
created this environment are:
1 . Mayor Rendell's commitment to tourism development and his leadership
in marshaling the forces toward this end, Examples of this are his
creation of the Hospitality Cabinet designed to identify and address issues
that will make the city more accessible to tourists, and his active support
for the Philly Phlash, Historic Philadelphia, the Amtrak program and
various events that would help attract tourists.
2. In November 1995 the American Society of Travel Agents will hold its
annual conference in Philadelphia, This conference will provide an
excellent opportunity to showcase the City to thousands of travel agents.
The City's success in making the experience a positive one for the ASTA
attendees could result in millions of dollars of vacationer spending in
Philadelphia in the coming years.
3. The National Park Service is in the process of conducting a General
Management Plan (GMP), the first in more than 20 years, for the
Independence National Historical Park (INHP). That plan will affect for
many years to come one of the most important tourism attractions in
4. A number of different groups have become involved in activities that have
potential to substantially improve tourism in Philadelphia. Among the
ideas currently being worked on are; the Constitution Center, the Festival
of the Arts, the Avenue of the Arts, and the Laser Light Show.
With this recent high degree of interest, commitment and energy relating to tourism,
after more than a decade of inattention, it is essential to "seize the day" and take the
steps necessary to develop Philadelphia into a destination city.
The Philadelphia City Planning Commission's 1993 report, Destination Philadelphia,
was a comprehensive study relating primarily to the physical manifestations of tourism.
It was a report which compiled and conducted substantial research and is to some
extent an inventory of attractions, issues and relevant statistics. It is a valuable
document for understanding the Philadelphia tourism landscape.
The report made a considerable number of recommendations with respect to improving
the tourism product and infrastructure and a few recommendations with respect to
"getting out the message". Taken together the various recommendations constituted
the Planning Commission's idea of the mission of city government, "to articulate a vision
of the future and act as a catalyst and coordinator for public/private sector
implementation. "
In describing "Where Do We Want To Go?" the report set forth seven fundamental
strategies. While we believe that the lack of prioritization of its myriad
recommendations was a shortcoming of Destination Philadelphia, we do agree with the
fundamental strategies listed in the study.
They were, in the order set forth by the Planning Commission:
Additional visitor attractions must be developed
Philadelphia's urban environment must be restored and revitalized
Visitor attractions must be developed as clearly identifiable pedestrian
oriented tourist districts
Philadelphia'S special events need to be made more appealing to a
national and international audience
Hospitality services must be improved
New independent organizations must be created to bring together the
public and private sector
Marketing Philadelphia must include a regional approach
These basic principles provide a direction to follow. The recommendations which we
Ilave made are based in part on information contained in Destination Philadelphia, on
additional information collected for this study and on the collective tourism experience
of our team. Our recommendations focus more specifically on those goals incorporated
in the seven principles which we believe to be the most important and immediate.
What we hope to avoid is casting off in too many different directions. We understand,
as was made clear in Destination Philadelphia, that there are innumerable projects and
activities which can be pursued to improve Philadelphia tourism. Our goal, however, is
to prioritize a few key recommendations rather than delineate a panoply of suggestions.
Our hope is that the principle players such as the City, State, The National Park Service
(NPS) and committed private sector participants focus on a few strategic projects and
activities we recommend, while other interested parties choose to work on those areas
in which they have special interest.
Although this is a report focussed on how to attract tourists, it is important to remember
that all steps taken to achieve the objective of becoming a destination city must take
into account Philadelphians as well as tourists. This is true both with product
improvements and marketing the city.
A successful strategy will not only have a positive impact on jobs but it must also
improve the quality of life in Philadelphia. The improvement of "visitor domains", which
we will be discussing, should not only be seen as targeted at tourists. Indeed,
suggested improvements in the quality of the environment and services should be
directed at Philadelphians first and visitors second. As Baltimore found out in its
development of the Inner Harbor, which was originally built with locals in mind rather
than tourists, if the public environment is right for residents it will make it a great place
for visitors.
l'lTll.ADI!Ll'llIA 7'OVJllSM JlEl'()Jll':
From a marketing point of view it is also important tilat Pililadelphians have pride in
what is accomplished to improve the city as a tourist destination, If locals are not
positive about their city why should others be interested in visiting it. The often
referenced, "Philadelphia Phenomenon", in which even Philadelphians who love their
city and would never think of leaving it find it difficult to talk positively about it, needs to
be overcome, Even the recent Peirce Report notes that Philadelphians will "likely
bombard you with 'downers',,,ln short, they'll portray a region convinced that at best its
second rate", Since word of mouth is such an important component of tourism
marketing, any advertising campaign needs to reach locals as well as target audiences
to help create the positive attitude which is sorely needed.
To accomplish the ultimate goal of Philadelphia becoming a first rate tourist destination
will take significant time and money, The competition is fierce and growing and other
destination cities are devoting considerable resources to both product enhancement
and marketing campaigns,
On the positive side, the base from which Philadelphia starts is strong and positive
results should appear in a relatively short time after improvements and activities are
The objective is to get tourists to come to Philadelphia, spend the night, return and
spread the word to friends and relatives that it provides a quality vacation experience,
In order to accomplish this we set as our goal:
to conduct a comprehensive assessment and analysis of Philadelphia's
attractions and efforts to promote tourism
to provide prioritized recommendations suggesting particular and
achievable activities
to provide a few select ideas around which those involved in Philadelphia
tourism promotion and development can rally
In the course of our work, it soon became apparent that in order to develop a plan for
Philadelphia, three questions had to be answered:
Product ~ - Wl,at improvements, enhancements and additions need to be made
with respect to Philadelphia's attractions and tourism infrastructure to make it a
competitive and successful tourist destination?
Marketing -- What activities need to be undertaken and what resources need to
be committed to develop a competitive and successful marketing program?
Organization -- What organizational structure can most effectively and efficiently
accomplish the objective of making Philadelphia a destination city?
While the overall goal is derived from the assignment's directive to improve tourism in
Philadelphia, the more focussed goals were delineated after Our assessment and
Overall Goal:
To establish Philadelphia as a desirable overnight vacation destination city which
will attract discretionary travellers who will stay in hotels, visit attractions and
patronize restaurants, retail stores and other Philadelphia businesses,
In order to accomplish this goal, more focused goals need to be set and attained with
respect to organization, marketing and product.
Organization _. Establish an organization with the authority, continuity, funding and
focus on tourism to help coordinate the tourism stakeholders and effectively market
Philadelphia as a tourism destination,
Marketing -- Develop and implement a tourism marketing program for Philadelphia
which is supported by sufficient research, employs a unified theme or message, is
directed to target markets and aggressively and consistently promotes the city.
Product _. Enhance and improve the product and infrastructure and assist
Philadelphia tourists in making their visit to the city and region as complete and
"llJJAIJELl'lifA l'OURlSM RU'lJlm
enjoyable as possible,
It is essential to the reader of this report that we describe what is meant by attracting
"tourists" to Philadelphia,
In Philadelphia, which is not all that dissimilar to many other urban destinations, there
are a multitude of descriptive words which are oftentimes used interchangeably when
discussing tourism and the individual traveler,
These include, but are not limited to:
business traveler day tripper
conventioneer tourist
visitor vacationer
A lack of widely accepted definitions can and often does lead to considerable confusion
when discussing tourism in the city, conducting research or tracking visitors,
Traditionally, the following hierarchy has been used to better differentiate between the
different individuals and fosters clearer communication,
. Visitor - all non-residents coming to a destination
[Business traveler
",Extended Stay Vacationer
"'Day Tripper
[Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR)
Tlus report, has beefl commissioned specificallv to address Ihe
1.11,2'(:1 a J1@ater num!)er of'yptended stay vacationers ::.can be attracted
to PhiladelplliSA. By "extended stay vacationer, "we are referring 10
leisure travelers who come to the city and spend at least one night in a
local hotel or motel.
Extended Stay Vacationers
Individuals who come to Philadelphia primarily for leisure and
stay in a local accommodation, and
Individuals who come to the City for business purposes and
extend t!Jeir stay by at least one night in order to attend a local
event or attraction.
This report concentrates on the extended stay vacationer market for two very important
reasons, including:
These vacationers can make a Significant economic contribution to the city, have
not been adequately addressed in the past and have been identified as
representing a major opportunity for increased economic impact.
The other segments of the market are either being addressed effectively at
the moment, can only be slightly affected by increased marketing and
product improvement, and/or do not represent a market which would
provide a sufficient return on investment.
Conventioneers, Day Trippers, VFRs and Business Travellers will be positively
impacted by increased marketing and product development by the City to extended stay
yaQ.1!lioners but are not being considered as primary targets for the tourism campaign
for one or more of a number of reasons:
1. Effective marketing is already underway
2. Their economic impact is not as great
3. The appropriate messages to these groups are different from those to
extended stay vacationers
A discussion of each of these markets and reasons why they are not primary targets
The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Convention Center have
exhibited an excellent capacity for effectively marketing to the conventioneer market.
This market provides a significant contribution to the economy of the City through
extended stays in local accommodations and through their patronage of local
restaurants, shopping and bars.
While efforts have been made to attract conventioneers, to date there has not been a
concerted effort to market the city as a vacation destination to visiting conventioneers
through pre-convention communications and at the conventions themselves. There is a
need to more vigorously advise conventioneers of the City's various attractions and the
benefits of coming early, staying late or bringing the family. It is important to overall
tourist attraction that promotions designed to extend the stay of conventioneers be
addressed effectively through direct marketing efforts by the CVB.
Day Trippers
Although day trippers do provide a contribution to the local economy, their per person
spending is significantly below that of conventioneers and extended stay vacationers.
A comprehensive study by the New York and New Jersey Port Authority in 1994
showed that day-trippers to the New York Metropolitan region accounted for nearly 45%
of the region's visitors, however they provided less than 10% of the economic
Day trippers to destinations are similar to cruise visitors to many islands in the
Caribbean. Their short stay limits their potential economic contribution, but they can be
an important source of revenue to a select group of establishments.
Furthermore, if they like the destination they are a prime target for a repeat visit which
may be as an extended stay vacationer. Like cruise passengers, the number of day
trippers needs to be managed in context with total tourism to a destination in order to
maximize total economic impact.
It is felt by many of those interviewed that the city is hosting too many day-trippers
which provides limited economic contribution. Bus tours to INHP are the main reason
why Philadelphia has a greater proportion of day trippers than other destinations. The
preponderance of day trippers contributes to the perception of Philadelphia being a very
short stay destination. This perception is held by residents, non-residents and to a
great extent the travel trade.
Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFRs)
VFRs have historically been shown to contribute less to the local economy of
destinations than hotel visitors even though both visitors generally stay for several days.
Increased tourism efforts by the city cannot be expected to induce significantly higher
levels of VFR activity, at least during the initial phases of the program because their
reason for coming to Philadelphia is pre-determined. As the program increases
awareness among local residents of the variety of visitor attractions, it is likely that
increased spending by VFRs would result and possibly even increased visitation as
VFR's find that there are additional reasons to visit their friends and relatives in
Business Travelers
Business travelers come to Philadelphia for a specific reason, and like VFRs, the
primary reason for coming is for something other than tourism. The tourism efforts
would therefore be less likely to encourage their visits. Effective marketing and product
improvement could, however, result in conveying an image and atmosphere that would
help induce business people to extend their stay.
In all, there are many potential target markets for the City's tourism efforts. It will be
impQ.dant for those respoO.$.ible for marketing to stay focused communicating
Philadelphia's benefits to extended stay vacationers. These individuals can provide the
greatest immediate economic contribution to the economy, as well as the greatest
return on investment.
I'HfMDh'll'llJA mUlllSM Rt'I'ORT:
The three components of this assignment were the gathering and analyzing of
information, overall policy and strategy development and the preparing of specific
The assessment stage, which laid the foundation for the strategy development and
recommendations consisted of three different types of activities; interviews, secondary
data collection and analysis and on-site visits and reviews of products and resources.
A key ingredient in the preparation of this report was the conducting of numerous
indepth personal interviews and meetings with individuals who had first hand knowledge
of tourism related matters in Philadelphia and competing destinations.
The people interviewed consisted of two different groups; (a) individuals who had some
knowledge of and involvement with tourism in Philadelphia and (b) tourism practioners
from competitive destinations.
More than 100 meetings or interview sessions were conducted with over 75 individuals
in group (a). The group consisted of govemment officials, private sector business
leaders, and representatives of the hospitality industry and tourist attractions. Many of
the key players were interviewed on a number of different occasions or contacted by
phone for follow-up questions.
The individuals who were interviewed were chosen because we had identified them as
people who were knowledgeable about; the tourism product, past tourism marketing
and promotion efforts, funding for tourism, or the organizations which are involved in
tourism in Philadelphia. In addition to pure fact finding we focussed on individuals who
had opinions about past performance and ideas for the future. The interviewees
ranged from the Mayor and Govemor to cab and horse cart drivers.
In order to obtain frank and forthright information, we advised the Philadelphians we
interviewed that PEW and our team would keep information and opinions provided to us
confidential. A list of the individuals interviewed and the dates of the interviews is set
forth in Appendix A.
Our team appreciates the involvement and considerable time devoted to these
meetings by such a large number of Philadelphia's public and private tourism
stakeholders. The findings, conclusions and recommendations of this report, while
entirely the responsibility of our team, are in large part based on ideas and opinions
gleaned from these meetings.
In addition to the individuals listed in Appendix A, each of our team members conducted
a number of impromptu "man-on-the-street" interviews to obtain a flavor of how
Philadelphians view tourism in their city. As one would imagine the responses covered
the spectrum, from a proud resident who said "There are so many wonderful places for
tourists to visit" to the cab driver who when asked what percentage of his fares were
tourists answered, "Ain't no tourists in Philadelphia since the bicentennial."
In addition to the individual interviews our team members participated in a number of
tourism related meetings. We were fortunate to begin our study with a meeting of the
Mayor's Hospitality Cabinet where we met many of the public and private sector tourism
stakeholders. Other meetings dealt with specific topics such as the Philly Phlash,
Amtrak and the proposed Festival of the Arts. A list of these meetings are set forth in
Appendix A.
We also interviewed more than 50 tourism practioners from areas other than
Philadelphia in order to obtain information on what city destinations around the U.S.
were doing to promote tourism. It was from these interviews that we obtained much of
the information that appears in Volume II of this report entitled "Com parables". The
individuals and cities or organizations they represent are listed in Appendix A.
As described later in this report, we found that Philadelphia has minimal research
concerning tourists and the travel trades' perceptions of Philadelphia as a vacation
destination. As part of this report we, therefore, commissioned Trinity Communications,
Inc. to conduct two surveys; a qualitative analysis of visitors' perceptions and a
qualitative analysis of travel agents' perceptions. Trinity's reports and findings from
these two surveys are included in their entirety in this report as Appendix C and
Appendix D. In addition the results of these surveys were given to the Hospitality
Cabinet's Sub-committee on Marketing to use in the preparation of questionnaires for a
quantitative survey it was about to conduct on visitors perceptions.
In addition to the interviews considerable tourism related research, reports and
materials were reviewed. A bibliography is attached as Appendix B which refers to
various reports, research, correspondence, brochures, advertising, articles, etc.
A section of this study has been devoted specifically to an assessment and analysis of
Philadelphia tourism research and data.
The team members visited numerous attractions, hotels, retail and eating
establishments which serve tourists, and other hospitality related sites such as the
visitor centers, We studied the street signage, transportation flows and parking.
Photographs were taken and maps have been prepared which are included in this
PEW chose consultants from outside Philadelphia to conduct this study in order to bring
a fresh, unbiased approach. The Philadelphians we interviewed and asked for help
were positive and open with their information, ideas and opinions and we are sincerely
appreciative of their assistance,
Our team consisted of tourism and economic development specialists with expertise in
urban design, tourism organizations and marketing. In addition to the participation of
Parter International, Inc., LDR International, and Madigan Pratt & Associates, we
commissioned Trinity Communications, Inc. to conduct two qualitatiVe perception
surveys, retained Metaplan Inc. to analyze certain data and enlisted three Wharton
Business School students, as part of their course requirements, to research what
attracts and keeps tourists overnight in a destination city, profiles of visitors to cities and
information about comparable destinations.
During the course of our study we found that the interest in and the activity relating to
tourism in Philadelphia increased substantially.
It is our contention tllat PEW's involvement in this important issue helped to:
Further legitimize taking a strategic look at Philadelphia tourism
Reinforce Mayor Rendell's activist approach to this topic and the high
priority he has placed on tourism
Increase awareness among key players in the city of the importance of
Foster cooperation among the various organizations involved in tourism
Provide information and assistance to various tourism groups when
asked, i.e. the Marketing Sub-committee of the Hospitality Cabinet
Encourage those involved in tourism in the city to begin to come to grips
with the weaknesses and problems relating to Philadelphia tourism.
We believe it is useful to understand the current worldwide trends in tourism so that
Philadelphia's goal of becoming a destination city can be placed in context.
Philadelphia, like many urban centers in the U.S. possesses a wide variety of tourist
attractions. Its forte, however, cultural and heritage tourism is an important and growing
component of the world economy's major growth industry - tourism. While the mix of all its
attractions is important to making Philadelphia a destination city, cultural and heritage
tourism in its broadest context is the primary focus of international visitors and a growing
number of domestic travelers.
Philadelphia's ability to attract a steadily growing tourism clientele - domestic and
international - will require careful planning, a clear understanding of world travel and tourism
trends and a commitment to acting upon those changes, improvements and expansions
necessary to make potential visitors aware of and attracted to Philadelphia.
The trends in travel and tourism outlined in the following section, and how they may impact
on Philadelphia, are based primarily on the consultants' years of enthusiastic international
travel and professional involvement that is supported by a sUbstantial amount of recent
strategic planning research in world tourism trends for other tourism destinations. Recent
professional travel and consultation include assignments throughout the US and in Australia,
Bermuda, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and throughout the Caribbean region.
Selected Trends, Implications, Options and Strategies
Rapid growth and change in the travel and tourism industry have produced a keen interest in
strategic planning for tourism. Strategic planning in turn has created a demand for trend
analysis. The material that follows attempts to distill information designed to stimulate
thought and action for enhancing tourism in general but refers often to the cultural and
heritage tourism product which is so important to Philadelphia.
The Importance of Cultural and Heritage Tourism
Charles Landray's definition of culture and heritage provides an excellent basis for defining
cultural and heritage tourism: " ... culture and heritage is about the way of life of a place -
where it has come from, where it is now and where it is going." This seems particularly
relevant to Philadelphia, the Independence National Historical Park and the Historic District.
We have found in strategic planning for tourism that culture and heritage have an additional
dimension that involves people. The past, present and future of the place must of necessity
be colored by the people, past, present and future, including the visitor.
In the rapidly growing travel and tourism world market, there is a trend on the part of the
increasingly sophisticated traveler to seek out the "real thing", Many international visitors
come to the United States to experience the "Old West", Americans go to Australia to
experience "Kangaroos and Australians", Planning for tourism must focus on the local
resident, the visitor and the place, This is essential to Philadelphia if it is to become a
recognized and successful international visitor destination,
The Local Resident ~ is perhaps the most often ignored element of tourism, While
residing in the community, the local also visits those areas that are of interest to the
visitor, In this sense, the local is a visitor. Most importantly, the local contributes to
the authenticity and ambiance of the place which is what most visitors seek,
Successful planning and management of tourism provides first for the local resident,
then for the visitor. A perfect example is Baltimore's Inner Harbor, It was planned for
the people of Baltimore and now draws more than 9 million visitors annually with an
estimated economic impact in excess of $800 million dollars, A great environment for
residents - an authentic environment - will be a great environment for visitorsl
Most travelers on vacation or visitors at leisure want to go where the locals go, eat
where the locals eat, and be entertained by the attractions that are a part of the
character, heritage and culture of the place they are visiting, Likewise, local residents
are unlikely to patronize places aimed solely at visitors,
The Visitor - The term "tourist" is passe, The visitor, or to use the Disney term
"guest", is an essential ingredient for successful tourism-based economic
development. Understanding visitor impact not only in economic terms, but also in
social and environmental terms, is very important. Not all visitors are created equal.
The goal of Philadelphia in its first steps to improve tourism is to attract the extended
stay hotel vacationer.
The truly successful visitor destination is one that is more concerned with visitor
quality than quantity, The quality visitor is someone who is most likely to repeat the
visit and to respect the visitor environment - both natural and manmade, The cultural
and heritage visitor is likely to spend more time in a given destination and, hence,
have a greater economic impact.
The Place - The destination is many things to the visitor, It is an essential and
important part of the community's tourism product. It includes the physical location
and the physical place, be it countryside, city, district, street, or building, It also
includes the local history, architecture, culture, folklore, crafts, cuisine, natural
features, ethnicity, and customs.
Authenticity and uniqueness are particularly important for successful cultural and
heritage tourism. Around the world, and particularly in America, cities and towns are
losing their regional differences and special characteristics to an evermore
homogeneous look-alike, dress-alike, eat-alike, shop-alike world. It is a joy to
1'llllAf)BU'IIM 1'I)UR/SM RH/'OR7:'
encounter places that preserve, enhance and celebrate those things that set them
apart and give them a meaning and personality of their own. The changing world of
tourism is producing a thoughtless, copy-cat mentality that suggests successful
tourism can be based on one more aquarium, convention center, theme park,
children's museum, or gambling casino. Authenticity and uniqueness will in the long
term produce the greatest and most sustainable economic results.
Philadelphia should concentrate on being unique, authentic and willing to share that
authenticity and uniqueness with American and international visitors. Philadelphia should be
more concerned with the quality of its existing tourism product than with trying to invent
something new for the visitor. That can come later. Authentic and unique fits well with the
"clean and safe" objective of the City.
Being the "real thing" is sometimes difficult when the world about you is changing mindlessly
in a variety of ways. The primary strategy for successful cultural and heritage tourism in
Philadelphia is to make what you have in cultural and heritage resources work extraordinarily
well for the local residents and for the visitor.
Growth and Change in World Tourism
World tourism's rapid growth has produced many trends that impact on tourism in
Philadelphia. Several subtrends of particular relevance include:
Accelerated Change - The Single, most important trend in world tourism today is
accelerated change. Tourism has grown and is growing, and will continue to grow.
This growth and the recognition that tourism is economic development is bringing
many new players into the industry. Understanding, coping with and initiating change
becomes more and more important. No tourism destination in the world can rest on
its laurels, without change, and expect to be in business a decade from now.
Tourism is a Growth Industry - The scope and impact of world tourism is shown in
dramatic data provided by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) for 1994. Almost
528 million visitors traveled internationally and spent $321 billion (excluding
transportation receipts) in 1994. This resulted in a 3.0 percent increase in
international arrivals and a 5.1 percent increase in receipts. In 1994, the United
States performed well, having over $60 billion in tourism receipts.
World tourism is a growth industryl Philadelphia should establish realistic goals for capturing
an increasing share of the growing domestic and world market. Cultural and heritage
tourism with the mix of other urban attributes can provide a basis for significant annual
tourism and economic impact increases. This is a reasonable expectation if the product is
enhanced and properly marketed. Neither marketing without enhancing the product nor
enhancing the product without marketing will produce the desired results.
Changing Competitive Framework
Travel and tourism is now the largest industry in the world, and a major contributor to
economic development globally, nationally and locally. Recognition of the economic
development potential of tourism is resulting in increasing competitors at the local, regional
and national levels. Countries, states and cities around the world are investing heavily in
tourism product development and marketing in an attempt to bolster, or at least maintain,
their share of the increasingly competitive world travel market. If Philadelphia, which must
play in a highly competitive market that is both national and international in scope, is to
compete it must continually improve its product and actively promote its message to a
properly targeted audience.
In addition to change, choice is also accelerating. New destinations are competing for the
world market. The opening of the Eastern European countries, the rise of the Pacific Rim,
the economic revitalization now taking place in Latin America, and Europe's push for
unification, will all produce new destinations which will compete for both business and leisure
travelers during tile 1990's and beyond.
As with travel destinations, new travel products continue to proliferate. Soft-adventure travel,
eco-tourism, specialty cruise and tour packages are just a few of the new travel products
competing for the consumer's attention. Many destinations have found that in this
competitive environment, the best strategy is niche marketing.
The economic and image benefits of tourism are leading destinations to create new ways of
dealing with the competition. Strategic planning and the establishment of new public-private
partnerships are allowing a few selected locations to stay ahead of the competition and be
Niche Markets . Because of growing choices and changing demography, there is no
simple generic tourism market or product. Marketing becomes more sophisticated,
targeting market segments or niches. The niche may be product-oriented (people
who like an activity) or client-oriented (people with children), or both. For example,
the African American tourism market is rapidly growing and a niche market being sold
effectively in Philadelphia already.
The niches include the spectrum of product, demography and destinations. Cruises
are being developed for ethnic groups and children. Resorts promote specialty
packages for golf, tennis, diving or cultural experiences. Culture and heritage is
among a number of natural niche markets which apply to Philadelphia.
The competition is keen and the business is changing almost daily. Understanding the
competition and the changing product is essential. Over the next several years, emphasis
should be given to establishing a continuing strategic tourism planning process for
Philadelphia at the regional level.
Changing Traveler Characteristics
Like travel and tourism generally, the characteristics of travelers is also changing. This
results, in part, from the fact that more people travel internationally now than at any time
previously so that there are larger .numbers of more experienced and sophisticated travelers
" many interested in some aspect of cultural and heritage tourism.
Families today are quite different from tile traditional family of the past This is true in the
United States and Canada, most of Europe and to a certain extent in Asia. The experience
in the United States characterizes this worldwide change in the family. Dramatic shifts have
occurred in household composition, reflecting delayed marriage and childbirth, high divorce
rates, dramatic growth in women's labor force participation, longer more active life and
acceptance of alternative lifestyles. In 1970, 71 percent of all US households were
maintained by married couples. By 1990, only 55 percent were, and by the turn of the
century only 53 percent will be. On the other hand, non-family households have grown
significantly in number to comprise nearly 30 percent of all US households in 1990. Single-
person households accounted one-quarter of all households in the United States in 1990.
One major demographic trend effecting ali businesses, including travel, is the aging
population of the US and other populations worldwide. The number of young adults in
America is declining, while the number of middle-aged and very old Americans is growing
rapidly. During the 1980s and even more so in the 1990s, the "Baby Boom" generation will
be squarely centered in their forties and fifties.
The number of Americans aged 35-44 is projected to increase nearly 17 percent during the
decade of the nineties, while those aged 45-54 will grow the fastest in number, nearly 48
percent between 1990 and 2000. The US will also experience an above average increase in
the mature market (i.e., those aged 55 years or older).
The WHOPPIES are comingl Yes, the wealthy, healthy, older people of the world are
primary candidates for cultural and heritage tourism. There are over 63 million of them in the
US alone. They are indeed wealthier, healthier, better educated and more experienced
travelers than have ever existed previously. Psychologically, the mature market is
sophisticated, experienced, demanding, price-sensitive and value conscious, concerned with
quality and the environment, and wants multiple choices. They also want their destination to
be accessible, clean and safe.
Word of Mouth
Recent US visitor surveys by the U.S. Travel Data Center have confirmed that an extremely
high percent of travel destination decisions are based on word of mouth references from
friends and relatives. The best advertising comes from satisfied and enthusiastic visitors.
Can Philadelphia initiate a program to encourage satisfied visitors to market Philadelphia? -
It most certainly can. Understanding what satisfies the visitor is an important first step. We
suspect that quality attractions and places, quality service and an enriching and quality
experience are of utmost importance. A marketing program that conveys the pride
engendered from the quality product will help spread the word.
Demand for Travel Information
The sophisticated traveler wants as much as anything else good factual information about
travel, accommodations and the cultural and heritage attractions available. Traditional
marketing, advertising, videos, brochures and the like will continue to be important
However, the next decade will see a dramatic change in the use of technology as an efficient
way for information dissemination and communication. At the same time, the more
sophisticated travel destinations are focusing on providing informed, enthusiastic, personal
services at visitor and information centers.
Technology - The majority of travel agencies today are automated with Computer
Reservation Systems (CRS). Once used for internal bookkeeping and recording, they
are now powerful marketing tools. Mega-systems, such as Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre
and Apollo, will try to maintain their dominance but other systems will emerge. The
most successful of these will be those that offer one-stop shopping and interface with
other systems offering related services.
On-line computer information services are skyrocketing: today, 6,000 services are
available from public and private organizations. At least two million Americans log
onto such services each month. Using such services, a growing number of PC users
are now able to book their own airline, hotel and restaurant reservations. The most
widely-used of these, Compuserve, has 2.7 million subscribers, America On-Line has
2 million and Prodigy has 1.3 million. Subscribers now total more than 6 million people
and are growing dramatically each day,
The coming age of "the information highway" will bring radical new advances. Known
by a number of names such as "interactive technology", "hypermedia" and
"multimedia", this new technology will offer a synergistic blend of television,
telecommunications, computers, consumer electronics, publishing and information
services into a single interactive information industry that has particular applicability
and attractiveness for the travel and tourism industry and markets. Destinations,
travel providers and a host of other businesses are rushing headlong into cyberspace
and establishing sites on the worldwide WEB. Many hotels, CVB's and destinations
today have WEB sites on the internet where vacationers and business travellers can
obtain information about services offered.
Other sectors of the travel industry, such as hotels, are also now beginning to use
more advanced technology - such as rewritable optical disks - to keep a database of
all their customers over the course of a number of years. This database is then tied
into their reservation-management system, allowing automatic retrieval of a guest's
record - including their room and service preferences, thus enhancing customer
service. It is expected that such use of data base marketing technology will become
widespread in the 1990s.
Philadelphia's competitive position will be impacted by emerging travel and tourism
technology trends. In order to maintain its competitive position, Philadelphia must
keep abreast of emerging technology trends and applications. An on-going strategic
planning process should identify those applications important to Philadelphia and
should be put to use at the beginning of their use cycle. The recent Peirce report
devotes an entire section to how high tech can help market Philadelphia.
Visitor Centers - Visitor centers, large and small, are found virtually everywhere
people go to visit. They are sponsored and operated by cities, counties, states and
national governments, by convention and visitor bureaus, by public attractions, and by
major corporations. They are called visitor centers, tourist centers, orientation centers
or information centers. All have several common components: information, directions
and restroom facilities. Most are personal service organizations with at least one
knowledgeable person available to help the visitor. More recently there are electronic
service elements, i.e., computers, interactive videos, etc. In the United States, visitor
centers can be best described as public facilities providing restrooms, brochures and
personal assistance to the visitor, in approximately that order.
The Product Counts
The rapid growth in travel and tourism has created accelerated demand for all forms of
tourism product from those in the natural environment to public attractions, city centers,
resorts, hotels, and the authentic cultural and heritage products. The product issue is
manifest in new products, product maturity, access to product, and increasingly the price
value perception. Philadelphia must face these issues in order to be successful and to
assure growth in visitation and economic impact. Careful attention and investment in
product is essential.
New Products - In addition to many new destinations opening, new tourism products
are proliferating. Fantasy and "imaginary" destinations are multiplying. Disney
locations around the world are powerful attractions. Virtual reality, creation of
imaginary experiences through high-technology, are being added to many attractions.
Aquariums, children's museums, science centers and museums of all types are being
developed. Gaming is growing. Mega-shopping malls are becoming tourist
destinations complete with amusement parks. Performance locations, for temporary
events or continuous productions, are increasing. Elderhostels are highly successful
in developing educational travel. Even the traditional resort is changing with more
choices, activities, and newall-inclusive "packages" (to compete with cruise ships).
Cultural and heritage tourism products must also change, upgrade and compete
aggressively for market share.
Product Maturity - Traditional destinations around the world are faced with problems
of product maturity and market share relevancy. Center City Philadelphia is a mature
destination as is the Independence National Historical Park and other attractions. As
mature tourism products, they require sustained investment and upgrading. The
problem is faced by many destinations with aging city centers and hotel/resort
properties. declining occupancy levels, slow or no investment by owners and changing
social and environmental product conditions.
The response in declining or stagnant destination areas/regions has been varied:
new regional marketing strategies, local co-op advertising and promotion programs,
strategic planning, public/private partnerships, and, in some cases, reinventing the
visitor experience through major product development and enhancement --
investment in product.
Access to Product - A major issue for Philadelphia is access to product. The term
access means much more than transportation. Ease of access suggests that upon
arrival at the attraction site, parking is readily available and easy to use; that getting
from the parking to the attraction is eased by directional sign age and a unified
streetscape/landscape design; that once at the attraction, there is ample information,
interpretation, guidance, and direction to make the experience easy, fun and
Price Value Perception - The price/value/relationship is a perception held by a
consumer. It is the subjective assessment of the quality received for the price paid.
To be competitive, a product must be seen as having comparable quality to another,
at a more attractive price. Price alone is not as important, generally, as the
perception of value for the price paid. There are price thresholds which tend to define
the available market.
Reflecting on the material covered in this section, it seems to us that there are several
important conclusions to be drawn. The growth of tourism, changing traveler characteristics,
the demand for travel information, enhancing the product and getting Philadelphia's
message to potential visitors are the areas that must be given attention.
Tourism Growth
Worldwide tourism continues to grow and is becoming increasingly important to the
economic well being of cities, states and countries.
Changing Traveler Characteristics
Targeting appropriate niche markets is becoming increasingly important in marketing
destinations. For example, an increasingly important demographic market segment in the
world today is the aging population (54 years old and over) - the WHOPPIES. It is a group
which is much more interested in culture and Ileritage than the beach. They are an
important target audience and can help Philadelphia with its marketing through strong word-
of-mouth reference.
Demand for Travel Information
Philadelphia must create state-of-the-art ways of transferring or conveying information about
the wealth of activities and attractions to the traveling public. These include the use of
modern technology to help attract potential tourists and since our interviews and surveys
indicate that tourists have a difficult time in learning how to "take in" the City once they
arrive, a new, properly situated, high-tech Visitors' Center is necessary to help tourists learn
about the great variety of attractions available in Philadelphia and the region and how to
most conveniently access them.
The Product
Contemporary travelers are more experienced and discriminating. They seek a quality
experience with intellectual enrichment, friendly people, good service and a superb
environment. Sophisticated visitors are searching for visitor destinations and attractions
operated by enlightened and sophisticated travel industry representatives. An expanded,
enhanced Philadelphia tourism product can provide a rich experience for the visitor and be
very competitive to other large city destinations.
The Message
"Build it and they will come", is not enough. Philadelphia must be marketed loud and clear if
it is to succeed in the extremely competitive tourism marketplace. This is particularly
important in light of the dearth of marketing activity during the last decade.
An extensive study and analysis of available Philadelphia tourism related research was
conducted for this report. Following is an assessment of that research.
Tourism is not identified as an industry in the United States. There is no periodic economic
census of tourism, no single SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) code, no categorized
employment and business data, no standardized definitions. Some data that is widely
reported. like hotel occupancy, is usually proprietary and often not inclusive of all properties.
While in other industries, there are standardized data and sources of governmental
information, this is not true of tourism. Most tourism data are specific to communities,
subjective and seldom collected objectively, systematically or regularly. Some organizations
and institutions have created models, identifying a cluster of SIC codes that are "travel-
related" and assembling data from these to track tourism (i.e., travel) employment,
businesses, receipts, and wages. However, different models select different categories.
Models are not comparable from one author to another.
There is also no universal definition of the "tourist". Some consider tourists to be only
recreation, vacation or leisure travelers, and do not include business travelers. The World
Tourism Organization categorizes anyone traveling away from home for an "overnight" stay
of at least one night but less than a year for pleasure or business to be a tourist. A day-
visitor or day-tripper is an "excursionist". The U.S. Travel Data Center (a private organization
affiliated with the Travel Industry Association of America) defines a tourist as someone
traveling for either an overnight or more than 100 miles from home.
For nationally accepted data, the U.S. Travel Data Center (USTDC) provides the most
reliable information, in terms of comparability, trends, consistency and value. It provides
data which are consistently formulated from period to period and area to area, although the
statistics covered are primarily limited to extracting available governmentally collected
information. They do conduct monthly telephone surveys to sample consumer travel
patterns. Within the U.S. Department of Commerce, there is a Travel and Tourism
Administration (USTTA); however, it does little if any data collection or surveying and relies
on the USTDC to publish and distribute available statistiCS.
It is within this framework that information about Philadelphia tourism must be evaluated.
Information to define tourism in Philadelphia is limited. Although there are several studies
and regularly published statistics, they are generally of questionable value.
IJA 1)1 & /l.l!SliA/l.CII
There are many purposes for data and research. Some are used to evaluate performance,
either over time or in comparison with something. Some are used to help improve
performance, marketing or products. Often, tourism data are used to justify a budget or
activity. It is usual for tourism agencies, like convention and visitor bureaus, to publish data
which shows how much they are contributing to the local economy and how successful they
are. Data and research need to be used to be effective.
Tourism is a complex industry. It is foremost an "export" industry. People purchase local
goods and services with money from outside the area. Therefore, the value of tourism is not
the numbers of "visitors", but how much they spend. Visitors who stay overnight, in paid
accommodations (in contrast to staying with friends and relatives), usually spend much more
than day visitors. Shopping, while a growing tourist activity, may not provide as much "value-
added" spending as eating in a restaurant, going to an attraction or staying in a hotel.
Tourism has several major components. There are the "source markets" - the visitors who
come and spend money. There are the tourism "products" the services, entertainment,
accommodations and experiences that people purchase when traveling. Then, there are
elaborate "networks" - the organizations and people that link the tourist to the product - the
travel agents, marketing programs, tourism agencies.
Developing tourism has largely, in the past, focused on "marketing" and promotional
activities and networks. Actually, developing tourism also requires examining and enhancing
the "products" and identifying and pursuing new "markets."
The data and research that are most useful in developing tourism are:
Government statistics and revenue data such as employment and sales tax
information that are routinely collected and can be interpreted to provide objective
information about trends. For example. the room tax collected by hotels is a good
measure of tourism expenditures. Selected SIC code information on employment is
also valuable (such as hotels, entertainment and museums). This is hard data.
Attendance and occupancy statistics, when collected over time and consistently can
provide valuable understanding about growth trends. Unfortunately, many attendance
figures are estimated. Hotel occupancy data are usually proprietary and seldom
consistent over time.
Visitor and market surveys, when properly done, can provide useful insight into
tourism activity and attitudes, and in tourist demographics and psychographics. In
using surveys, it is important to know how they are designed, what questions are
asked, and how they are interpreted. No survey information should be used without
understanding how it was collected.
Economic impact studies are valuable for understanding the benefits of tourism and
informing others about its value. Tourism is economic development. and one of the
fastest growing sectors of economies worldwide. These are best done in a national or
regional context, so that the economic value is related to the larger economic picture.
Tourism employment as a share of total employment is more useful information than
an isolated number. These studies, like surveys, vary in quality and usefulness and
must be examined for methodology.
National travel data are generally limited to transportation data and data compiled by
the USTDC. There are data generated by some national organizations like cruise
lines, bus associations, and convention bureaus. These are useful if the local picture
can be put into a context that helps interpret the local situation. For example, if
travel-generated employment is about six percent of all employment, then a local area
can assess the relative importance of tourism to its economy by knowing how much
travel employment it has. (It must use the same measures, however.)
Generating a complete picture of tourism in any area will usually require combining data from
all of the above categories, and interpreting it for the community. It is important to know
what data are potentially available and which are not, as well as knowing what may need to
be generated. Government statistics, attendance and national data usually exist and may
need only to be collected. Surveys and impact studies are usually generated.
There are many reports about tourism in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, they are generally not
comprehensive, are often anecdotal, and often do not utilize existing state or national data
which could put a perspective on information. Appendix E, reviews and summarizes the
principal research and data which exist on tourism in Philadelphia, including the Coughlin,
Keene studies, the CVB reports, PKF monthly reports, Destination Philadelphia and other
Although there would seem to be a significant amount of information about Philadelphia
tourism from the several studies, in fact there are few sources of quantitative data available.
In order for Philadelphia to make informed decisions with respect to product improvement
and marketing, research gathering and tracking will need to be significantly improved.
Qualitative assessment of the visitor experience and the person who chooses not to come to
Philadelphia is needed, These surveys must ask people what they liked and disliked about
the attractions, about Philadelphia, about their experience and what they would like to see
PlllL1DW.1'1I1A TO()RI.\'M REPORT:
3.1 IM1:1 '" RESEARCH
Data are useful when they provide assessment, direction and guidance. Too little of the
information on Philadelphia does this and as a result is not as helpful as it could be in
planning to generate additional tourism. However, recent activity by the Hospitality Cabinet
in fielding an extensive market segmentation study is to be applauded.
From the studies, we glean a few insights:
Most hotel visitors to Philadelphia are business and/or convention travelers. Few
leisure tourists spend the night in hotels in Philadelphia. Yet, the surveys of
attractions indicate that the oVerwhelming majority of the visitors are "pleasure"
visitors. Conclusion: there are many pleasure visitors coming, but a significant
portion are not staying. The average visitor to the Independence National Historical
Park - and there are at least 1.4 million annually - stays 3 hours.
Most visitors to the Liberty Bell are coming for the first time. About three quarters of
visitors surveyed in one study were first time visitors. This is quite low for a major
attraction. Yet some two-thirds of Flower Show attendees, and 72 percent of MUSeum
visitors were repeat. Conclusion: Steps must be taken to keep attractions fresh and
interesting. The current tourism product needs improvement to generate greater
numbers of return visits (and the product is not the park alone).
Business travelers can be supportive of attractions, as evidenced by the Coughlin
Hotel study where 38 percent of hotel guests went to the Independence Park and the
City Planning Study where 44 percent of hotel guests went to the Park. Conclusion:
business visitors should be included in tourism development. The business traveler
needs to be considered as an asset.
Philadelphia is apparently not generating recommendations from tourists. In most
cities, the overwhelming majority of visitors, when asked why they came, mention
"word of mouth", a friend or relative recommended it. The limited survey data for
Philadelphia indicates this is not true in Philadelphia. In the City Planning
Commission survey of attractions, only 33 percent came because of a
recommendations. From the park visitor survey, 30 percent came because of a
recommendation. Conclusion: people are not having a positive enough experience in
Philadelphia that they would recommend to others, or the Philadelphia Phenomenon
is at work.
Philadelphia does have access to a strong tourism source market. All surveys show
significant attendance at events, attractions and hotels from outside the metro area.
Surveys at the Independence Park show foreign and broad U.S. visitation. Hotel
surveys also indicate an extensive source market. Conclusion: Philadelphia is not
capturing its potential market. Philadelphia is well-situated to capture more visitors
and to derive more benefits from them. The lack of more tourism business is not lack
of source market - but rather a need to enhance and promote the product.
" 1\,;,
I '
There are hard data and available which are not sufficiently used or
analyzed in Philadelphia. For example, some information on meetings and
conventions either coming or being booked are not interpreted to determine what
kinds of people are coming, where they are from, whether they are repeat, and how
they rank in terms of size. Also, attendance data from attractions is not interpreted
over time to determine trends. There is employment data which could be used to
assess Philadelphia's tourism employment compared to the rest of Pennsylvania or
other areas,
Below are some examples of data which could be utilized. The tables mentioned
appear in Appendix F.
Room Tax Resources Philadelphia taxes hotel room charges. Based on the tax
resources, actual hotel room receipts can be determined. Table A shows hotel room
receipts for the last five fiscal years. Fiscal 1994 shows an increase of 10.2 percent
over 1993 which probably results from the opening of the new convention center.
Prior to FY 1994, hotel receipts were flat
Table B shows monthly hotel receipts for FY94 illustrating the seasonality of hotel
usage. Hotel usage is relatively constant throughout the year, except January. It is
highest in June. The hotel receipts do not show the normal peaks of summer travel
and quite surprisingly, show no peak in July - a major event period for Philadelphia.
Attendance Trends - Attendance at attractions over time help indicate what is going
on in visitation, Although attendance data are reported, little analysis is given with
them. Table C presents attendance recorded by the Independence National Historical
Park over a ten year period. While 1987 showed significant increase in attendance
over prior years, attendance quickly fell again after 1987. The great Constitutional
celebration had no apparent lasting impact on tourism.
Employment Information - Employment data are continually collected by state labor
departments and reported by the county. Trends in this data often paint pictures of
what is happening economically to an area. Table 0 extracts some PennsylVania
employment data for 1987 and 1992 and for Philadelphia County. In those five years
Philadelphia lost employment and its share of state employment but grew in hotel
employment indicating that tourism may actually be growing slightly.
Del TA & I1I!SFARCll
It is not surprising that Philadelphia, like many other cities has, inadequate tourism
data, Nor is it surprising that it does not use information potentially available to it. It is
unfortunate that it does not recognize that better information could facilitate the
development of tourism, There are many data gaps and needs, some already
mentioned in the assessment of existing studies,
Tourist Demographics - There is very little description of the tourists coming in terms
of socio-economic characteristics,
Tourist Opinions - There has been no evaluation of the tourist experience, or opinions
about Philadelphia from those who come,
Group Tours - Group tours are a growing part of tourism, yet we have little or no
information about groups that come,
Tourism Linkages - There is no information about the nature of total trips by tourists
coming to Philadelphia, What are their travel patterns?
Regional Tourism - Philadelphia is part of a larger tourism destination but lacks
knowledge about how it relates to that larger area, What is going on around
Philadelphia that could impact the city?
Source Markets - Although we have some idea about where people are coming from,
there is no analysis of the potential of those markets, nor their different behaviors,
Economic Context - Tourism is not evaluated in terms of its relationship to the larger
economy, to indicate its relative growth and importance,
Trend Data - There is little or no analysis of trends in tourism in Philadelphia using
"hard" or objective data.
Comparative Data - Philadelphia is not compared to other areas to assess its
performance relative to other places,
Market Segments - There is not recognition of the variety of tourism market segments
- and the potential and importance of each, Philadelphia has many potential and
existing types of visitors,
Philadelphia needs basic objective statistics, qualitative assessment and a regional
economic context for measuring its tourism performance, It also needs a total
understanding of its source markets, The information it is currently using will not be
adequate to help the city reach its potential as a tourism destination.
llATA & Rt.'SllARCIl
If Philadelphia knew about the experiences of people who visited, they could learn
where the product is successful and where it is lacking. If it had demographic data
and more understanding of the socio-economic characteristics of who was coming, it
could target its marketing more effectively.
"The question eagerly put to me by everyone in Philadelphia is,
Don't you think the city greatly improved?
They seem to me to confound augmentation with improvement.
It always was a fine city, since I first knew it;
and it is very greatly augmented .. "
William Cobbett
A Year's Residence in the
United States of America, 1817-19
Philadelphia's attraction base is rich and diverse and so are its visitors. Indications are that
visitor interest and awareness rests primarily on the Independence National Historical Park
and the numerous smaller attractions located in other visitor districts within Philadelphia.
The attraction base also includes the New Jersey State Aquarium in Camden and the
Philadelphia Zoo. The new convention center is a major addition and one that will bring
numerous conference and visitors to the city who will be attracted by the richness of cultural
and heritage attractions available to them when they visit the city. Importantly, the tourism
product also includes Philadelphia's excellent restaurants, hotels, arts and entertainment
attractions, as well as the fabric of the city itself. In this sense, Philadelphia like other urban
centers is an attraction itself, one that must strive to be a clean, safe and interesting
experience for visitors throughout the United States and the world.
The tourism product assessment that follows is organized as a "SWOT" (Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Assessment. Its purpose is to identify those
things that most directly impact on the success of tourism as related to the tourism product.
As a recognized tourism destination, Philadelphia obviously has many strengths which are
briefly outlined in the paragraphs that follow. Later sections of this report focus on building
on these strengths as it relates to access, circulation and parking, visitor districts, visitor
attractions and linkages and visitor product and infrastructure opportunities.
A National Attraction, Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park is indeed a
recognized national attraction. The Park currently attracts some 1.5 million visitors annually
for reportedly short-duration visits. The National Park, by itself, is not viewed as an attraction
requiring the whole day or several days to experience. The difference between reality and
perception regarding the richness of the Park's experience is subject to debate.
The quality of tile attraction is not in question and its designation as a National Historical
Park is a major positive attribute. Enhancing the park experience both in the park and in the
immediate surrounding areas to maximize visitation, visitor satisfaction and visitor impact is
one of the key issues that needs to be addressed.
Name Recognition. The Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall, The Constitution, The
Independence National Historical Park and associated attractions all have name recognition
throughout the United States and, to a certain extent, internationally. This is reinforced and
strengthened by the many important historical characters that are a part of the City's
heritage: Benjamin Franklin, William Penn and the Signers of the Declaration of
Independence. The City of Philadelphia itself has name recognition as a historic city, a
center of commerce, industry and culture as does the Art Museum, Franklin Institute and the
Philadelphia Orchestra. However, in a small sample of travel agents that we surveyed, very
few could name more than one of the City's attractions, an incredibly low number, probably
due as a result of limited marketing.
Relationship to Old City Historic District. The fact the nation's primary heritage attraction
is located immediately adjacent to an important Old City Historic District reinforces the
importance of all of the individual attractions located within the two areas. The National
Historical Park and the Old City Historic District form the core of Philadelphia's "visitor
domain", the area of primary visitor attraction and the area requiring the greatest
attention in terms of both physical planning and strategic planning. It also should be
the focus of major investment in product enhancement and development. Further
improving the City's strongest attraction, will draw viSitors which will in turn result in the
development of additional attractions elsewhere in the City. San Antonio and Baltimore are
good examples of how concentrating on making the core attraction as strong as possible
benefits the rest of the City.
Location and Accessibility in Philadelphia. The primary heritage and cultural attractions
described previously are strategically located within Philadelphia'S vibrant Center City area -
one of America's most successful large city downtown areas. This strategic location is
enhanced by exceptionally good access via major streets and highways as well as surface
and subsurface public transportation. This excellent location and generally good access to
the site is counterbalanced by limited directional signage, relatively poor parking
accommodation and difficult visitor access to the entire National Park and Center City
Secondary Attractions and Great Restaurants. Philadelphia is blessed with a wide array
of attractions ranging from those in suburban locations, i.e., Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
Dutch Country, Reading Factory Outlet Stores, to the Philadelphia Zoo and the New Jersey
State Aquarium. Within Center City and particularly within The National Historical Park and
the Old City Historic District there are 20 or more attractions provided in a relatively
concentrated area. These secondary attractions need to be reinforced, promoted and made
an integral part of the visitor experience. Philadelphia has the rich density of attractions and
experience that are essential for successful tourism.
A number of Philadelphia's restaurants have gained great stature well beyond the City limits.
Excellent restaurants are a part of the ambiance and character of the City. Great
restaurants are an important part of a successful tourism destination. This is one of
Philadelphia's major strengths. In addition to its five star restaurant attractions, Philadelphia
has a number of three and four star restaurants that provide excellent food for the cost,
thereby providing a strong "price value" comparison and a high degree of satisfaction to the
visitor. Unfortunately surveys show that potential visitors are unaware of Philadelphia's
culinary strengths.
Excellent Array of Events and Activities. Philadelphia hosts a number of events and
activities that are both regional and national in scope. These include: Welcome America,
Mummers Parade. professional and collegiate sports, boat and bicycle races, book and cook
events and multi-cultural programs. Within the historic visitor domain area there is: Historic
Philadelphia, Penn's Landing programs and the proposed Laser Light Show.
WeI/-Defined Visitor Districts. Philadelphia has 20 or more well- defined visitor districts.
These are described in the following sections. These districts are a part of the charm of
Philadelphia and are all reasonably accessible. The National Historical Park and the Old
City Historic District are the primary district in terms of tourism. However, Society Hill, South
Street, Market Street, China Town, and the emerging convention center districts are all
important. Beyond that, the Civic Center, Penn Center and the Avenue of the Arts all
provide a distinctly different flavor, as does Rittenhouse Square and the Parkway. From the
visitor point of view, the important thing is that these districts are clearly defined and easily
Access to Large Regional Market. One of the great potential strengths of Philadelphia as
a major visitor destination is its central location in the larger Mid-Atlantic Region - a region
with approximately 50 million people in it. Equally important is the potential for developing
linkages for tour groups visiting other mid-Atlantic destinations, i.e. Washington, Baltimore
and New York. This is particularly true for incoming international visitors who are a major
source market for packaged tours. The key, of course, is to convince the tour operators that
Philadelphia is more than a three-four hour stop on the way to somewhere else.
Tourism as Economic Development. Philadelphia is only now beginning to acknowledge
tourism as a potential economic development growth market. Philadelphia has the potential
to capture a larger share of domestic and international tourism in the years ahead but to do
so it must both improve its product and market itself effectively. There is no comprehensive
economic impact study of the effect of tourism on Philadelphia. The last Coughlin-Keene
study that took a partial economic impact view was completed in 1989.
Potential for Growth. Given the strengths outlined above and the potential to participate in
one of this country's and the world's "growth industries", Philadelphia has the opportunity to
become a significant player in the vacation destination arena. Significant growth in the
extended stay vacationers should be the objective of Philadelphia's travel and tourism
As noted earlier, the purpose of the product assessment is to provide a macro-level
assessment based on field observation, comparisons to other urban tourism destinations
and on what Philadelphian's themselves have to say about their City and their tourism
attractions. It is interesting to note that Philadelphia's tourism stakeholders are particularly
quick to point out the weaknesses of the tourism product and supporting human, physical
and fiscal infrastructure. As indicated, both real and perceived weaknesses are very often
issues and/or constraints that need to be addressed on a consistent and comprehensive
basis because of their adverse impact on the success of tourism.
Overall Quality of Product, The tourism product in Philadelphia includes major and minor
attractions. While Philadelphia is an attractive and pleasant city to visit, it's tourism product
must be viewed as a weakness since tourism does not seem to be working as well as it
might in terms of growth and economic impact. The product investment. enhancement and
development is essential and must be undertaken concomitant with an effective marketing
and advertising campaign. If the product doesn't work for the visitor, then marketing and
advertising investment is wasted.
No One Responsible and Accountable for Tourism Product. Philadelphia seems to have
more than its share of travel and tourism organizations, each focusing ona particular aspect
of the industry. Unfortunately, no one person or organization is responsible or accountable
for the tourism product or its marketing or for providing leadership to the travel and tourism
industry. Recently the Mayor has been moving the agenda forward and filling the tourism
leadership vacuum. While this Mayor will continue to be a driving force in developing
Philadelphia into a destination City it is essential that an organization with day-to-day
responsibility for tourism issues coordinate and encourage the tOLlrism revolution.
Lack of Convenient, Inexpensive (or Free) Visitor Parking, Philadelphians complain at
least as much as visitors about the lack of convenient and reasonably priced parking at or
near the National Park and other visitor destinations. Parking enforcement is also a problem
that needs to be dealt with. Visitors who are thwarted in finding reasonably priced and easily
accessible off-street parking become the victims of strict on-street regulation, They are
reportedly ticketed very quickly and leave Philadelphia with negative feelings in many cases.
Condition of Public Environment (Cleanliness), Philadelphians seem to complain about
the public environment as much as or more than visitors. Much of Center City is very clean
as a result of the highly effective programs of Center City Management, Inc., with its
emphasis on "clean and safe", The National Historical Park also adheres to relatively
rigorous National Park standards and seems clean and user-friendly. On the other hand,
adjacent districts and neighborhoods might benefit from the type of programs provided by
Center City Management, Inc.
Public Safety Image. The public safety image of Philadelphia to Philadelphians, regional
residents and national visitors is perceived to be negative. Over the years Philadelphia has
experienced several unfortunate incidents that at the time created negative feelings. In
reality, most, if not all of Center City is relatively safe. Again, Center City Management, Inc.,
works hard to prevent problems and to work cooperatively with visitors and the police in
remedying problems before they become serious. The type of public safety effort provided
by Center City Management, Inc., could prove very helpful in the immediate areas
surrounding the National Historical Park.
Pedestrian and Vehicular Signage Systems. Access into Philadelphia is quite good in
terms of automobile access, as well as public transportation access. The weakness lies in
the lack of effective pedestrian and vehicular signage systems, both directional and
interpretive. This issue was highlighted in our survey of past visitors to Philadelphia and
interestingly the lack of signage was linked to issues of crime where visitors were concerned
that through poor sign age they might end up in an unsafe area.
Linkages between National Historical Park, Historic District and Other Districts and
Attractions. Philadelphia offers a rich density of experience to the visitor willing to search
for it. The National Historical Park and the Old City Historic District combined provide the
major attraction for cultural and heritage tourism buffs. Yet, most visitors come only to
experience the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall and a quick lunch. The potential to effectively
link the National Historical Park to the Old City Historic District, South Street, Penn's Landing
and other districts and attractions is a challenge that must be met if Philadelphia is to attain
its proper role as an international visitor destination.
City/National Park Service Visitor Centers. The fact that there are two visitor centers in
Philadelphia creates an immediate dichotomy between the National Historical Park and the
balance of Philadelphia, particularly as it relates to the Old City Historic District. Presenting
the National Historical Park independently of the city does the Park and its visitors a
disservice. The National Historical Park is part of the city - an important part of the city in
addition to its importance as a national shrine. A state-of-the-art visitor center at INHP could
creatively present both the National Historical Park and the City of Philadelphia in an
interesting, exciting fashion that could provide the access to the rich density of experience
that exists.
Visitor and Tourism Data and Research. The Philadelphia visitor is poorly defined and
little understood. As suggested in the Tourism Data and Research Section, the little bit we
know from Philadelphia research is that we don't know very much about the visitor, what he
or she wants or expects or what the real impacts of tourism are. Knowledge of the visitor
seems essential if Philadelphia is to fine-tune its product and provide and outstanding
experience for the visitor. The objective should be to send every visitor away as a salesman
for Philadelphia.
Continued Emphasis on Convention Center Rather than Tourism Development. A
number of individuals and organizations have worked long and hard to bring about the
Pennsylvania Convention Center, a state-of-the-art convention center that is competitive with
cities throughout the United States. The emphasis has been on getting the convention
center built and now on booking it. Both development and sales are important to the
convention center and must be continued. The challenge that Philadelphia now faces is how
to maintain the momentum in this area while building Philadelphia into a widely known
vacation destination. If Philadelphia wants to become an international visitor destination, it
must determine, what is required organizationally and in terms of funding resources, to make
that happen.
The City and National Historical Park. The fact that the City and the National Historical
Park have had a less than strong working relationship is widely known and discussed at
every opportunity by Philadelphians. Resolution of this issue by the parties at stake would
do a great deal to enhance the National Historical Park, both as an attraction itself which
draws repeat visitors and as an important part of the City of Philadelphia, rather than
something separate and apart with conflicting missions. By working together cooperatively,
both parties would benefit greatly and the potential for achieving international destination
status would be greatly enhanced.
The opportunity to enhance Philadelphia's position as a visitor destination of international
status and to increase the economic development impacts of tourism are real. Capturing the
tourism opportunity requires careful planning, focus and a commitment to change. Several
of the major opportunities facing Philadelphia are outlined briefly below.
Change/ The travel and tourism industry, worldwide, and particularly in the United States, is
one of rapid change. New destinations are invented, or discovered, daily and new products
proliferate on an ever escalating baSis. Importantly successful destinations are beginning to
focus on strategic planning as a realistic basis for managing change so that valuable time
and resources are not spent chasing illusions and copycat versions of what other supposedly
successful destinations are doing, I.e., another science center or aquarium. Philadelphia
needs to be organizationally equipped to embrace and manage change in its travel and
tourism industry.
A Quality Environment for Philadelphians and Visitors. Philadelphia is a great city! It is
a vibrant, busy and successful city which also has in close proximity to its downtown a rich
array of cultural, educational and arts amenities. The richness of the urban fabric is made
exceptional with the location of the Independence National Historical Park and the Old City
Historic District. It is within this latter area that a great deal of attention to the quality of the
city needs to be focused. The "visitor domain" is not a visitor ghetto. Rather, it is a part of
the city where particular attention is given to the quality of the environment and the services
provided for Philadelphians first and visitors second. Getting the public environment right for
l'lflMDIIl-P1Il.4 7'OURlSM RE1'ORT:
41 PRODuct
Philadelphians will secure the city's position as a great city and make it a great place for
visitors as well.
A World Class Visitor Center, Current recommendations for a major new visitor center at
or near the mall are to be applauded, Creation of a state-of-theart visitor center for the
National Historical Park and Philadelphia is a major opportunity, There is no model and
Philadelphia can become a world leader in creating a visitor center that is in itself an
Maximize Riverfront Potential. The rivers are a marvelous resource for Philadelphia and
one that is relatively under-utilized at the present time. Movement of the Maritime Museum
is an important step in creating more of an attraction base at the water's edge, Penn's
Landing District needs to be enhanced and tied more closely to the Historic District. At the
same time, the opportunity exists to expand and enhance the Camden riverfront, the New
Jersey State Aquarium and the new amphitheater, All of this riverfront development across
the river could be captured and promoted as a part of the Philadelphia visitor experience, In
addition river activity should be studied for further expansion such as ferry service to Fort
Miflin and rejuvenation of the Waterworks, Should riverboat gambling be adopted by the
state, it would change the entire dynamic on the river, however, because of the uncertainty
of this issue we will not address it at this time.
Tourism Economic Model. An important part of understanding the effectiveness of tourism
as economic development is to have measures of performance for the tourism products, In
addition to simple recording of the number of visitors at each attraction, it is very important to
understand who is coming to each of the attractions and what their reaction to the attraction
and the City is, An important supporting element for effectively managing tourism product
development is establishment of a research program, collection of base data and analysis
through a relatively simple economic model in order to measure impact and performance of
the tourism product.
Invent 'Project X': Philadelphians seem compelled to create some kind of a major new
public attraction ", .. that will put Philadelphia on the map." There are a wide array of
suggestions that mostly relate to "off the shelf" attractions already invented by other cities,
Philadelphia has the opportunity to invent its own attraction unique to the City and to a
particular site within the City. The recently announced plan for the National Constitution
Center is certainly a project that could potentially have the draw of a Project X, would be
uniquely Philadelphian and is well worth exploring further.
l'HllAD/!UIllA TOUlUSM R ~ ' P O R 1 '
Philadelphia has a substantial travel and tourism industry, The stated objective of the Mayor
and major travel and tourism industry stakeholders is to encourage expansion and growth of
the travel and tourism sector as a part of the city's overall economic development strategy,
There are several threats to meeting that objective, These are described briefly in the
paragraphs that follow:
Lack of Tourism Framework and Focus, The currently fragmented nature of the travel
and tourism industry in Philadelphia is a clear threat to achieving the potential for success in
tourism that everyone agrees is important. Creation of a strong, effective and leadership-
oriented organization with a clearly focused mission and framework for development is what
is needed,
Adversarial Relationship Between Stakeholders. The City, the National Park Service and
other individuals and organizations need to become more effective members of a unified
"tourism team", A new tourism organization and an all-new proactive, cooperative modis
operandi involving all stakeholders is called for.
Demolition of Historic Buildings, Philadelphia has a rich and diverse history and,
fortunately, there is a great deal of the historic fabric of the city in place, in terms of historic
architecture and buildings, The preservation of the remaining historic buildings in Center
City and, particularly in the Old City Historic District is absolutely essential.
43 PROllucr
Product Assessment
S.W.OoT. Analysis
National Attraction Overall Quality Product Change
Name Recognition Accountability Quality Environment
Old City Historic District Parking Visitor Center
Location & Accessi bi lity in the Cleanliness Image Riverfront
Secondary Attractions & Great
\V ell Defined Visitor Districts
Public Safety Image
o Signage
o INHP Visitors' Center
o Access to Large Regional Markets 0 Data & Research
o Potential for Grow1h o City/N!>S Relationship
o Economic Model
Project X
Lack ofFr<tIIIework & focus
Adversarial Relationship
o Demolition of Historic
The Access, Circulation and Parking diagram illustrates the key visitor approaches to
Philadelphia, gateways into the City, routes til rough the City and parking facilities. Specific
suggestions for enhancement are outlined below.
Key approaches to Philadelphia:
195 North New York 1-76 - Pennsylvania Turnpike
195 South - Washington -
1-676 - New ,Jersey
I 76 - Philadelphia International Airport
Regional, visitor specific, directional signage on all major routes into the City
Attractive, well designed and landscaped "gateways"
1-676/6th Street 1-676/15th
1-7611-676 1-676/7th
1-76/South Street 1-76/Ben Franklin Parkway
Attractive, well signed vehicular routes linking to the visitor attractions and to
designated visitor parking areas:
5th/6th Street Broad Street
Market Street Ben Franklin Parkway
Chestnut Street
Well signed, convenient, attractive, safe, clean and reasonably priced (or free) visitor
parking areas, Visitor Center, Independence Mall, and Front Street.
Convenient, well displayed and easily readable visitor information and maps located
within airport, train stations, bus terminal and parking areas
Clearly marked visitor attractions within the context of local bus, subway and other
people mover systems such as the Philly Phlash
1-76 North Acceaa
from VallO)' Forg
T umplke 8. /binta
30th Street
Secondary Gatel'o'av.
1-76 Access from ~
Phi ladelphia
PhiladelRhia Tourism
Parter [nternational. Inc.
LOR [nternational. Inc.
Madigan Pratt & Associ ates
[)e.( ernbet I tjtJ.J

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1-95 North Access
New York, New JeraO)'.
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51:.ate Aquartum
Transportation, Gateways,
Access, & Parking
The Visitor District diagram illustrates the distinct visitor districts existing within Philadelphia
and assists in understanding where concentrations of visitor activities occur and how existing
linkages can be reinforced or new linkages formed to enhance the visitor experience and
make better use of all the visitor resources of the city,
Understanding the uniqueness of each district, how it can be reinforced and enhanced, how
its story can best be told to visitors and how it relates to the other visitor districts will assist in
establishing a comprehensive visitor strategy for the entire area,
The visitor districts in the Center City of Philadelphia include:
Independence National Historic Park and Independence Mall
Old City - Historic Mixed-use; Arts, Culture, Entertainment
Society Hill - Historic Residential
South Street - Entertainment
Antique Row - Antiques/furnishings
Market Street - Retail/Shopping
Jeweler's Row - Jewelry
Convention Center - Civic/mixed use
Chinatown - Neighborhood Residential/Commercial/Entertainment
City HaliNisitor Center - Civic
Avenue of the Arts - Cultural/Performing Arts
Penn Center - Office
Ben Franklin Parkway - Arts and Culture
Rittenhouse Square - Residential
Penn's Landing - Waterfront/events
New Jersey Aquarium - Waterfront/attractions
Italian Market - (Not on Map)
Zoo - (Not on Map)
1'1llL-lDEI.PHlA TOIJ8J.S'M 1/1'011.1'.'
_________ Fllnne landing
PhiladelQhia Tourism
Parter International. Inc.
LDR International. Inc.
Madigan Pratt &
I )t". ("mbf'f t qtJ-t

Resldentla I
The Visitor Attraction and Linkage diagram illustrates the key visitor attractions within
Philadelphia and the key pedestrian routes between them. The concentration of attractions
on the east side of Philadelphia is evident and reinforces the focus of visitor activity.
Five and ten minute walking radii from key areas begin to define larger visitor areas based
on pedestrian accessibility. The maximum comfortable walking distance between attractions
is 5 to 10 minutes -. the "Visitor Domain".
The asterisks represent Philadelphia's top twenty viSitor attractions with attendance over
20,000 per year. The different colors differentiate between historic, cultural, and civic
The quality of the experience moving to and between the specific visitor attractions is an
important part of the visitor experience:
Pedestrian experience and the quality of the physical environment within each district
and between districts.
Other forms of linkage, such as special visitor transportation like the Philly Phi ash or
standard public transport such as bus and subway.
Pedestrian linkages between attractions should be well signed, safe, well lit in respect
to night time use, clean and with attractive places and spaces in which to rest and
reflect upon the visitor experience.
Adequate public facilities along the visitor routes should be provided, such as
information kiosks, food, beverage, toilets and litter receptacles.
The route of the Philly Phlash illustrates how a visitor people mover can help to link up
the separate visitor areas, districts and attractions. Frequency of operation, visibility,
reliability, route legibility and cost are all key ingredients to a successful visitor transit

Parter Intt:!rnational. Inc
LOR International. Inc.
Mad ignn Pratt & Associates

\ - -----.. , I 676
I '
Attractions &
Philadelphia's rich heritage is matched by an impressive array oftourism products and
events. In assessing Philadelphia's tourism product in a macro sense, attention is
immediately drawn to the intersection of Market Street and the Mall of the Independence
National Historical Park. It is around this focal point that the most impressive array of
tourism product is to be found along with linkages to other attractions and other areas within
the city. It is also the area with the largest number of tourists. For strategic planning
purposes, tllis is the "visitor domain" and the area within which tourism information and
access is most important to the visitor. In the paragraphs that follow, the visitor domain is
described in more detail along with brief descriptions of Philadelphia's two major visitor
centers. The concept of a visitor center located in the Mall is explored along with a
description of what the visitor center experience might be in a state-of-the-art facility. Finally,
"Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park Visitor Center" is suggested as a
major product development opportunity.
Philadelphia's Visitor Domain
The center of gravity, or focal point of tourism in Philadelphia, and the region, is to be found
at the Liberty Bell -- the intersection of the Mall and Market Street As illustrated on the
Visitor Domain & Visitor Center map that follows. most of the tourism products in that part of
the city are found within a five or ten minute walk of the Liberty Bell. This five-ten minute
walk zone is the area within which most visitors will feel comfortable walking and exploring.
The ten minute walking radius is also used to define the boundary of the visitor domain in
general terms.
As shown on the map, approximately three-fourths of the Independence National Historical
Park is inCluded within the five minute walk zone and all of it within the ten minute zone.
Importantly, virtually all of the Old Town Historic District and a portion of the Market Street
retail corridor are included within the ten minute zone. The Convention Center, new Marriott
Hotel, Chinatown, Penn's Landing and South Street are each just outside the 10 minute
zone and with efforts at creating linkages can all realistically become a part of the visitor
The visitor domain is not a "visitor ghetto". The visitor domain is the area where
concentration and critical mass 01 tourism product and visitation occur within a city or
destination area. It is the area within which the city should invest scarce resources to assure
that the area works effectively for local residents and visitors alike. This means
concentrating financial resources toward streetscape improvements, lighting, landscaping,
graphic identification and signage, public safety and environmental services. It is within the
visitor domain that particular attention and priority are given to product enhancement and
development. San Antonio and Baltimore are two examples of cities which have
successfully concentrated on their "Visitor Domain" and as a result increased tourism.
1'1ll1.AJJt'LJ>lllA TO/IRISh! RliJ'ORl':
51 PRO/lUeT
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Vi sitor Domai n 8.
Vi sitor Cente
The primary sources for visitor information are the Independence National Historical Park
Visitor Center and the City of Philadelphia Visitor Center, The former is located at Third and
Chestnut Streets, while the later is at JFK Boulevard and 16th Street. The Park Center
focuses on tM National Historical Park while the City Center provides a wider range of
information and service to both residents and visitors, Each is described briefly in the
paragraphs that follow,
Independence National Historical Park Visitor Center
At Third and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia, a huge brick and glass edifice serves as the
National Park Service's visitor center for Independence National Historical Park, home of the
Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. The objective here is straightforward--to serve as the
first stop for visitors to the National Park, Signs throughout the area guide new arrivals to the
parking deck, since a majority of visitors arrive by car or bus,
The Visitor Center consists of two brick masses embracing a huge glass atrium space. One
of the masses contains the Center's movie theaters, the other a gift shop and restroom
facilities, A tower on the Third Street side contains the Bicentennial Bell, Great Britain's
bicentennial gift to America, A small bronze model intended to orient blind visitors stands
just outside the front door. The impression that one immediately feels is that the visitor
center is purposely "non-historic."
Once inside, the visitor may turn to two desks for information: one exclusively for the
National Park, the other with information for the entire region, A large sign reads: How to
Plan Your Visit: 1) Obtain free "Independence Folder;" 2) See the orientation film; 3) Visit the
historic buildings,
The "Independence Folder" is a pamphlet with a map and short descriptions of buildings
within the one-square-mile area that the National Park Service maintains, The rangers and
volunteers staffing the desk offer different "game plans" to meet the needs, mostly time
constraints, of the individual visitor. Questions regarding things outside the National Park
are directed to the other desk staffed and operated by the Philadelphia Convention and
Visitors Bureau,
The orientation film is shown every thirty minutes in the Center's two theaters, While the film
plays in one theater, visitors fill the other. A large electronic sign counts down the minutes to
the next showing. The film is a dramatization of the important events that surround the
history of the buildings within the National Park. Although the premise is good, "the haunted
buildings alive with the spirit that founded this nation",," it is badly dated in places, especially
the scenes that include the modern day visitor in Congress Hall. A number of interactive
exhibits are located in the central atrium area, which a volunteer explained was intended to
house the Liberty Bell. The atrium is currently home to a Bell Atlantic sponsored exhibit
called "The Promise of Permanency," This exhibit consists of several "stations" that use TV
/'/llI.llOhU'/IlA lVURlSM REPORT:
and touch screen displays to highlight important issues and events such as "Roe v. Wade"
and "Environmental Crisis." The exhibit was installed as part of the Constitution's
bicentennial. An associated exhibit, "The Promise of Technology," occupies space under
the observation balcony. Both of these exhibits are popular with school children, who,
instead of raiding the information desks for brochures, engross themselves with pressing
buttons and answering questions asked by the exhibit's computers.
According to a volunteer at the National Park Service desk, the visitor center accommodates
up to 1 ,000 school children on a typical day in the spring months. In this capacity, the visitor
center serves as a "base" from which school groups can start their day, go back to use the
restrooms, then meet before boarding the bus.
Increasingly, the staff must offer assistance to foreign visitors. The National Park Service
has responded by printing the "Independence Folder" in twelve languages, the newest
additions being Arabic, Hebrew, Korean, and Polish. A list of interpreters is kept at the desk
should someone with unique language needs require assistance.
When asked what makes this visitor center successful, a volunteer responded, "friendly,
personal service and good maps." While the Independence National Historical Park Visitor
Center is satisfying some of its objectives, updating certain aspects of the facility could
greatly enhance the visitor's experience.
Philadelphia Visitor Center
This center is located in the heart of downtown Philadelphia, at the corner of 16th Street and
John F. Kennedy Boulevard. It is run by the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. The
location of this facility is ideal in one sense; it is only a block from Philadelphia's City Hall,
The biggest disadvantage to the Center's location is that Independence National Historical
Park, the city's primary visitor destination, is a long hike away. This problem has been
overcome to a certain extent by placing a full time city information desk within the
Independence National Historical Park Visitor Center.
The building that houses the Visitors Center was constructed in 1961 as a "hospitality
center" and has served that purpose ever since. About 1,000 square feet of space, or half of
the ground floor, serves as the public area. A small gift shop and "box office" are located
here as well. The annual operating budget of $660,000 covers the Center's information
element, as well as the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau fulfillment center located
in the basement. Space is the Center's primary obstacle. With only 4,000 square feet to
work with, there isn't a lot of room to accommodate an orientation film, exhibits, and so on.
The only interactive exhibit is titled "Do Your Own Heritage," which walks one through a
series of questions on a touch screen, then delivers a description of heritage sites related to
the visitor's interests.
According to staff, the Center provides a quick information stop for visitors, a typical visit
lasting less than ten minutes. The mission of the Center is "to assist visitors and city
residents with information on accommodations, attractions and events in the Greater
Philadelphia region." The center has several small brochure displays offering such
information, but the most important element in the facility is the semi-circular desk that
occupies the middle of the pavilion. Here lies the heart of the operation--the mostly
volunteer staff (about 85 percent) that answers phones, speaks with visitors, and points
people in the right direction. An estimated three million visitors have come through the
Center since 1961.
An increasing amount of the Center's function has been giving out information over the
phone. A priority is to have current information about just about everything in and around
Philadelphia. Along with an electronic "Rolodex" of information available to Center staff, a
bulletin board in the office area keeps everyone up to date on changing exhibits, concerts,
and special events. It is reported that the majority of people requesting information are from
out of town, including families, conventioneers, and business people, a good portion of their
phone work is devoted to keeping Philadelphians in touch with local activities. This is partly
because the Center's phone number is listed as an information source in many local cultural
advertisements. The Center has plans to double the capacity of its phone bank in order to
keep up with the amount of calls, estimated at 250,000 last year alone. The staff is kept busy
almost year round, with the only "down time" occurring six weeks before Christmas.
There are plans proposing the move of the existing City Visitor Center to a ground floor area
in the City Hall after that building is renovated. According to City officials, the entire ground
floor space will be devoted to "visitor services". This will include an expanded and enhanced
visitor center along with services for local residents, I.e., permits, etc. The visitor center
space is proposed to provide much needed storage space, a more functional visitor service
area and an expanded gift shop. Other uses in the City Hall ground floor area include a
proposed restaurant and an exhibit on Philadelphia's museums. Current plans call for the
new center to be in operation by summer or fall of 1996.
It seems that the well informed and helpful staff at the Philadelphia Visitors Center can
satisfy many visitor requests with one exception. Among the most frequently asked
questions is "Where's the bathroom?" to which Visitor Center staff must humbly reply "I'm
sorry, we don't have one."
A New Visitor Center at the INHP
The National Park Service is preparing a General Management Plan (GMP) for the National
Historical Park in cooperation with the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania. At the present time, the Park Service has developed a statement of "actions
that are common to all alternatives". Specifically, it is stated that "in each alternative the
Park, the Commonwealth and City will work together to improve delivery of pre-trip
information to visitors". Several of the GMP alternatives incllJde recommendations for a new
ss PRO/weT
visitor center that may include a Regional History Center and Independence Institute. The
important point is that if a new visitor center for the Independence National Historical Park is
to occur, now is the time to begin planning so that such a facility can be programmed and
made a part of the Park Service's General Management Plan.
Conceptually, the mission of a new visitor center would be to provide a welcoming, user-
friendly, state-of-the-art experience that assists visitors by providing information, visitor
services, access, interpretation, and direction designed to maximize enjoyment of the Park,
the City and the region. The form and content of the center make it a state-of-the-art facility
and an exciting attraction in its own right without competing with the primary attractions.
More specifically, the center should be designed and operated:
To provide a welcoming and pleasing experience designed to influence the visitor:
- to participate in all aspects of the National Historical Park;
- to visit the Old City Historic District;
- to visit other Center City districts and attractions;
- to visit regional communities, attractions and businesses;
- to stay longer in Philadelphia and the region; and
- to leave as satisfied visitors and goodwill ambassadors for the
National Historical Park, the city and the region.
To provide an overnight destination focus for family, group and individual visitors that
offers a wide array of heritage-centered entertainment, education and shopping
To provide a regional center for visitor information, reservations and ticketing.
To develop and support cooperative local, regional and national planning, marketing
and visitor enhancement initiatives.
The location of the proposed visitor center is subject to more detailed study once the
concept is agreed. The preliminary study of alternative sites illustrated on the Visitor Domain
and Visitor Center map suggests that a Mall location would be preferred.
Best automobile and bus access;
Within five minute walk zone of Liberty Bell;
Excellent view of Mall and Constitutional Hall;
Close to other Park uses and/or the proposed Constitution Center; and
Potential to provide major new parking resource.
PlffLAIJJ!U'lflA roUlI.lSM II.EI'OII.1';
The National Constitution Center
An ambitious concept plan has been prepared for "The Constitution Center: an experimental
museum that will tell the story of American Democracy", The concept plan proposes that the
center be located in the second block of the Mall (Site "9" on the map), The plan includes
three major components: Historic Philadelphia Visitor Center, Constitution Center and the
Liberty Bell Pavilion, Fund raising for the project has begun but negotiation of site control is
incomplete, The NPS has not officially expressed its opinion and therefore, there are no firm
dates for the project,
The Visitor Center Experience
Everyone is familiar with visitor centers and the consultant team has, over the past 20 years,
visited literally hundreds of such facilities around the world, Probably the best known and
the most helpful are the marvelous "Information Centers" found throughout the United
Kingdom, These centers are easily identified by their prominent "i" that says it all:
informationl Even the remotest village in Scotland has such a centre where one can secure
not only information and directions, but interesting brochures and excellent maps designed
to help the visitor find his or her way around the countryside, These centers seem always to
Ilave a helpful and knowledgeable person available to assist the visitor,
In other parts of the world the one thing that Americans discover is that the host country
anticipates their visit and is concerned that their visit be a success, As a result, most
European and many Asian viSitor centers now provide English language information,
directions, guidebooks and maps that are backed-up by multi-lingual staff, This is a lesson
that American visitor centers are learning slowly and we have found only a dozen or so that
work hard at helping the international visitor lacking faculty in the English language,
Two of the United States' better visitor centers are found at Charleston, South Carolina, and
the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. These two centers are described here because they
have interesting features and there are lessons to be learned from their experience.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston represents one of the successful small city public attractions in America. The
Historic Old Town in and around the downtown core is what most people come to see. It is
estimated that more than five million people visit Charleston annually and that just short of
500,000 come to the Charleston Visitor Center to begin their visit or as a part of the visit.
The Charleston Visitor Center opened in 1991 and is housed in an old railroad station. The
property was acquired by the City of Charleston for $2.1 million and they invested another
$13.4 million in renovation and construction, including two large parking lots. The center is
operated by the Department of Visitor Services, which had an annual operating budget in
excess of $700,000 until this year when it was reduced to $610,000. They have eight full-
time employees and 35 part-time employees.
1'1l1l..1l!I;'U'IlIA lVURISM RI!N!RT:
The Charleston Visitor Center provides most of the traditional visitor services and a few
more. Upon arriving at the visitor center site, signage directs the visitor to a parking lot
where you pay to park. On the two most recent occasions that we have visited Charleston,
the parking lot was full to overflowing and we heard no complaints about having to pay. The
signage as one enters the center is multi-lingual and the building has an air of quiet Southern
charm and quality.
Upon entering the center proper, one comes to a model of the entire downtown area that is
seen through a glass floor, so that one has the sense of experiencing the historic area from
the air. Following this is a large, multi-screen video wall that continuously projects colorful
and informative images of the city and its people. Ample restroom facilities are provided.
Behind the video wall is a large counter with an equally large sign indicating "Visitor Planning
Services". Visitors come here to secure assistance in reservations for hotels or motels, to
purchase tickets for area public attractions, to secure tickets for bus and horse-drawn coach
tours, along with information and directions to virtually everything in the city and surrounding
region. The counter is typically manned by four to six friendly, well-informed service
representatives, several of whom are multi-lingual. In the room across from the information
counter is a small lounge area with comfortable seating, good lighting and space where
individuals or families can gather to talk about their visit and what they want to do. Several
interactive video kiosks are in this area to assist the visitor and there is the traditional
brochure rack with selected English and multilingual brochures.
The next element of the center is a small retail counter where one can purchase film, t-shirts
and typical tourist items. In this same area is a replica of a facade of a traditional
Charleston home and a large number of photographs of typical Charleston scenes. At the
end of the room is a sales desk where tickets for a 20-minute multiple-image slide program
can be purchased. A large digital clock and sign indicates when the "next show" is on. The
slide-show typically draws a good crowd and after the show, visitors then wander back
through the visitor center and out into the loading dock to catch transportation to tours or
directly to other attractions. If they want to explore on their own, they can go out to their car
and depart well-equipped with maps and brochures. When asked what visitors liked best
about the visitor center, the response is " ... restrooms and the fact we can sell the tour and
attraction tickets at our counter, along with reservation services for accommodations".
Having been in operation now for four years, they find that they would like to have more
parking. A new 3,000 space garage is under construction and will be open by the end of
1995. This facility will be shared with the new Southern Bell Building located nearby.
The emphasis in Charleston is on personal service. In addition to the employees at the
various counters and sales areas, there is always at least one person meeting and greeting
people at the entrance, or within various parts of the facility. In terms of high technology,
they have visitor planning kiosks, touch-activated visitor information computers, interactive
video systems that provide the visitor with first-hand information and viewing of hotels,
restaurants and public attractions in the area.
Kennedy Space Center, Spaceport USA
The visitor to the Kennedy Spaceport arrives first at a large parking lot immediately adjacent
to "Spaceport Central", the visitor center and its leading element "Information Central",
Spaceport Central and Information Central are what the visitor experiences first in visiting
Spaceport USA. Together they are a large building space with dramatic lighting, interesting
sets and a wide array of high technology designed to assist, inform and entertain the visitor,
Central to everything that goes on there is the main desk at Information Central, which is
manned by two or more enthusiastic, friendly and well-informed service representatives,
Essentially all other elements of the Spaceport USA experience are linked directly to this
space by well-signed pedestrian paths to the Rocket Garden, the Gallery of Space Flight, the
IMAX Theater, or other attractions. Food service and retail opportunities are located within
the campus and the official tour buses are conveniently located, The whole operation works
off of a central ticket pavilion located immediately behind Information Central.
The visitor's impression is one of visiting an incredibly large industry that is showcasing its
technology, manufacturing techniques, products and the results of the use of the products.
Spaceport/Information Central provides an excellent beginning to the Spaceport USA visit. It
serves an estimated two million visitors annually.
Approaching the entrance to Spaceport Central, the visitor is officially greeted by a
"Spaceman" in full spacesuit regalia. This is a tremendous hit with the kids and adults.
Upon entering the facility, one is immediately directed to Information Central, where there is
the option of personal service and clearly identifiable or visible high technology visitor
information services. Most visitors seem to want to use both the information technology and
the personal services. Within this area is vivid information on what is to be seen at
Spaceport USA, what is free and what must be paid for. In addition, there is a separate
counter with personnel to provide information and assistance on regional tourism attractions
and facilities. This is operated by the Regional Tourism Association (a public/private
The typical experience at Spaceport Central lasts 20 minutes or less, depending on whether
the visitor goes to the Satellite Sky Theater to see a film on the Spaceport. Personnel at
spaceport Central encourage people to get their tickets and have a good time. The
emphasis is on getting people through the visitor center orientation as rapidly as possible
and to the ticket pavilion.
One interesting aspect of the site visit was to experience how charter bus service is handled
at Spaceport USA. Charter buses are encouraged to bring visitors to the entrance plaza for
unloading and then the charter buses are parked at the far end of the parking lot, away from
the automobile parking and pedestrian entrance. The charter buses then drive back to the
entrance at the appointed time to pick up their guests. They do not linger at the main
Years of experience and recent visits to a number of visitor centers and public and corporate
attractions provide "lessons learned" that seem to have application to Philadelphia. These
lessons are summarized as follOWS:
The most important element is the attraction, not the visitor center. The primary
focus is to get as many visitors as possible informed and into the National Park, Old
City Historic District, Center City, and the region.
strong central theme. "Heritage" provides a strong and understandable theme. The
visitor center experience builds on this theme constantly while providing options,
variety and surprises "The Philadelphia EXperience Bringing History to Life".
The visitor center as an attraction. The visitor center should be a model for the
tourism industry, but it must not overshadow the National Park or in any way divert
visitors away from the Park or Center City attractions. The visitor center should be an
integrated part of the visitor experience.
There is no national or international visitor center model for Philadelphia.
Philadelphia can become a leader in visitor center development.
Quality personal service. The visitor center team is friendly, welcoming, helpful,
courteous, knowledgeable, and memorable.
Interactive high technology communication systems are "generational" in content
and oriented to single rather than multiple visitor use. For example, the National Park
Service (NPS) stresses the importance of personal service in its visitor centers. They
are forced to use lower cost technology when budgets for trained personnel are cut.
Visitor services. Many visitor centers are now expanding services to provide
bookings/reservations for other attractions, tours, hotels, and restaurants. This should
be an important part of the new visitor center.
Availability of information. The center should have comprehensive and easily
accessible information. Not just a brochure rack. Multi-lingual information is a
Quality of experience. The visitor center/National Park/City image is perceived well
beyond Philadelphia. in its advertising, its signage, and its linkages to State and
regional attractions and other visitor centers. Within the visitor center, National Park,
Old City Historic District, and Center City everything is importantl
Quality makes a difference. Success of the visitor center will be measured by the
quality of the space, the environment, the service staff and the visitor experience.
Exhibit design should be given equal status to building and interior
architecture. The visitor experience within the structure should drive the design
The Management Team needs to participate in the design and development
process. The visitor center management team should be created at an early date in
order to participate in the planning. design and development process.
International visitors are a growth market. International visitors to the US have
increased steadily for four decades. Dramatic growth is projected through the
balance of the 1990's and beyond. The visitor center should be designed and
operated to encourage foreign visitation.
An objective of the visitor center that has been consistently supported by Philadelphia
stakeholders is that it be something special -. " .. , an attraction in its own right", Creating
something special is clearly important, however, striking a balance between the provision of
high quality visitor services and the "attraction" component is critical. The visitor center
focus must be on efficiently and effectively moving visitors from their cars and buses to the
National Park. Old City Historic District and Center City. This is the most important function
of the visitor center. The visitor center must not be so good that people can feel that a half
hour spent there satisfies their need to visit the Park and the City.
In summary, the "visitor center as an attraction" really means a visitor center that is carefully
designed to attract and entice the visitor, to provide a high level of comfort and most of all to
provide high quality personal services for information, direction and access to local
attractions, facilities, hotels and restaurants. The supporting exhibitry should be designed
specifically to entice and compel the visitor to take the tours and to get equally excited about
opportunities throughout the city and region. A quality place and quality service personnel
are the primary ingredients of a great visitor Center experience.
The concept articulated in the above title is just a beginning -- an idea to be pursued. The
concept of a facility that is the product of a new partnership brings the National Park Service,
City, State, and private interests together in an innovative and creative process designed to
facilitate Philadelphia's emergence as an international visitor destination.
The new visitor center is not "the" solution to enhancing Philadelphia's status as a
successful visitor destination. It can make a difference by focusing the spotlight on the
National Historical Park and the city and reinforcing the critical mass of tourism product.
Ultimately, major reinvestment in the National Park is essential along with continued
development and investment in the Old City Historical District and its attractions as well as
the attractions in the balance of Center City. Development of the Constitution Center would
further strengthen the critical mass of tourism product in the visitor domain.
In the balance of this section, a brief description of the visitor center elements is presented in
a very conceptual and diagrammatic fashion in order to begin the concept development
process. This is supported by several illustrations of other visitor centers being designed to
also become state-of-the-art facilities. A number of current and longer term visitor center
issues are outlined and the section concludes with an action plan -- the next steps required
to move "Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park Visitor Center" into a
planning and development mode.
Visitor Center Elements
The content and linkages model diagram that follows illustrates in very preliminary and
general terms the major program elements within the proposed visitor center and the
important linkages to the Philadelphia tourism product -- Independence National Historical
Park, Old City Historic District, Center City retail, restaurants, Convention Center, arts and
attractions, as well as Penn's Landing, the New Jersey Aquarium and the associated ferry
rides, events and attractions that exist there.
At this early conceptual stage it is premature to present the creative content for the proposed
visitor center. For initial discussion purposes, it is important to deal with the basic program
elements that include:
Gateway linkages connecting the airport, railroad station and interstate highways to
Center City and the drop off and parking facilities for the new center.
Linkages to Center City retail shops and Convention Center, as well as other visitor
domain districts and neighborhoods.
Reception plaza -- a drop off zone for both automobile and bus passengers as well as
An inviting and interesting entrance to a building that is an architectural attraction as
well as a functional visitor center.
A major space designed to be welcoming, while at the same time, efficiently providing
information, ticketing and reservations -- a visitor services center.
Lounge and refreshment area
Philadelphia exhibits
Independence National Historical Park exhibits
Regional exhibits
On the following two pages are illustrations of visitor centers currently being planned in
Corning, New York, and in Columbus, Georgia. In Corning, a new region-serving visitor
center is the new focal point of an approximately $43.0 million re-investment and updating of
the Corning Glass Center. In Columbus, Georgia, the new visitor center will become the
focal point of the proposed RiverWorks mixed use attraction at that city's new RiverWalk.
PJllIAJ)f!l.PHlA TOl)R1SM Rlil'i)RT:
63 PROm)c)'
Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park Visitor Center
Content and Linkages Model
/ ----.L
Old City
Historic District

Penn's tanding
NJ St,lte Aquarium
- Events -Attr"dions
Restaurants I
Attractions /

Preliminary Costing
Without a preliminary program or plan costing of the proposed joint visitor center is
problematic at best. What is needed now is a reasonable "ballpark" estimate that can be
used in discussing the feasibility of Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park
Visitor Center. A state-of-the-art facility can probably be developed in 25,000-35,000 square
feet on a high visibility and accessible site with convenient and adequate parking. The cost
estimates that follow are for the visitor center building and its contents only. No allowance is
made for site acquisition or development or for parking. The three alternative development
scenarios outlined below provide a range of size and cost variables. For discussion
purposes, a 30,000 square foot facility with development costs of about $350 per square foot
for a discussion budget of about $10.5.
25,000 SF
@ $325-375/SF
'" $8.1 - 9.4M
Visitor Center Issues
30,000 SF
= $9.8 - 11.3M
$35,000 SF
@ $325-$375/SF
= $11.4 - $13.4M
Early in the concept development and pre-development feasibility phases of the process
leading to a new visitor center are a number of issues that need to be carefully considered.
Initial issues to be addressed are outlined below. As the process progresses, many other
issues will also emerge. The important thing is that issues be dealt with early in the process
so that there will be no "surprises" at the end of the planning process.
What is the preferred location?
What is the relationship to Constitution Center?
Who will own and manage the center?
Visitor center name and image?
Timing of development?
Is the visitor center free?
What is the balance between "personal service" vs. "high-tech service"?
How important is regional participation?
What are the funding sources for the visitor center -- City, State, Federal and private?
Other issues to be identified.
67 I'R01>//CT
This section of the report has focused on Philadelphia's tourism product with emphasis on
the downtown and the newly defined "Visitor Domain". Within the broader strategic planning
context, there are a number of conclusions and recommendations derived from the tourism
product assessment. These are outlined in the paragraphs that follow.
Philadelphia is first and foremost a great city! While it has experienced difficulties in the
past, it has made a remarkable recovery and its commercial center, residential
neighborhoods, districts, retail center, convention center, and impressive array of
educational, arts and cultural facilities makes it one of America's most inviting and liveable
An important part of the city is its primary tourism product and nationally recognized
attraction .- the Independence National Historical Park. The park should not be considered
a stand-alone attraction since it is an integral part of the city, both physically and historically.
The Old City Historic District, in particular, has the potential to reinforce and support the
National Park in order to make both important and interesting places to visit. While there are
many attractions in Philadelphia, the Independence National Historical park is the major
Philadelphia tourism suffers from a lack of critical mass of tourism product. The fact that a
significant portion of the visitors to the Independence National Historical park do not stay
overnight is an indication that the broader tourism product is not of a size and quality to hold
visitors overnight, much less for several days. Product development and enhancement must
be given high priority in the years ahead if Philadelphia is to achieve its potential as an
international destination city.
Philadelphia is strategically located in the mid-Atlantic region and is well served by interstate
highways, Amtrak and regional rails service, and an international airport. Creation of a
stronger, better marketed tourism product should produce a positive market response from
the Philadelphia area, the region, nationally, and internationally.
Philadelphia has an excellent new convention center, excellent existing and new hotel
accommodations and a growing reputation as a "great restaurant town". The importance of
business and convention visitors should not be forgotten. Every business and convention
visitor should also experience the Independence National Historical Park, Old City Historic
District and other attractions.
Within a ten minute walk from the Liberty Bell is an impressive array of visitor attractions --
50 or more, including those in the park itself. This concentration and critical mass is
effectively linked by an excellent street grid that includes a number of alleys and paths
through city blocks. The linkages are further reinforced by an excellent public transportation
system and the new Ph illy Phlash.
With its multitude of public attractions and its numerous "districts", Philadelphia is
sometimes perceived to be confusing. On the other hand, the "visitor domain" which
includes the area within a ten minute walk from the Liberty Bell has the potential to be quite
comprehensible and easily accessed. The problem rests in the lack of effective and
coordinated visitor assistance in showcasing the National Park, the city and the region.
Based on the above conclusions and an understanding of the how visitors currently arrive in
Philadelphia, how they move through the city, the visitor districts and attractions and the
quality of the linkages between them, a variety of opportunities emerge that could help to
improve the overall visitor experience. Specific recommendations include:
1. Organize and prioritize investment in visitor product enhancement and
development in Philadelphia's primary 'Visitor Domain ': This comprises all of the
Independence National Historical Park and the Old City Historic District. This should
be the focus of attention for tourism product development and management for at
least the next five years.
Obtain agreement on the terms of the General Management Plan (GMP) for
Independence National Historical Park now in the final phases of preparation.
Encourage accelerated implementation of GMP Plan recommendations for
enhancement of National Park attraction and supporting infrastructure.
Improve the public environment within the Old City, encourage reuse of existing
buildings and new infill development. The National Constitution Center has set
forth a number of very interesting ideas for improvements around the Park in its
paper "Making Full Use of Philadelphia's History". The implementation of these
and other ideas would act as additional tourist attractions.
Improve and enhance the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing - Introduce activities
into the space that will encourage visitor use of the riverfront throughout the
day and night especially during non-event times.
In the INHP and Visitor Domain create a Business Improvement District
similar to Center City Management, Inc. for the Visitor Domain area and
encourage activities that bring history to life such as Historic Philadelphia.
Continue to conceptualize and develop ideas for the proposed "Project X"
attraction. This could, in fact, be the proposed Constitution Center or a major
new attraction invented specifically for Philadelphia and located in or around
the primary visitor domain.

2. Plan and build "Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park
Visitor C e n t e r ~ Specific actions include, but are not limited to the following:
Agreement that the concept of a visitor center at the INHP should be pursued
by Philadelphia's public and private leadership.
Form a meaningful partnership to initiate and see the project through.
Agree on project ownerShip and management.
Secure funding for pre-development feasibility and concept development.
Define and assign project leadership and management responsibility.
Select preferred site location for visitor center.
Commission creative program design in advance of site and architectural
Commission area/site urban design, facility architecture and cost estimates.
Secure capital and operating funding.
Implement the plan.
3. Improve and enhance the linkages between attractions and districts.
The creation of useful linkages between attractions and city districts very often
involves simply the designation of the route through the installation of
appropriate signage, lighting, streetscapellandscape improvements or other
means. Specific actions in Philadelphia include:
Between The National Park and Penn's Landing. Encourage uses on each
side of the bridge connections over 1-95 to activate the links and make them
more interesting.
Between The National Park and South Street through Society Hill.
Between The National Park and The Mall and Old City.
Between The Mall and Chinatown. Between Market Street and Chinatown,
especially to the Chinese Gate.
Between Market Street and the Convention Center.
4. Improve public infrastructure to support expanded tourism industry. The
focus of infrastructure investment, both new and upgraded, should be within
the "visitor domain". However, there are a number of access related
infrastructure improvements that need to be made throughout the Philadelphia
area in order to enhance the visitor experience.
Provide directional signage to designated visitor car and bus parking areas
that serve specific attractions or districts and enhance the routes to these
areas. The perception is there are no designated visitor car parks. However,
there are two parking areas within the Independence National Historic Park
Area that visitors are encouraged to use. They need to be made more
Provide additional accessible, affordable, or free visitor parking.
Improve and enhance visitor parking areas to make them safe, clean and
provided with sufficient information to guide visitors to the specific attractions.
Improve and enhance the existing Park Squares and encourage facilities that
will make them attractive to visitors:
Franklin Square - Improve as an important gateway into the city, as an open
space resource for the Chinatown community and link to Independence Mall
and the new Visitor Center.
Washington Square - Reinforce as community open space, and setting for
Center of Black Social Gathering, link to Independence Hall and Visitor area.
Rittenhouse Square - Reinforce as neighborhood open space.
Logan Circle - Enhance and improve as open space, focus for museum area,
make more pedestrian accessible and provide uses to attract visitors.
Improve and enhance the pedestrian routes from the visitors parking areas to
the attractions.
Improve and enhance the quality of the pedestrian environment along Ben
Franklin Parkway. Upgrade quality of walkways, street furniture, lighting and
landscaping. Introduce new uses to articulate edges.
Provide visitor information facilities at airport, train and bus stations.
Improve and enhance the quality of Philadelphia's "Visitor Gateways".
Provide better highway signage identifying the key visitor routes into the city
as they relate to specific attractions or districts. The only reference to
attractions within the regional highway network is the Interstate 95 sign that
announces Independence Hall via 1-676.
Improve and Enhance Environment -----1
along Ben Franklin Parkway
logan CIrcle:
I mprovll and EnMnc;e Enlflronmtlnt
R"lnfOfU LinUgIStt
Vi.i\or UN nd F,.cl!i\:.
Ind'pendence MaJl
btalllhlih N"wJoint Vl&}tor CerUf'
p(O\Ifd" Addtuou,l 'I'i::.lltot' C.r and eu5 ?.ukIfl6
E6;abh9h Him Publlo Glltnenng
Enhanolil' Unk.aeelll to Ind'pen.denu
Franklin ---------- -1
Improw _net! Enh.lnC4 Environment
Rmnforulinkollg. to IndepediSftUI Mall and
Relnforu to
Improve Links into Chinatown
PhiladelQhia Tourism
Parter International. Inc.
LDR International. Inc.
Madigan Pratt & Associates
D:embet I 91-J4
R:tttennouse Square
Improwr altd Enhanu EnvirOt'lInant
StranstM,," LinbieH
City Hall - - ---- -------1
Improw and E"luutu Envlronmltl'lt
N,swV18itor In Groun.:! L..wI of City
Washington Square ...
ImP""'" .aN;! Enhance Envlf'Of\""'l
fstlTf'ort;., Linbg. toO Irtdep"'ndltl\c.J Part
htaWle2'I ill. Um'- of 5or;U1
1mprove LI to South S.",et from ___ --l-
Indepena.nce Park Society Hill
Old CIty
lmpt'(ffi.t II\d Etlf1anc",
Enc:oul"a4e RIt'-u!U of' Exi5t!110 6ul1dlng5
Pl'OVfdl!: New inti!! 0ppo.tunrtie,
R.!IfrrfC'rolil' U"bg,,5 'to M;SI f!
F'l:rk,. an.:! RfverfroP'lt
Penn. Landing
UnotH ,fGf"C)tIe
Opportunrtrel!l for NIfW
on Each Side of III'WI"SUte t:o Crellttl: ActM
When compared to comparable U.S. cities, Philadelphia has had a fairly late start in the
marketing of tourism. Many other cities were heavily dependent on one or two
industries or companies for employment and tax revenues. When one of these
industries suffered a significant downturn or decided to relocate, it caused a major
disruption in the community and required immediate action and a coordinated
response. In many cases that led city leaders to turn toward tourism.
One of the key factors contributing to Philadelphia's late start was the fact that the City
had a diversified industry base. The slow departure of relatively small companies
failed to send a loud enough wake-up call through the community. It was not until many
of these smaller firms departed that concerns were raised, and by then the country was
in the middle of a recession and the city was in the middle of an economic crisis. This
in turn hampered efforts to mount a serious tourism marketing effort.
Also contributing to the City'S late start into tourism was the fact that the hotel industry
was not as well developed in Philadelphia as in other destinations. Few of the major
chains had properties in the City, and the total number of rooms was comparatively low.
In addition there were not many other major players in the tourism and travel industry
with a presence in Philadelphia.
At the same time reports of a million plus visitors annually to Independence National
Historical Park gave the impression that the City did have a somewhat successful
tourism effort. Subsequent studies showed, however, that the vast majority of these
visitors were "day-trippers," individuals that provided relatively minor economic
contribution to the City as compared to the overnight hotel visitor.
A review and analysis of the history of tourism marketing efforts of the City can be
judged as lacking when compared to those of successful tourism destinations.
Philadelphia's tourism efforts did not have:
1. A coordinated and highly focused organization behind it.
2. A unique positioning integrated into all marketing efforts.
3. A consistent marketing and promotional funding mechanism.
4. Substantial research on the customer, prospects, competition and the
effectiveness of various marketing endeavors.
In other words, the City has not had many of the attributes necessary for a successful
tourism marketing program.
There has been a noticeable heightening of interest and activity in the past year in
increasing the awareness of Philadelphia as a world class vacation destination. To
succeed in that endeavor that interest must continue to grow, build into a tangible and
aggressive marketing program and be sustained over a long period of time.
In assessing the marketing of the City of Philadelphia to extended stay vacationers
numerous strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats have been identified. Each
item plays a role in determining the image of the City and provides some direction in
terms of how Philadelphia should be marketed in the future. While the City does have
significant strengths it also possesses numerous weaknesses.
From a marketing perspective, perhaps the greatest weaknesses for the City of
Philadelphia center around two particular items:
Lack of Marketing Focus - Proper positioning is a fundamental marketing
principle. Philadelphia has not provided potential vacationers with a clear
proposition as to why they should consider vacationing in the City.
Michael Porter states that there are two ways to achieve sustainable competitive
advantage - by being the low cost producer or through differentiation. By doing
neither, as is the case with Philadelphia tourism, an entity becomes "stuck in the
middle." This is a decidedly unprofitable place to be.
Inadequate Marketing Funding - Philadelphia has not provided adequate
marketing funding to support any kind of impactful tourism oriented promotional
program. By having a virtually inaudible voice in the highly competitive tourism
arena, the City fails to achieve awareness among potential vacationers at the
time when they are making their vacation destination decisions. As a result, the
City is rarely among the considered set of alternatives by either the traveling
public or the travel trade.
The marketing landscape is littered with failed companies, products and
destinations that were unable or unwilling to provide adequate or consistent
promotional funding. There are few products that have proven to be consistently
successful over a long period of time that were insufficiently or erratically funded.
Unfortunately, particularly with governmental entities such as states counties and
cities, tourism marketing funding rarely has sufficient continuity. The groups or
individuals controlling the funds change on a regular basis and often have very
different priorities, all too often resulting in erratic tourism promotion spending,
Even the venerable New York State program is an example of this process and
New York suffered significant tourism share loss when it severely diminished
funding for its highly successful and popular, "I Love NY" campaign, In an
interview after his recent gubernatorial election defeat Mario Cuomo listed as
one of the two most important mistakes and regrets of his term as governor, his
reduction of the funding for the "I Love NY" tourism promotion campaign.
While there are attractions of great historical and cultural significance in the City, they
Ilave not been consistently positioned or promoted, As a result of the vacuum left by
minimal efforts to promote Philadelphia and its attractions, vacationers and the travel
trade have come to believe that the historical attractions in Philadelphia are at parity,
rather than superior to those of other cities - specifically Boston and Baltimore.
The following chart sets forth what we believe to be the City's most significant
strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats as they pertain to marketing factors
which affect tourism to Philadelphia. The section following the chart describes these
various factors and how they relate to increaSing extended stay tourism to Philadelphia.
The product section of this report contains a similar S.W.O.T. analysis as it relates to
product issues. While there is some overlap, the S.W.O.T. analysis for marketing deals
with how Philadelphia is perceived.
76 MARRl!11NG
Philadelphia Has A
Good Product
Special Events
Acti velS upporti ve
Private Sector
New Convention Center
Convention & Visitors
Mayor Rendell
Easy Acces,s
Marketing Assessment
S.W.O.T. Analysis
1{ezatiye Image. As.A
VacaTIon DeStmatlOn
Special Events
Safety Image
Very Little Research
Negative Local Attitude
No Consumer Demand
Tourism Has Not Been
A Priority
Lack Of Strong
Marketing Partner
Limited P acka ging
Cityft!ational J.>ark .
ServIce RelatIOnship
Attraction Competition
Decentralized Tourism
Emerging From Financial Crisis
Easy Access
Opportunity to Redefine
Esla blish Itself
Tourism ''New News"
Increased C ompeti ti on
Philadelphia Phenomenon
It is possi bl e for an indi vidual
attribute to be both a strength
and a weakness at the same time,
as is the case with Special Events,
I Safety and Easy Access.
From a vacation destination perspective, Philadelphia does possess a long list of
strengths. It is also true that the City has significant weaknesses that are limiting its
ability to be thought of as a truly first class destination city worthy of more that "just a
few hours stay." In some cases certain attributes, such as Independence National
Historical Park and the National Park Service can be considered simultaneously as
both a strength and a weakness.
Tilis section of the report will serve to describe Philadelphia's strengths from a
marketing perspective. In those instances where a particular attribute is also
considered a weakness, that too will be detailed in this section.
Philadelphia Has Good Product - The fact that Philadelphia was ranked as the
third most livable place in the United States (out of 343 cities) by the "Places
Rated Almanac", attests to the fact that it possesses the right environment to
sustain a quality tourism product. As of the writing of this report Philadelphia
boasts a substantial number of attractions and events that can provide
vacationers with a memorable and quality vacation experience and which can be
marketed effectively.
As the "Product" section of this report indicates the attractions and events in
Philadelphia are rich and diverse.
Beginning with Independence National Historical Park, and continuing on
through the City's museums, performance halls, art galleries, architecture, world
class restaurants, Penn's Landing and the 60-70 events held in Philadelphia
year-round, the City has a wealth of vacationer attractions. (And this represents
only a few of the highlights).
Unfortunately, Independence National Historical Park, a limited piece of what the
City has to offer and an attraction which currently can be seen in a relatively brief
span of time has come to epitomizes the essence of what Philadelphia has to
offer vacationers. It is the consultant's view that this has come about as a result
of two factors:
Limited promotional attempts to expand the City's image beyond
Independence National Historical Park.
A park visitors' center that is poorly situated and fails to excite
individuals about other offerings beyond the Park.
Many of the individuals interviewed for purposes of this report argued that
tourism in the City has been hurt because the National Park Service is not
promotionallyoriented. However, despite the fact that the National Park Service
has concentrated on its remit of preservation and accurate interpretation of
historical facts, this has not precluded the City from undertaking efforts to
promote itself and various attributes vacationers can experience. Indeed the
efforts of Historic Philadelphia have begun to "Bring History to life" in the
manner so many of the Philadelphians interviewed wanted.
Special Events - Although touched upon in the previous section, it is worth
noting that Philadelphia does have an exceptionally rich mixture of special
events programs throughout the year. The calendar of events shows that there
is something taking place every weekend - with a multitude of events occurring
during the spring, summer and fall periods. The Mummers Parade, Army-Navy
Game, Flower Show, Welcome America, River Jam, Yo Philadelphia, President's
Week, Jazz Festival are but a few of the special events.
While having a consistent flow of events can be advantageous, it is a mistake to
place an overwhelming percentage of time and budget on creating event after
event. These events consume enormous amounts of money and often take a
toll on volunteer staff. Having events Should not be confused with developing a
planned, expanding and vibrant tourism initiative. Tourism - the kind that leads
to significant economic development in a destination is Significantly broader and
more complex than planning and executing events.
For the most part, since funds for Philadelphia's events are usually limited, the
vast majority of money and effort is placed behind organizing and conducting the
event. Consequently, promotional activity to support events is usually sparse,
resulting in limited exposure to potential vacationers. Most of the exposure
received is confined within the local area.
Many destinations are noted for one or two major highly publiCized events such
as New Orleans and Mardi Gras, Charleston and Spoleto, Pasadena and the
Rose Bowl/Parade, Augusta and the Masters and Indianapolis with the
IndianapOliS 500. The festivities related to these events continue for a number
of days. These events not only attract large numbers of extended stay
vacationers from throughout the U.S. and even abroad, but they also help to
define the destination and draw attention to its other attributes throughout the
We believe that Philadelphia does have an opportunity to more clearly establish
a place in the national event consciousness with Welcome America! or, possibly
in the future, with a Philadelphia Festival of the Arts. The yet to be developed
Philadelphia Festival of the Arts, should it accomplish its impressive and
substantial goals and objectives, would have the potential to attract significant
numbers of extended stay visitors by becoming a force similar to the well-known
European arts festivals. However, for either the Arts Festival or Welcome
America to become an important component in making Philadelphia a
destination City they will require significantly more promotional activity than
Welcome America has received in the past to broaden their ability to attract
extended stay visitors. Another difficulty confronting 'Welcome America' is that
so many cities have July 4th events themselves. While they do not compare to '
'Welcome America', they do keep many potential tourists at home.
To date individual events in Philadelphia have, for the most part. been
developed and organized independent of one another. This lack of synergy
prevents the collective events program from providing an impact on tourism to
the city that is greater than the sum of the impact of the individual events.
Active/Supportive Private Sector - According to individuals interviewed,
Philadelphia does have an active and supportive private sector that has worked
with government to assist in a wide range of tourism related initiatives, including
special events. On several occasions it was expressed that the Mayor can be
very persuasive in motivating the private sector to contribute funds and
manpower for worthwhile projects. It was also stated that requests for
contributions came from numerous different sources.
Some concern has been expressed by those who have been active supporters
that the City does risk achieving "Donor Burn-Out," and, in fact, this issue was
raised in qUite a few interviews. It is important for corporations, foundations and
individuals that are asked for funds to understand how their contributions fit into
an overall plan for developing Philadelphia into a destination city.
New Convention Center Complex - The new Pennsylvania Convention Center
along with the Reading Market and the new Marriott Hotel have rejuvenated the
downtown area and helped serve to heighten interest in increasing overnight
vacationer stays.
Indications are that the community considers the Convention Center to be a
successful entity and indeed early reports indicate it is living up to its booking
expectations. As noted in an earlier section of this report one of the major
problems with Philadelphia historically had been the lack of adequate hotel
space. The Convention Center has already been important to tourism because it
was instrumental in attracting the new Marriott Hotel.
Convention & Visitors Bureau - With the new convention center, Philadelphia's
CVB chose to place the vast majority of its fiscal and manpower resources over
the past several years behind booking meetings and conventions to ensure the
center's success. The CVB has established itself as a professional organization
which has done a credible job in the convention market through an emphasis on
direct sales contact with very little media exposure.
Promotional support at the CVB for the vacationer market has come primarily
through the use of a national public relations program and event development.
As a result of an active CVB public relations effort, Philadelphia has received
extensive coverage over the past few years in newspapers all across America.
Unfortunately, much of this was one-shot coverage which was not followed up
with any advertising or promotional support. Research has shown that single
exposure of a message is usually inadequate. Additionally, Philadelphia
received coverage in cities that were as far away as California where the
likelihood of residents taking a vacation in the City is low. In the future emphasis
should be placed on multiple exposure in closer markets which should prove
more effective in attracting extended stay vacationers.
The CVB has been supportive of developing, expanding and improving special
events, however, as pointed out previously, overall marketing and promotional
support for events has been insufficient to broaden their appeal to markets
outside the City.
Mayor Rendell - The consensus among those interviewed was that the Mayor is
the "best thing" that has happened to Philadelphia recently. This opinion was
held concerning many different aspects of the City - not just tourism. For
instance, the fact that Philadelphia's fiscal situation has improved will benefit
tourism. At the same time Mayor Rendell is a very dynamic individual, interested
in getting things done and is a tireless promoter of the City.
The mayor recognizes the value vacationers possess for providing economic
stimulus to the City and last year established a Hospitality Cabinet in order to
provide additional focus on the tourism industry. Recently, the Hospitality
Cabinet requested and received funding from the Mayor to conduct a much
needed quantitative perceptual research study on the City. In addition the City
has been very supportive of the Philly Phlash, and Historic Philadelphia, just two
examples of positive movement in attempting to improve Philadelphia as a
tourist destination.
Safety - Philadelphia is tile country's fifth largest city and it ranks twelfth overall
in terms of crime, a fact that is often quoted in conversations and sometimes can
be found in promotional literature. Philadelphia along with organizations such as
the Center City District have made efforts to increase actual as well as perceived
safety, including improving lighting in the downtown area.
Even so, research exists indicating that the overwhelming opinion of the city is
that it is unsafe. This may be in part a result of the fact that much of the news
about Philadelphia concerns issues of crime. Many of the Philadelphian's
interviewed Ileld the opinion that the news media in the City over-emphasized
and sensationalized local crimes. Indeed, one of the Peirce Report's
recommendations to the local media with which we whole-heartedly agree was,
"Reconsider your reliance on reports and images of violence to fill your pages
and broadcasts."
Indepth one-on-one research of vacationers who had visited Philadelphia,
conducted specifically for this report and previous studies of vacationers
indicates that Philadelphia must continue to work on its "safety" image and
must make physical changes to improve safety. Philadelphia vacationers
complain about the dark/deserted streets at night, the lack of pedestrians
and the number of homeless people - ali of which made visitors feel unsafe and
uncomfortable. Visitors also complained about the lack of good directional
sign age - primarily because they didn't want to, "end up in a section of town that
was not safe."
Sports - In the interviewing process, Philadelphia was cited as being a good
sports town attracting people from outside the immediate metropolitan area.
While this may be conventional wisdom, no research was found as to the extent
of these visitations and the degree to which sporting events contributed to
overnight stays.
Easy Access - There was general agreement among those interviewed that
Philadelphia is a City that is easy to get to. At the same time, however being
easy to get to also makes it easy for visitors to leave and continue their trip to
another destination or to simply return home.
While Philadelphia has significant strengths when it comes to tourism, it also has some
significant weaknesses. Fortunately, the City's weaknesses do not appear to be
insurmountable and, in the opinion of the consultants, Philadelphia's weaknesses are
less significant than many other urban destinations. The following will outline the most
significant marketing related weaknesses as they pertain to developing and sustaining
a viable tourism industry in Philadelphia:
There Is Very Little Research - As discussed earlier in the Data & Research
section, the City of Philadelphia has very little usable research from which to
make informed marketing decisions. There is little knowledge of who is coming,
why they are and what could induce them to return. At the same time, little is
known about who is not coming, why not and what it would take to make them
consider visiting the City for an overnight hotel stay. (The State of Florida, in a
quest to better understand why their tourism figures are declining recently
commissioned an extensive study specifically designed to determine why
potential vacationers are not coming.)
Having good marketing research is imperative in today's competitive
environment. In addition to better understanding the City's target audience,
demographically, geographically and psychographically marketing requires an
ability to track the successes and failures of past initiatives so that future
programs can be refined and made more effective. In addition, a carefully
crafted marketing program requires up to date knowledge of the competition.
Philadelphia Has a Negative Image As A Vacation Destination -
During the interview process, numerous leaders in the community expressed the
feeling that Philadelphia had a neutral or perhaps very slightly negative image in
the minds of potential vacationers.
It appears as though a significant number of individuals (potential vacationers as
well as travel influencers) perceive the City to have a decidedly negative image.
As a result Philadelphia fails even to be in the consideration set of many
individuals when they are making vacation decisions. (This subject is reported
on in greater detail in the section entitled "Philadelphia's Image. ")
Negative Local Attitude - Early on, one individual interviewed mentioned that
Philadelphians find it very difficult to say anything nice about the City - even
those that love the City and would never think of living anyplace else. This was
cited as being different from other cities, particularly Boston, where residents
think and openly promote the City as a great place to live and work.
When asked about this phenomenon, others interviewed agreed that it was true.
Even a very positive article on Philadelphia found in a recent issue of the Amtrak
magazine began by going into great detail about the negative attitudes of the
City's residents. The Peirce Report also found this phenomenon to be true and
referred to it directly after mentioning many of the regions recent successes. "Of
course ask many local folks about the region where they live, as we did, and
you'll get a different picture. They'll likely bombard you with the 'downers'""" In
short, they'll portray a region convinced that at best. its second-rate!"
Without having a positive promotional campaign for the City for over a decade,
the attitudes of Philadelphians have been shaped primarily by local media
coverage which many of those interviewed openly felt dwelt much too
extensively on negative issues, especially crime and violence.
One of the objectives of any tourism promotion effort must be promoting the City
and its events and attractions to the local residents. A good tourism campaign
should also serve in some part as a general feel-good, image campaign for the
locals. With a more positive attitude about the City, word-of-mouth promotion by
Philadelphians (the most effective form of tourism advertising) will increase.
No Consumer Demand - Wholesalers and tour operators have told City tourism
officials that the reason they do not feature more Philadelphia product for their
customers is that there is no demand for it. According to tour operators, people
are just not asking to go to Philadelphia and therefore there is no reason for
them to develop packages - they would only lose money and they cannot afford
to do that. (The recent Barnes Exhibit package promotion which has proven so
successful should prove helpful in developing future packages.)
In order to build demand, the City must market itself - consistently and effectively
over a long period of time. Through this effort it will build demand and help
create a "Philadelphia Product" on the shelves of tour operators.
Tourism Has Not Been A Priority - In order for tourism to thrive, it needs to be
designated as one of the City's strategic industries and resources must be
devoted to developing it. This was not the case for Philadelphia in the past,
however, in the last year or so, under the Mayor's leadership, awareness of the
positive economic impact tourism can have on Philadelphia has grown
Tourism promotion must be understood by City leaders as the economic
development tool that it is and be funded with economic development dollars.
For Philadelphia to improve as a vacation destination, additional resources will
need to be allocated over an extended period of time.
Lack Of Strong Marketing Partner - Tourism will not thrive if marketing is left to
only one or two entities. To be successful strong marketing partnerships are
required. Historically, the City has not had many strong marketing partners.
There was no major hotel chain or strong airline to help focus and fund tourism
With the new Marriott Hotel the City now possesses a major hotel chain and it is
anticipated that another will build a hotel in the City in the near future.
It appears as though not having a strong marketing partner has been used in the
past to justify the fact that the City has been unable to effectively promote
tourism. The recent successful American Express/Barnes Exhibit promotional
program shows that there are ways to effectively partner and promote the City -
even without "a strong local marketing partner", if energies are placed in this
direction. It is important for Philadelphia to conduct a professional assessment
of the American Express/Barnes program in order that the lessons learned be
used to create bigger and more successful programs in the future.
Limited Packaging - Historically there has been very limited packaging or
promotion of the City's hotels. This has made it more difficult for individuals to
actually "buy" the product Philadelphia has to offer.
The New York Times covers an extensive area of what can be considered prime
marketing territory for Philadelphia tourism. A review over several months of the
Sunday Travel Section of the New York Times shows that there is very limited
promotion of Philadelphia and its hotels. There are regularly whole sections
covering advertising for Washington properties and those in Massachusetts.
City/National Park Service Relationship Throughout the interviewing, there
were regular references to the less than strong working relationship between the
City and the National Park Service. This is in part a result of the City's desire to
institute events and facilities to make the Park and history "come alive" on one
hand and the Park's desire to maintain the authenticity of the property on tile
other. It is important to the success of a tourism program that a good working
relationship be establislled between the NPS and the City and its attractions.
Attraction Competition - It became evident to us that attractions in the City
have not undertaken many marketing initiatives. Instead of working together in
an attempt to increase the size of the visitor base through marketing, each
attraction seems content on trying to capture a greater share of the existing pie
for itself. This in turn results in considerable internal competition which is not a
healthy or productive situation.
Attractions will need to work together more closely in an effort to increase total
tourism and thus the size of the pie. An example of such coordination could be
found in the New York Attractions Committee (NYAC) which works at promoting
numerous attractions through advertiSing and the development of discount
booklets to promote multiple visits to different attractions.
Decentralized Tourism Marketing - In addition to being neglected in the past,
tourism marketing in the City of Philadelphia has lacked centralized coordination
needed to harness the energies of the many different entities that stand to
benefit from increased tourism. Even though there is a growing awareness of
the benefits of tourism, there is still no entity that has the resources to direct an
effective tourism marketing program representing all the interests of the City.
Emerging from Financial Crisis - Since Philadelphia is just now emerging from
a decade long financial crisis, it has not had the resources needed for marketing
tourism. Even now, resources continue to be scarce.
Philadelphia does have the opportunity to redefine and establish itself as a major urban
tourism destination. While it currently has sufficient product to offer a quality vacation
experience, efforts still must be made to improve and expand the "product", increase
customer satisfaction, begin to develop positive word-of-moutl1- encourage repeat visits
and increase overall visits.
86 Mtl/lli.El1NG
Philadelphia has not made a significant effort to define itself in the
past for purposes of tourism and as a result of the vacuum left by
its lack of marketing activity, it has been positioned in the minds of
potential vacationers by outside sources, the news media,
word-of-mo(Jth and other destinations.
Any significant marketing effort on the part of the City at this point will provide "new
news" about the destination and by its very nature increase awareness of the City as a
potential destination.
Through proper positioning and a sustained marketing effort the City should be able to
develop and communicate a sustainable competitive advantage to its target audiences
which will dramatically increase tourism's economic contribution to the City.
Reduced State Advertising - As mentioned elsewhere in this report tourism is
becoming an increasingly competitive industry both domestically and
internationally. The State of Pennsylvania has traditionally been aggressively
promoted as evidenced by its ranking near the top in terms of total state travel
office budgets.
.. __ ..
Fiscal Year Budget Rank
FY 1989-90 $15.9M 5
FY 199091 $14.8M 4
FY 1991-92 $12.4M 6
FY 1992-93 $12.1M 7
FY 1993-94 $13.3M 6
Source: U.S. Travel Data Center M = $ Million
However, funding for the state's tourism marketing efforts has decreased
recently in comparison to other states and conceivably, the state could drop out
of the ranks of the top 10 in the next USTDC report. In the past fiscal year the
budget has been cut to the point where television no longer represents the
state's primary media vehicle.
As with other state tourism programs and budgets Pennsylvania's marketing
activities are directed toward promoting the entire state. Philadelphia does,
however, receive prominent support primarily because of its historic attractions.
Cutbacks in the state tourism and travel budget would certainly have an adverse
impact on the City's ability to expand its tourism efforts.
"Philadelphia Phenomenon" - A number of Philadelphians, including tourism
stakeholders, seem to have an ingrained propensity to "put down" Philadelphia,
its people and its attractions. A new, positive image of Philadelphia and its
citizens needs to be created. In part, the solution lies in creating a great visitor
image for the city -. an image that local residents buy into first and visitors
Efforts to promote the City of Philadelphia over the past decade as an
attractive overnight vacation destination have been sporadic, limited in
focus, consistently under-funded and generally ineffective.
Several organizations have been marketing Philadelphia - most notably Greater
Philadelphia First, geared toward attracting business and industry, the Convention
Center and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, which focuses primarily on attracting
meetings and conventions to the City.
Historically, very little effort has been placed behind efforts to attract vacationers to
Philadelphia by the CVB. This is not unlike many CVBs across the country as they
focus primarily on addressing the needs of the meeting and convention market -
oftentimes a result of two factors:
. direction provided by the majority of CVB members
measuring results in terms of used convention center floor space and
associated "heads on beds" or hotel nights is easy. (For the Philadelphia,
1'I1IlADEI.1'1I111 1'OtiRlSM RlIl'ORr:
CVB marketing expenditures are tied directly to anticipated room nights and a
"cost per room night" for the activity is calculated.)
Advertising that has been used to promote the City are included in Appendix G.
In addition to the CVB, there are numerous organizations that could benefit from
increases in the number of extended stay vacationers, but for the most part only limited
efforts to attract them are made,
Other organizations within the City and vacationer oriented promotional activity include:
Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce - promotes the Chamber's
Business Fair in markets within a two hour drive
Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance - no advertising
Restaurant Association - no advertising outside of the City
Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association - some co-op advertising and individual
hotels advertise.
Independence National Historical Park - no advertising
Major attractions - few advertising efforts outside of the Philadelphia market.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art occasionally takes ads in nearby markets for
special exhibits. The Zoo also does a limited amount of advertising.
Sesame Place - advertises heavily in the New York market. The CVB has
run limited cooperative advertising with Sesame Place
Lancaster & Bucks County - limited cooperative advertising has run in the past
(1990) with the Pennsylvania Dutch counties .
. US Air - no consumer advertising specifically related to Philadelphia. The air
line did have an article about the first "Welcome America!" program, but did
not follow that up in year two.
American Airlines - did advertise Philadelphia in London to start the service,
but has since withdrawn from the route.
Several of the individuals interviewed felt as though Philadelphia has suffered in the
past in part from not having a significant travel partner. The City is however currently
conducting a 50/50 cooperative program with the State of Pennsylvania and a
cooperative program between several hotels, the CVB and American Express. In
combination, the two programs represent over $350,000 worth of tourism marketing
spending in just the first half of 1995 significantly more than has been spent in the
past several years.
Philadelphia's last and only marketing program over the past ten years centered around
the "Philadelphia - Get To Know Us" theme. This program ran for a short time in the
mid 1980s. Following that, promotional programs became primarily "event driven" with
a different tagline or theme every year and a very narrow (local) geographic target.
Overall, there has been very little direct or indirect advertising supporting the City. The
hotels and attractions have done a minimal amount over the years to promote their own
products or the city as a whole. Cooperative advertising programs have been very
limited, appearing mostly in local media.
Among all the individuals interviewed in the course of this assignment, the only real
advertising campaign for the City that could be recalled was "Philadelphia - Get To
Know Us." This program appeared in the mid-1980's.
According to some familiar with the program, it was not really designed as a tourism
campaign, but rather to make Philadelphia feel good about itself - a self image
campaign. The c:ampaign did have a significant amount of recall among those
interviewed and the overall feeling about the program was positive. No one, however,
could describe any specific messages the campaign conveyed about the City. There is
no way of determining whether the campaign is recalled because it was particularly
good or because it represented the only Significant advertising in recent memory.
A surprisingly large number of people we interviewed claimed to recall one other
advertisement that said, "Philadelphia It's Not As Bad As You Think." No one
interviewed could remember anything specific about the program, and for some time it
was felt that it was perhaps an old joke that, somehow through reputation had taken on
a life of its own. Upon further research it was discovered that it was never an
advertising campaign, but one billboard placed along a major Philadelphia artery.
Rather than saying, "Philadelphia It's Not As Bad As You Think" it read slightly
differently, "Philadelphia Isn't As Bad As Philadelphians Say It Is."
The billboard appeared approximately twenty years ago. The staying power of a single
billboard is quite remarkable - perhaps it hit a nerve or perhaps the longevity of its recall
results from the vacuum created through the lack of other Philadelphia marketing
There has also been sporadic, limited advertising related to event promotion, regional
promotion, intemational promotion, meeting and convention promotion and package
As a result of the limited cooperative advertising and promotional efforts seen on behalf
of the City and its travel businesses, there has been very little "product on the shelf' for
tour operators and vacationers to buy. A notable exception was the recent cooperative
program run in conjunction with the Barnes Exhibit. The success of this program has
created considerable excitement within the Philadelphia travel industry and reports are
that more efforts along these lines are planned in the coming year.
The CVB has recently devoted additional funds to tourism promotion. This is evident in
the Co-op programs with the State and for the Barnes exhibit and resources devoted to
the upcoming ASTA conference.
Attached as appendix G is a description of tourism promotion activities for Philadelphia
together with examples of actual creative which was employed.
A discussion of Philadelphia's collateral material is also included in Appendix G.
Overall, there is an abundance of maps, brochures and other collateral pieces to help a
visitor get around in the City and in many cases within specific areas, i.e.,
Independence Park, Center City, the waterfront, etc. There is however a lack of
uniformity to the collateral materials.
Philadelphia's tourism promotion efforts in terms of dollars and continuity have been far
less than its competitor's cities. See Volume II of this report on "Comparables". It
has been noted that there has been an increased awareness of tourism and the
benefits it can offer the City in recent months. Perhaps because of this heightened
awareness, several new tourism initiatives have begun.
91 MAllKl':TING
As stated earlier, little research exists about Philadelphia's target markets or how
vacationers spend their time in Philadelphia. Since there was nothing of value specific
to Philadelphia, we reviewed research relating to why tourists go to cities. Attached in
Appendix H is a detailed discussion about one of the most comprehensive tourism
research studies ever conducted on U.S, vacationers, commissioned by Tourism
Canada. The study discusses two large tourist segments which have specific
applications to marketing Philadelphia. In essence the research shows that
Philadelphia does have a strong product which can appeal to large segments of the
U,S. population.
In discussions with industry and government leaders in the City, there was general
agreement that the City lacks an image. While there has proven to be only limited
research available on Philadelphia as a vacation destination, the belief among most
leaders was that the City had for the most part a neutral image in the minds of the
traveling public - neither positive nor negative. Some felt that if the image was
negative, it was only slightly negative.
These perceptions are perhaps in part the result of several studies conducted for The
Greater Philadelphia Economic Development Coalition (GPEDC) nearly a decade ago.
Although these studies were targeted towards business image, there is a close
relationship to tourism image.
James P. Murphy & Co. (1986) conducted in-depth focus group interviews
with corporate executives who recently opened facilities in Philadelphia and
concluded: "Greater Philadelphia does not seem to have any sharply
defined image."
Spiro & Associates (1986) surveyed 1 ,330 subscribers of INC, Magazine
who were active in industries of interest to GPEDC and reported: "Perhaps
as a consequence of a lack of familiarity, many executives have a 'neutral'
attitude toward this region, rather than an opinion that is either strongly
positive or negative."
The Gallup Organization, Inc. (1986) conducted a survey of 407 CEOs and
top executives in Fortune 1000 companies in the United States and
Canada. While the report pointed to a variety of strengths, they were
balanced by a variety of weaknesses,
A review of analyses made of Metropolll and II research studies (1983 & 1986)
concludes that, "It can be noted that Philadelphia [as a vacation destination] has many
strengths and weaknesses,"
A closer look at the Metropoll figures show that Philadelphia performed well on several
attributes considered "secondary" in the vacation decision making process such as
good local transportation, reasonable food and lodging costs, good restaurants and a
worthwhile place to go.
The City did, Ilowever, perform very poorly on attributes generally considered vitally
important for a vacatic..n destination such as having friendly residents, being clean and
attractive and being safe or having a low crime rate. The following chart, although
reflecting the opinions of meeting planners is believed to fairly accurately reflect the
perceptions of a wide range of Americans. Additional insights will be revealed, as a
result of the quantitative research project being conducted by the Marketing sub-
committee of the Mayor's Hospitality Cabinet.
Clearly the City's major problems as a potential tourist destination, as surveyed by
Metropoll had not been highlighted. This, coupled with many business oriented studies
pOinting to the fact that the City had a neutral image could have lead City leaders to feel
Philadelphia's image was indeed neutral.
A review of newer Metropoll Studies, research available through various organizations
within the City and qualitative research studies conducted among travel agents and
past visitors conducted as part of this assignment indicate that -
Philadelphia, as a desirable place to visit, has a significantly more
negative image than many City leaders believe,
A lack of marketing has lead to a lack of awareness among the travel agent community
and a lack of awareness and demand on the part of consumers. The image of
Philadelphia has been left for each individual to define. Unfortunately, much of this
perception is therefore being shaped by the news media which, more often than not
focuses on negative elements such as MOVE, the fiscal crisis and the recent problems
experienced with 911.
In addition, the one thing that Philadelphians are most proud of and believe
differentiates the city from all others - its association with early American history
appears to be at parity with other destinations in the minds of travel agents.
A more detailed discussion of Philadelphia's image as a vacation destination is included
in Appendix I. The discussion is based on various studies conducted by City
organizations in the past.
Highlights from that information include:
Residents of the suburbs appear in fact to have a less favorable image of the
City than residents do.
Events can be a draw for the City, however individuals that have been coming to
the City were more likely to hear about an event through word-of-mouth than
some media source.
Visitors who stay overnight have a decidedly more positive image of the City than
event visitors who come only for the day.
Visitors experiences with the City generally exceed their eXpectations.
Philadelphia Vacation Image
-100 -80
Versus 40 City Norm among total Metropoli sample
-60 -40 -20 o 20
40 60 80
The lack of quality research on vacationers to the City of Philadelphia has
been discussed elsewhere in this report in great detail. Therefore, in order to obtain an
independent perspective of the City and help in the formulation of the Hospitality
Cabinet's upcoming quantitative study a small qualitative study was undertaken.
To learn more about awareness, image and perceptions of the City as an overnight
vacation destination and about attitudes regarding its perceived strengths and
limitations as a vacation destination, two separate studies were commissioned
specifically for this report.
The first surveyed travel agents within a 250 mile radius of Philadelphia and the second
was conducted among vacationers that had stayed in a City hotel within the past year.
The research was qualitative and involved conducting one-on-one indepth telephone
interviews. This technique is particularly useful when attempting to delve into
underlying issues and understand "why" individuals feel as they do instead of trying to
elicit a simple attitudinal response. Although the sample sizes are small and therefore
not projectable, a wealth of information applicable to marketing Philadelphia was
Telephone surveys were conducted among travel agents and past vacationers. The
consistency of responses received leads us to believe perceptions obtained are fairly
indicative of those held by a large majority of individuals.
It should be noted that the Hospitality Cabinet is in the process of fielding an extensive
quantitative study which should provide additional insights into perceptions of the City.
In addition to surveying travel professionals (agents, wholesalers, etc.) and past
vacationers, the Hospitality Cabinet's research study will obtain attitudes from
individuals that have never vacationed in Philadelphia before. This is important
because there is no research available at this time on the attitudes of individuals that
have never been to the City before, describing why they have stayed away. For
Philadelphia to succeed in becoming a destination city, it must attract "new"
The following will serve to highlight the findings from the two qualitative studies. The
complete text from the studies conducted by Trinity Communications, Inc. are
contained in Appendix C and Appendix D.
Although travel agents interviewed stated that U.S. cities represents a moderate or
large portion of their vacation bookings very few even considered Philadelphia as a
vacation destination. None of the agents received frequent inquiries for the City from
their clients (potential vacationers) and only a few said they would be likely to
recommend Philadelphia as a vacation destination.
A few travel agents felt Philadelphia was a city they'd recommend to people en route to
another destination, or as a place to visit on a day trip. One agent commented,
"People would look at me funny if I were to suggest Philadelphia," while another said,
"Why send them to Philadelphia when I could send them to DC or Baltimore?"
Aside from history, few of the agents had any knowledge of what Philadelphia had to
offer. While agents knew Philadelphia was a very historical city, only a few could name
more than one of its numerous tourist attractions - historic or otherwise. Few could
recall anything other than the Liberty Bell.
This virtual lack of awareness among travel agents - individuals who are professionals
in the world of travel is astounding and points to the limited tourism marketing of the
City in the past.
When asked to describe Philadelphia agent's responses were generally brief, impartial,
or somewhat negative - even among those that have traveled there. Numerous
respondents described a city which, although historical, was somewhat dull or lacking in
many of the types of attractions they considered important to tourists, such as cultural
activities, good weather, interesting night life, entertainment, safety, cleanliness and a
lively and friendly atmosphere. Being unable to provide any in-depth descriptions
points to an overall lack of knowledge of the subject.
Some agents felt that other cities with more appealing climates or personalities had the
same or better historical or cultural attractions as Philadelphia, and they were more
likely to recommend these other cities to their clients (e.g., Washington, Boston).
Most of the travelers interviewed claimed to have enjoyed their vacations to
Philadelphia thoroughly. When asked to describe the City, respondents were generally
positive: most commended the City for its historical significance; some noted its
friendliness, quaintness and reasonable cost, and a few noted that it was not fully
appreciated for its offerings.
l'llllADh'U'UlA l'OURISMRE/'ORT ..
Many respondents said they were likely or somewhat likely to vacation in Philadelphia
again, primarily because they felt there were many other things there to see and do.
Many of the vacationers came to Philadelphia for reasons other than for a vacation
(e.g., business or wedding) and indicated they probably wouldn't have come if it wasn't
for tllat other purpose.
Importantly, many visitors - even the most enthusiastic - perceived Philadelphia as a
city which was generally dilapidated, and suffered from a high crime rate, heavy traffic
and congestion. In conjunction with their concern about crime, a few respondents also
expressed anxiety that, unlike Boston and New York, Philadelphia's streets appear
relatively abandoned in the evening. Numerous visitors also felt that the City should
provide better directions both for drivers and pedestrians, again due to their overall
anxiety regarding getting around safely.
[Cleanliness, safety and directional sign age were the three biggest complaints from
hotel guests in the Planning Commission's 1991 survey of hotel guests. They appear
to still be visitor's major concerns.]
While Philadelphia has many attractions and people can enjoy themselves "thoroughly"
in the City, few are aware of the array of attractions before they arrive, and many would
not have vacationed there if they didn't have to come to the city for another purpose.
The City has failed to promote itself in the past and the effects show up in the lack of
awareness of reasons to travel there.
It should be pointed out that few of the City's studies relate directly to overnight hotel
stay visitors - those identified in this report as representing the target market with
highest economic potential for Philadelphia. Even so, past studies do provide an
indication of the City's image and degree of the challenge Philadelphia faces in
becoming a destination city. Although there are many challenges it is our belief that
they are not insurmountable and that the rewards for the residents of the City in terms
of increased civic pride and economic benefit are definitely attainable.
In marketing it is often said that "perception is reality." The fact that Philadelphia has
one of the lowest crime rates of any major metropolitan area, or Conde Nast Traveler
magazine has rated the City as one of the nations friendliest or its citizens the most
honest means nothing if the perceptions of others is just the opposite.
99 MARKb'l1NG
It is also said that "perception trails reality," Philadelphia has made significant strides in
the past few years and that reality has not as yet been conveyed into the
consciousness of potential travelers,
The most effective way to change old images of Philadelphia and align them more
accurately with the existing reality is through strong and effective marketing
communications programs, This is something the City has failed to do in the past, but
must do now in order to reap a greater economic benefit in an increasingly competitive
As a side note, simply doing a more effective job of communications is not the only
answer, The City and its leaders must continue and even redouble their efforts to
improve the actual product - make and keep it cleaner, improve lighting and reduce
Over the course of the past decade, the City of Philadelphia has not mounted a
sustained and serious marketing effort to attract overnight hotel stay vacationers. As a
consequence, it has failed to achieve the status of being a destination city in the minds
of travelers or the travel trade, and has suffered significant lost tax revenue and
employment opportunity.
Philadelphia does have a good product now, but will need to continue its efforts to
upgrade it and make the City more "visitor friendly." Tile fact that there remains room
for product improvement can not be used as an excuse to refrain from promoting
Philadelphia aggressively as soon as possible.
Based upon an extensive review of Philadelphia's tourism product, past marketing
efforts and trends in competitive promotion, the following marketing actions for the City
are being recommended:
1. Advertisi.o.g -- Immediately begin to promote Philadelphia tourism through
an aggressive marketing communications campaign. Allocate $3,000,000
annually toward this effort; $2,000,000 for image advertising and an
additional $1,000,000 for cooperative marketing/ promotional efforts.
2. PQ.itioning Promote the City as the overnight vacation destination
representing the quintessential All-American City experience - past and
3. Research -- Develop an extensive marketing research program to monitor
the success of the communications effort and to aid in fine-tuning future
efforts. Allocate $175,000 annually for research.
Marketing Philadelphia is like marketing any product or service. In order for it to be
successful it must be viewed and planned for over the long term. Therefore, in order for
Philadelphia to succeed in the tourism arena -- a position that it deserves to have --
marketing efforts at the recommended spending levels need to implemented for a
minimum of three consecutive years.
Immediately begin to promote Philadelphia tourism through an
aggressive marketing communications campaign. Allocate $3, 000, 000
annually toward tllis effort; $2, 000, 000 for image advertising and an
additional $1, 000, 000 for cooperative marketingl promotional efforts.
In the selection of a destination, visitors will most often consider and choose among
those locales which are top of mind -- that is, those destinations of which they are most
aware. Thus, before a tourist even considers going to a particular city, he/she must at
least be aware of its potential as a vacation destination.
Research has shown consumer responses to unaided awareness questions are
strongly associated with positive attitudes, intentions to buy and actual purchase. With
regard to travel destinations, empirical research has demonstrated a strong link
between destinations most memorable in consumers' minds (measured by unaided
awareness questioning) as places to visit and attitudes and intentions toward actually
visiting these destinations.
The destination selection process is graphically portrayed below:
Industry Population --------:7"'-_.
Awareness Set
Consideration Set
Choice Set
Chosen Destination ---_1--1----1---1---1-....
lIJ2 M.1/1KEl1W!
The fact that there is little awareness among consumers and travel agents of
Philadelphia as a vacation destination is highlighted in several places within the
Marketing Assessment. The awareness that does exist is generally associated with
negative images -- particularly on the more important decision making attributes such
as safety, cleanliness and friendliness. Tour operators do not develop packages to the
City due to a lack of consumer demand.
In order for Philadelphia to create awareness and thus a positive image for itself as a
desirable vacation destination, it must:
EffectLvej:!'.Q[QIDpte ,itself and substantial budget for
promotion/advertising for a sustained period of time -- a minimum QfJbree
years. In addition, Philadelphia must partner with other entities to
maximize budgets and communications messages.
It is recommended that Philadelphia allocate $2,000,000 per year specifically for the
purpose of promoting the City through image advertising. An additional $1,000,000 per
year would be needed to foster cooperative promotional programs with other
organizations within the City.
Image Advertising
With $2,000,000 specifically devoted to image advertising, Philadelphia would rank
among the leaders in advertising spending for U.S. cities -- a position that it has failed
at achieve over the past decade. It would also provide sufficient funds to run fairly
heavy advertising support in important source markets located within 200 miles of the
City. (Target markets are discussed in the section on positioning.)
The recommended budget level is considerably higher than anything the City has had
for the past decade. It is a level of funding which, if the money is used to develop an
effective and consistent advertising campaign and media program should begin to
establish Philadelphia as a major tourism destination.
Specific media and the allocation of funds by media should be the responsibility of a
professional advertising agency. It is however recommended that a significant portion
of the budget be allocated to broadcast advertising -- television and/or radio.
Broadcast media is more effective than other media for generating immediate broad
scale awareness, and is noted for its ability to create an immediate image. Based on
the Marketing Assessment, both awareness and image are two urgent requirements if
the City is seriously interested in becoming a destination city.
Competition for visitors by city destinations is becoming increasingly competitive, As
noted in the competitive spending section of the Comparables Report, overall
advertising spending by cities increased by 16% between 1993 and 1994, The greatest
increases in total advertising spending occurred in the area of local television, Total
television spending now almost equals that of magazines, the once dominant
advertising vehicle,
Cooperative Advertising
The Marketing Assessment highlights the urgent need for more cooperative marketing
and communications efforts between the various enterprises engaged in tourism related
activities in Philadelphia, In summary, the assessment found that:
There was very little cooperative marketing or communications efforts taking
place and very limited packages available to sell to potential visitors,
There was a very limited amount of money available for promotion -- particularly
for events, once the costs associated with organizing the event was included,
Existing collateral material showed that a wide range of styles and variations
exist which can, collectively produce a diSjointed image,
To expand the cooperative efforts between tourism stakeholders a separate $1,000,000
is being recommended, Consideration on the allocation of these funds include:
The budget would be controlled by the new Philadelphia Tourism Marketing
Corporation, discussed in the next section of this report.
The communications message delivered through any cooperative effort must be
consistent with the overall pOSitioning/image of the City delivered through the
general advertising campaign.
Allocations would be given to multiple cooperative partners -- that is to say funds
will be restricted to joint marketing efforts. Funds could not be given to an event
like Welcome America for advertising, They could however be given to a
cooperative effort between Welcome America and several hotels to promote
special event packages to the City.
1'IfIMDllU'lIlA 7'OlJRISM RI'OR1:'
Ideally, partnerships would include hotels in order to make it easier for travelers
to "buy" an overnight stay in Philadelphia. This however is not essential.
Examples of potential partnerships include:
The Zoo and the Aquarium
Historic Philadelphia & South Street
Penn's Landing & Restaurants or the National Park
The Flower Show & Hotels
Museums & The Ph illy Ph I ash
The State of Pennsylvania & Outside Partners such as
American Express or Regional Tourism Authorities
Ultimately, however, the goal for the cooperative fund is to encourage organizations
that have historically spent very little money promoting the City to devise ways to do so
in the future. It will also encourage entities that may have not thought about
cooperative ventures to rethink their overall marketing strategies and seek future
opportunities and to do so in a way that helps promote Philadelphia with a consistent
It should be the job of the new organization discussed in the next section to establish a
clear set of cooperative advertising guidelines for the consistent distribution of funds
and the monitoring of activities designed to achieve the ultimate goal of making
Philadelphia an overnight destination city.
Examples of criteria to be used in the cooperative guidelines include:
The cooperative funds are to be used for marketing communications materials
those designed to educate and inform visitors and residents about the attractions
and events available in the City. Preferences will be given to co-op advertising
ventures but alternate forms of communication i.e. brochures, maps, etc will also
be eligible.
Cooperative funds should not exceed 50% of the total communications budget of
the joint marketing partners (in the beginning). The funds are intended help
partners increase their advertising and promotion efforts, not replace them.
Cooperative funds should only be provided to those entities that will be
promoting Philadelphia in a manner that is consistent with agreed upon market
pOSitioning for the City.
Fund managers should strive to spend all the cooperative monies in accordance
with the above guidelines. Funds not spent on cooperative programs in any
given year should be transferred to the general advertising campaign. However,
it is important to develop a mechanism that maximizes cooperative efforts.
The above allocation criteria are only examples of the types of guidelines that need to
be developed. It is realized that new/additional guidelines will be developed over time
as different situations arise.
It is believed that an important side benefit of the cooperative program as detailed
above is that it will make the new Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. a power in the
City because of its ability to leverage funds and get new marketing and advertising
programs off the ground.
Promote the City as an overnight vacation destination representing the
quintessential AI/-American City experience - past and present.
In addition to a high level of awareness among the traveling public and trade, a city
destination also needs a unified and unique marketing image. A strong market
positioning will easily convey to the visitor what benefits he/she will enjoy by visiting the
city and what makes the destination different from all others. This helps the destination
move from all the places considered to the select few seriously considered.
Fragmented messages work against a destination -- usually resulting in lower
awareness and a confused perception about what makes the destination special or
unique. Recently, several travel industry players in Canada pointed to the lack of a
central tourism body as the cause of Canada's inability to capitalize on the growing
tourism market. These people rightly believed that too many players, both private and
public, sending different messages to the US tourist market has resulted in a
fragmented and confused image of Canada as a tourist destination.
106 MARKliTlNG
The situation in Philadelphia has been slightly different than that encountered by
Canada. Instead of having too many different messages in the marketplace, the City
has had too few messages of any kind reaching consumers. Based on the
recommendations made in this report, that situation should change dramatically in the
near future as both public and private sector enterprises begin to promote the City more
Positioning Defined
As noted in the Marketing Assessment, there is a great deal of confusion over the
precise definition of what constitutes a "tourist." So too, there is a tremendous amount
of confusion regarding specifically what comprises a market positioning. Therefore, it is
important to first define what positioning is prior to providing the recommended one for
Positioning is the way in which we want the consumer to think about a
Qroduct or service. It is the most basic of all strategic elements and
provides the blueprint for the marketing and development of a brand. Its
2.l!.rPose i to focus the efforts of all those involved in marketing and
development activities and once successfully established. it should rarely
be changed.
A good market positioning for Philadelphia can be captured in the following statement:
To _________ , Philadelphia is the ________ _
that _________________ __
There are therefore three separate elements required in developing a market
positioning statement. In addition, there is one other item needed, and that is the
supporting rationale which provides reasons for consumers to believe that the benefit
promised will actually be delivered.
Recommendations for the three elements of the positioning statement and supporting
rationale include:
Frame of Reference
The Frame of Reference describes the consumer grouping of like products with which
Philadelphia competes,
Since Philadelphia will not likely compete directly with shore or mountain resort
vacations, the Frame of Reference must be "city vacation destinations," This report
has been prepared to address the issue of "overnight" vacationers, and as such, these
individuals need to be included in the positioning statement. This is particularly
important given the fact that the City is well known for the short length of stay of the
majority of its visitors.
The recommended Frame of Reference or competitive grouping should be therefore be
"2yernight city vacation destinations."
Target Market
Unlike a single product or service, a city offers potential vacationers a plethora of
different experiences and therefore can appeal to a wide range of different target
markets. By its very nature, a city must appeal to a fairly broad target market in order to
support the broad spectrum of city constituents,
For Philadelphia, at least in the initial phase of the marketing program, a broader target
market definition, with a few logical niche segments is being recommended. As more
research becomes available, adjustments to the target market will be necessary.
(As noted in the Marketing Assessment, there is very little research available on who is
coming, or who is likely to be inclined to come to Philadelphia for an overnight hotel
stay vacation. Even the State does not have an accurate reading of who comes to
Pennsylvania for a vacation, although they do know the geographiC area of persons
requesting literature on Pennsylvania vacations.)
There is ample research on other city destinations indicating that the majority of
vacationers come from within a distance of 200 miles, Lacking any research
information specific to Philadelphia on source markets, it is recommended that future
marketing efforts be concentrated within a radius of 200 miles of the City,
P//l/ADt"LI'lflA roURJ.\'M REJ>()R1:'
Within that 200 mile marketing area, Philadelphia should concentrate its marketing
efforts primarily on attracting families, The product, particularly its historical elements
and museums, aquarium and zoo, is well suited for the family market
According to a recently released study by the U,S, Travel Data Center, some 92 million
adults, representing 48% of the U,S, popUlation are expected to take a family vacation
trip this year -- a 4% increase over 1994. Although ocean and beach vacations are the
most popular (50 percent), this is followed closely by visits to historical sites (42%).
Families represent a very interesting and highly desirable market for Philadelphia.
Positioning Philadelphia as a great overnight family vacation destination, will provide a
springboard for correcting the erroneous perception that the City is unsafe, If
successfully repositioned in such a manner, perceptions of safety should increase
dramatically over time,
Positioning Philadelphia as a family destination is by no means an impossible mission.
Las Vegas, a destination once synonymous with gambling, prostitution and sin, has
recently become better known as a "family destination.
Within the family market, two very important niche markets need to be addressed in any
marketing program. These include wealthy senior pleasure travelers and African
Americans -- segments for which Philadelphia has a particularly strong product.
Specific ways to address these audiences, whether through executional variations of
the core creatiVe, or through specialized creative in different media should be made by
the communications firm retained to develop and execute the program in conjunction
with the new tourism organization.
The Target Market for Philadelphia should therefore be defined as "families living
within a 200 mile radius of the City."
There are two additional niche markets which need to be addressed in any future
Philadelphia communications programs. These include:
Cultural/Historical Enthusiasts
International Visitors
These markets should receive some special adVertising consideration in the image
campaign for Philadelphia, but the majority of emphasis against these markets should
come within the cooperative advertising program.
Point of Difference/Benefit
The point of difference is the specific benefit we want consumers to associate most
readily with Philadelphia. In the Marketing Assessment two overwhelming image
problems were identified.
First of all, the City, one of the most important from an American Heritage perspective
had lost that dominant position within the minds of the traveling public. Philadelphia
needs to re"establish itself as the premiere destination for authentic American Heritage.
It must not ignore its own heritage and place in American History, as this is the one
thing that makes Philadelphia Ullique from any other city in the world.
Philadelphia, more than any other city in America, can and should lay claim to early
American History.
Secondly, what limited research there is points to the fact that Philadelphia suffers from
a lack of personality. Many potential travelers perceive it as being dull, unexciting, old
fashioned and lacking in anything more than history. In addition claiming early
American history, Philadelphia must, at the same time, clearly position itself as a
modern and cosmopolitan destination containing an abundance of high quality cultural
activity, dining and events -- a city that would be fun/entertaining to visit.
Playinq off American History, it is that Philadelphia's point of
difference be that it is the quintessential "All-American City experience - Pa.!
and Present.
Philadelphia should "own" American Heritage -- its past As it stands today it does not.
In addition the City should recognize that it has gone through an exceptionally difficult
period - just as the vast majority of other cities have. And like many other cities,
Philadelphia has managed to emerge from financial crisis to be one of the most vibrant
and exciting cities on the East Coast or anywhere in the United States.
Positioning Summary
The three elements of a market positioning statement and the recommendations for
Philadelphia are:

Target Market

Frame of Reference

Point of Difference/Benefit
- families living within a 200 mile radius
- overnight city vacation destinations
- the quintessential All American City
experience - Past and Present
Following the market positioning statement guidelines, the recommended positioning
statement can be expressed as follows:
To families living within a 200 mile radius, Philadelphia is
the overnight vacation destination that represents the
quintessential All-American City experience - past and
The positioning statement provides the framework for which a focused and impactful
marketing and communications program can be developed, The statement does not
represent the advertising or tag line for Philadelphia. but rather what a viewer or reader
should take away after seeing or hearing a commercial for the City.
If the recommended marketing positioning is approved, it must be translated into an
exciting and compelling advertising campaign by an advertising/communications firm.
Several very important points need to be expressed regarding the recommended
positioning for Philadelphia.
By its very nature, it focuses very tightly on the City itself. It is recommended
that in the beginning, the City concentrate its marketing funds on promoting
Considerable discussion took place regarding the benefits and tradeoffs
associated with expanding the program to include the greater Philadelphia area
as there are many attractions within a short drive and tourism is basically
regional. Due to the limited tourism marketing in the past, initial efforts should be
primarily focussed on clarifying and establishing the pOSitioning for Philadelphia.
An expansion of the program to include regional enterprises should come as
soon as Philadelphia's new positioning has become established,
Meanwhile, one of our recommendations with respect to product, the new INHP
Visitors' Center, is that the visitors' center should have a very heavy regional
focus so that visitors clearly understand the wide array of attractions in and
around Philadelphia and encourage multiple repeat visits and positive word of
The target market is defined as individuals living within a 200 mile radius of the
City. By definition, that means that the residents of Philadelphia and its suburbs
are indeed a target for the new marketing campaign.
Positioning Rationale
In addition to the three major components for a marketing position, it is important that a
sound rationale be developed which provides permission to believe the benefits
promised in advertising will indeed be delivered,
The rationale supporting Philadelphia's as "the quintessential All American City - Past
and Present" is encyclopedic.
In reality, Philadelphia does have an unsurpassed lock on America's "past" -- that
reality does, however, need to be conveyed to travelers, including:
Benjamin Franklin
the Constitution
America's earliest government center
Betsy Ross
The Liberty Bell
Strong and Positive Linkages with African Americans
Independence National Park and 52 other national historic land marks
Over 100 other historical sites
a wealth of early American architecture
As it pertains to the "present," it is true that Philadelphia, like so many other cities in
America has gone through a period of decline and rejuvenation. Unfortunately, far too
many potential travelers are unaware that Philadelphia has emerged from a particularly
bleak period and is now much stronger and significantly more exciting than ever before.
There are numerous attributes that make Philadelphia a modern and exciting city to visit
today --many of which carry an Americana theme, combined with the "best" a word
PllIlAJ)I!U'lfI,4 TOURISM 1<1'0111',
associated with All American:
it has been rated as the third most livable city in America,
it has many of America's best restaurants, museums and art
America's largest and most prestigious flower show
America's best Fourth of July Celebration - Welcome America
virtually continuous array of local events -- many of which are free to the public
Army/Navy Game
In addition to the above, Philadelphia was recognized by the National Civic League in
1994 by being one of the top prize winners in its "All-America City Award Program" in
recognition of civic excellence, This is yet another example of why Philadelphia, more
than any other city in the country could lay claim to being America's All American City -
Past and Present.
A potential added benefit of Philadelphia's recommended positioning as the
All-American City may materialize as a result of the State's current advertising slogan of
"America Starts Here." In reality, America started in Philadelphia. Depending on
Philadelphia's ultimate advertising campaign execution, there may be synergistic
elements that benefit the City.
Specific attractions, events and products that should be used as supporting rationale in
any advertising communications will depend on the demands of the actual creative
message. Let it suffice that there is ample rationale to support Philadelphia's
recommended market positioning.
Develop an extensive marketing research program to monitor the success of the
communications effort and to aid in fine-tuning future efforts. Allocate $175,000
annually for research.
As pointed out throughout this report, Philadelphia does not have the research it needs
in order to effectively market itself in an effective and professional manner. Research
is needed in order to make informed marketing decisions, monitor the impact of image
and promotional programs and ensure that the funds spent on promoting the City are
used in the most effective manner.
113 MARf{lfTING
It is recommended that $175,000 is allocated each year toward research, From a
traditional tourism perspective this may appear to be too much money, but
Philadelphia has not followed traditional marketing practices in the past. It must now
make a concerted effort to "catch-up" and build a professional, information based
tourism marketing program, This will require quality research to measure the
effectiveness of marketing efforts and to fine-tune future programs,
Some of the areas that need to be investigated on an on-going basis include:
Economic Impact of Tourism -- The last economic impact study was conducted
nearly five years ago, These studies need to be done on a regular basis to
analyze the total impact of all tourists to the City -- day trippers, hotel visitors,
VFRs and businessmen and conventioneers, Studies should be done to
measure the impact during peak as well as shoulder seasons.
Economic impact will be one of the key measures for determining the impact of
the marketing program and its ability to create economic benefit for Philadelphia.
Awareness and Image -- The marketing program is specifically designed to
increase awareness and consideration of Philadelphia as a vacation destination
city. It is also designed to change attitudes about the City and create a positive
image of it as "the quintessential All American City - Past and Present."
Attitude and awareness studies will be needed to monitor the effectiveness of
the program. Perhaps the current quantitative study being fielded by the Mayor's
Hospitality Cabinet can serve as the benchmark study. This area needs to be
investigated further.
Any research that is conducted should be professionally managed and include a
sufficient sample so the attitude and behavioral shifts among key segments of
the market can be monitored. Key segments should include, but not be limited
to visitors vs. non-visitors, families, African Americans, senior travelers, travel
agents and individuals living within 100 miles and between 100 and 200 miles of
the City.
Motivating Factors -- A better understanding of why visitors are coming to
Philadelphia and why non-visitors are not is needed,
Visitor Source Markets -- Research needs to be conducted in order to determine
the high potential markets -- those with the highest likelihood of vacationing in
When developing research programs to help monitor the effectiveness of the new
marketing programs efforts should be made to seek cooperative opportunities, Other
organizations within the City may be interested in some of the same information and
may be willing to share the research costs.
An additional consideration would be to think of a portion of the research budget as
cooperative funds, to be used to support individual organizations or groups in their
efforts to better understand their customer and thus Philadelphia's.
There are three basic marketing recommendations being made as a result of the
Assessment of Philadelphia's past programs and potential for becoming a recognized
vacation destination. These include:
Spend a minimum of $3,000,000 annually promoting the City
Position Philadelphia as "the AIIAmerican City Past and Present"
Use research to measure and refine marketing programs
Within those basic recommendations numerous issues will need to be addressed and
resolved in order for Philadelphia to realize its full tourism potential. One of the key
success factors will be the ability of the new tourism organization to harness the energy
of local industry partners and help deliver a focused and powerful message to travelers.
There are numerous examples within the travel industry of destinations that have used
marketing and advertising to dramatically increase tourism and contributions to the local
In the mid 1980s, Aruba found itself in dire economic straits. Its number one industry,
oil, was effectively shut down with the departure of the country's major oil refinery.
Faced with unemployment as high as 50%, the country turned to tourism for help.
Aruba began to aggressively develop and promote its tourism product outspending the
vast majority of destinations on a per tourist arrival basis.
Aruba's aggressive marketing program had a great return on investment. In 1987 it
received 231,000 visitors and In 1994 that figure had grown by more than 2-% times to
582,000. During that same period overall arrivals to the Caribbean Region increased
less than 50%.
The Cayman Islands, with virtually no natural resources has relied on marketing to build
its tourism industry. A country of less than 20,000 inhabitants annually hosts nearly 1
million visitors.
Illinois spends over $30 million annually promoting tourism to the State. For 1995 the
State was planning to increase its marketing and advertising budget by $2 million and
estimated that the total economic benefit for the State would exceed $100 million.
New York State's "I Love NY" program began in 1977 with a $3.7 million advertising
budget. It increased to $10 million by the early '80's, dropped for several years to under
$8, increased to over $15 million in the late '80's and has dropped back down to $3
million in 1993. Regular tracking has shown that advertising awareness and as a result
share of tourism market, as measured by key tourism indicators, have followed directly
the state's commitment to advertising.
In reviewing the marketing efforts of successful destinations there is one thing that can
be said with a great deal of certainty. None of the successful ones achieved their
status without an aggressive communications program.
At this point. there is no way to predict the absolute economic impact of the
recommended marketing effort for the City of Philadelphia. This is in part due to the
lack of good benchmarks with which to predict impact. Based on the consultants'
experience, it is believed that the economic contribution of the $3 million spent in
advertising would be paid for several times over through increased tax revenue and job
creation within the City.
With good research, it will be possible to determine the optimum amount of marketing
spending in future years.
The product and marketing sections of this report have delineated a few select
recommendations that are designed to make a difference.
Implementation of the product recommendations must be achieved primarily by
government and by private sector groups which want to support specific attractions or
events. For instance improving streets capes , parking and transportation linkages will
be the job of government while the building of a new visitors center, the Constitution
Center and the enhancement of specific attractions within the visitor domain need to be
accomplished with a preponderance of the energy and funding coming from the private
Implementation of the marketing recommendations will take an organization that has a
vision for the future, a commitment to and expertise in tourism marketing, the
confidence of the hospitality industry and the power to strongly and steadily move the
tourism agenda forward.
While there are a plethora of organizations in Philadelphia involved in tourism related
matters, there is no one organization that is recognized as the leader in tourism
promotion. Among the groups, not including individual attractions, involved in tourism in
Philadelphia are:
Convention & Visitors Bureau
Convention Center
City Representatives Office
Mayor's Voluntary Tourism Action Committee
Hospitality Cabinet
Planning Commission
Greater Philadelphia First
Chamber of Commerce
Center City District
A number of other Business Improvement Districts
Penn's Landing Corp.
Delaware River & Port Authority
Hotel Association
Restaurant Association
National Park Service
Welcome America
Historic Philadelphia
Philadelphia Hospitality, Inc.
The tourism agenda is clearly being championed by Mayor Rendell, but the many
groups involved in tourism have overlapping responsibilities with none emerging as the
indisputable leader. As one Philadelphian described it, "Philadelphia has a predilection
to start organizations with overlapping responsibilities, like the Olympic symbol with its
overlapping circles."
Furthermore, despite the fact that there is considerable cross fertilization of board
members there is surprisingly little coordination among the hospitality industry and
tourism groups in Philadelphia. For instance the attractions rarely meet together as a
group in an attempt to work together or discuss common issues and the hotels and
attractions have only recently begun developing and promoting packages.
On the ever present problem of insufficient funding, rather than working together to
increase the size of the pie, energies are directed by each organization toward
separately trying to obtain a larger piece of the pie. Welcome America is one example
of increasing and improving cooperation and coordination among groups but this is the
exception rather than the rule.
From our review of the current situation and our conversations with many
Philadelphians involved in tourism we have concluded that in order to accomplish the
marketing recommendations and a greater degree of coordination and cooperation, an
organization must take a leadership pOSition.
In reaching our conclusion we have surveyed the scene to understand what has not
worked in Philadelphia, asked key players for recommendations, studied comparable
situations in other urban destinations, addressed the specific dynamics of Philadelphia
and drew on our own expertise.
While there are numerous organizations in Philadelphia involved with tourism, none is
perceived to be effectively marketing Philadelphia as a tourist destination. The CVB
which plays this role in many cities is seen, as a result of recent priorities, to be
focussed on convention sales rather than tourism.
Our own experience and a study of comparable cities conducted for this report
(Philadelphia Tourism, Vol. II, "Com parables") has provided us with a list of
ingredients and qualities of successful tourism organizations:
Clear delineation of responsibilities
Funds clearly allocated for tourism
Continuity of funding
Good communication & cooperation between
tourism stakeholders
Sufficient research
Good knowledge of target audiences
Unified theme or message
Healthy advertising budget
Qualified staff with tourism expertise
In Philadelphia, while there is a growing enthusiasm for tourism promotion and
development and a number of tourism professionals, the other key ingredients are not
present. If Philadelphia is to become the destination city it should be a structure needs
to be created which can bring together the above listed essential qualities and can
provide the following:


Continuity & Stability
Marketing Expertise


Basically an organization succeeds because of one or more of the following three
reasons; people, power and money. The structure that Philadelphia should establish to
promote tourism needs:
(1) The right people -- experienced, knowledgeable, hard working tourism
(2) Power -- the ability to get things done and to get people and groups to
work together
(3) Money -- sufficient resources to mount an effective, sustained marketing
There are three options for an organization to promote Philadelphia tourism; it can be
placed within government, placed within an existing organization or a new organization
can be created. After a study of the pros and cons of each option, we have concluded
that the creation of a new organization is the best solution. In the words of a prominent
Philadelphia private sector CEO,
"Tourism is so important to Philadelphia it needs a new organization that
doesn't exist today."
Following are lists of pros and cons for each of the three options. While we understand
that intelligent arguments can be made in support of each of the options, it is our belief
that in Philadelphia, at this time, the arguments in support of a new organization are
most con\incing.
Place tourism promotion organization within:
A. Government
To accomplish what is necessary in Philadelphia, the level of involvement would require
the creation of a Deputy Mayor for Tourism, Tourism Commissioner or some similar
operation which provided for the requisite expertise and authority.
Power resides here
A few governments have done the job well (New York State, Virginia,
Little continuity (changes with each new administration, two term mayoralty rule)
Turnover of personnel (i.e. seven different commerce commissioners in the ten
years it took to create the new convention center)
Civil service limits specific expertise and scope of staff selection
Government rarely a good marketer
Historically little money available
Competes for funding with unrelated issues
Local private sector skeptical of government's ability to market tourism and as a
result may not be as supportive
Mayor can assist even if organization not placed within government
B. An Existing Organization
There are a number of existing organizations in Philadelphia that might well house a
new tourism marketing and promotion section. The various pros and cons, therefore,
often relate specifically to the organization in which it might be placed. The eVB, the
Chamber, Greater Philadelphia First are all possibilities. The pros and cons listed
below are meant to be general rather than specific to an organization. Each of the
potential organizations would have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Economies of scale
Establish more quickly
Less administrative issues
Not organizations primary responsibility
Compete with other interests of the organization
Overcome existing perceptions
Current staff not tourism marketing oriented
Not enough power
C. Create a New Organization
The idea is to develop a new organization to accomplish something tourism marketing
that is not currently and has not been done adequately in Philadelphia for more than a
Funds clearly allocated for tourism
Overcome perception that current organizations can't do it
Can be tailor made to meet specific needs
Possess a freshness & energy needed to meet task
Find best people to build new organization
Image - shows real commitment to attracting tourists
Not buried in a bureaucracy - keep lean & mean
It would have no prior allegiances
Best chance for coordinating other groups
Provide continuity and permanence to tourism effort
Administratively more difficult
Proliferation of entities
Longer to set up
Possible opposition from existing groups
The new organization which we envision and recommend must define a positive and
compelling image of Philadelphia as a destination city and must then communicate that
image to appropriate audiences.
Such an organization would have a number of responsibilities:
j, Leadership
It is important that Philadelphia have an aggressive tourism marketing
organization that fills the vacuum that has existed for such a long time. This
group should act as a champion and cheerleader for tourism development and
promotion and actively convey the value of tourism to the community.
This group should develop and implement tourism action plans that have both
short and long term goals. In its advocacy role it must encourage long term
planning and effectively convey to the community that continuity and stability, not
a quick fix, is the only way a tourism program can succeed,
It should also be the organization in Philadelphia that possesses the knowledge
and expertise to monitor the advances in information technology which can have
a positive impact on Philadelphia tourism and adapt those technologies to the
city's tourism efforts.
Ii. Continuity & Stability
It is essential that the institutional structure and funding be ongoing, As
discussed in the marketing session of this report, the key to an advertising
campaign's success is sustainability, This has been proven time and again,
especially with respect to tourism destinations, Unless there are assurances that
the advertising and promotional campaign will be funded for a minimum of three
years and managed by tourism professionals, we would recommend that the
effort not be undertaken.
iii. Marketing
The primary responsibility of the organization will be to market Philadelphia as a
tourist destination. The development and implementation of its marketing plan
will create and communicate the image that will help attract tourists. As part of
that plan it must initiate a program of research which will allow the organization to
effectively target its marketing and to measure the success of its activities.
Its staff will control the marketing funds, work with the advertising agency, help
refine the positioning statement and develop a unified theme. A communications
plan needs to be developed which will include print, radio, TV, PR, promotions
and direct mail. Efforts must be made to capitalize on promotional opportunities
such as movies, TV shows, and Philadelphia events.
The power to coordinate the tourism effort and the ability to leverage marketing
funds is based on a program to dispense funds to groups which are interested in
participating in co-op advertising and promotions. It will be the job of this new
organization to develop criteria for this program and to encourage and identify
co-op advertising and promotion opportunities which will be beneficial to the
various attractions and consistent with and supportive of the overall image
campaign. The organization's staff will review the co-op marketing proposals
submitted to the organization and decide which to fund.
IV. Coordination
If Philadelphia is to move the tourism agenda forward its various organizations
must work together more effectively. One of the key responsibilities of this
organization, in its leadership role, will be to act as a catalyst for the coordination
and cooperation of the tourism stakeholders.
While not taking responsibility for events or attractions, the organization must
help coordinate programs and activities and develop new alliances. It must
create and help facilitate both formal and informal networks so that the various
attractions and tourist organizations not only know what one another is doing but
find ways to work together. Its objective should be that with respect to
Philadelphia tourism the whole will truly become greater than the sum of its
J'1llL-lDHLPIflA TOOl/ISM I/El'OIl7)
Special efforts need to be made to:
involve the NPS with the Historic District, Penn's Landing and South Street
to encourage the city and regions to work together
to prompt the hotels and restaurants to become more active in developing
promotions with the attractions
to persuade the state to develop new partnerships with the city
to convince all tourism stakeholders that they must playa role in improving
to inspire those stakeholders to join together to reach the overall goal of making
Philadelphia a first class destination city.
The organization's emphasis must be to encourage a coordinated marketing
program. With such a large and critical job, it must not be diverted from its
primary task. Therefore, while the organization's staff might reflect upon and
offer suggestions about such important tourism issues as quality control,
hospitality training, product development, converting conventioneers to tourist
and event management, it must be made perfectly clear that these are
responsibilities of other groups and organizations and not the new organization
which must remain focussed on marketing Philadelphia.
v. Funding
There has been little government funding available for or devoted to tourism
promotion in Philadelphia for more than a decade. The private sector has
contributed to developing events and programs aimed at improving tourism
product such as Welcome America, Penn's Landing events and Historic
Philadelphia but almost no money has been devoted to advertising.
The single most prevalent problem for tourism marketing organizations is finding
adequate funding. There is no one source that will fund 100% of the costs over
a period of years.
One of the responsibilities of the new organization will be to identify dedicated
revenue streams that can provide the continuity that is required. Initial funding is
the most difficult to locate. Once a marketing plan operates for a number of
years and proves its value, it should be easier to locate funding sources .
.l'Hll..4Jll!U'lfJA 1'O(J!llSM !lE.I'O!lr,
Staff of the new organization will have as one of its responsibilities studying and
identifying funding sources such as government appropriations, taxes and
private sector contributions.
In addition to the information on funding found in Volume IIof this report it is
interesting to note that within the past few months the Hawaii Senate has passed
a bill that would increase the states hotel room tax by 2% with the added
revenue funding the Hawaii Visitors' Bureau. In Miami the CVB is considering
shutting down the City's visitation centers outside the state to put more money
into advertising. Miami is also considering new forms of taxation to boost its
current $1.5 million a year advertising budget.
Our recommendations for the format or structure of the new organization to market
Philadelphia are as follows:
i. Working title: Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp.
The organization's name should represent its primary objective which is
marketing Philadelphia for tourism purposes.
ii. Legal Structure: Not-For-Profit-Corp
This provides a quick and efficient mechanism to allow the marketing program to
be started as soon as funding is located. It is also a structure that may facilitate
contributions from the private sector because of tax deductibility.
iii. Mission
iv. Staffing
The new organization should have a small board and staff. In loday's parlance
the staff should be "lean and mean." Overhead should be kept low, bureaucracy
avoided and as large a percentage of the budget as possible should be devoted
to advertising and marketing.
To begin there should be three professionals and one or two support staff. It is
critical that the professionals have tourism marketing experience. There should
be a president, an individual in charge of marketing and an individual
responsible for coordination and funding.
The staff can be kept small because much of the work will be done by the
advertising agency chosen to execute the marketing campaign. Other marketing
initiatives will be executed by Philadelphia tourism attractions and members of
the hospitality industry.
In addition to the Board, there should be an Advisory Council, consisting of
tourism stakeholders who meet regularly with the PTMC's staff.
The board of the PTMC should playa role in the creation and oversight of the
proposed Visitors' Center at Independence Mall, and the staff can assist with
programmatic, promotional and regional components.
A proposed organizational chart for the PTMC follows:
v. Responsibilities
The responsibilities of the organization, described in more detail earlier, should
1. Developing and implementing an effective tourism marketing program
2. Coordination of the various tourism stakeholders in Philadelphia
3, Developing dedicated revenue streams necessary for continuity
The organization most like the one we are suggesting is the New Orleans
Tourism Marketing Corporation. The structure, budget and funding of that
organization are described in Volume II of this report, "Comparables". The most
important similarities are the size of the marketing budget, the independence of
the organization and the size of the staff.
o Attractions
o Events
o Hospitality Industry
o Civic Organi zations
o Pew's Rep.
o Mayor's Rep.
o Governor's Rep.
o Community Rep.
o Business Rep.
o Business Rep.
o CVB'sRep.
.... ----------.. I a Leadership
a Research
a Advertising
a Promotion
a Administration
a Coord ination
o Attractions
o Events
o Environment
o Quality
o Create Revenue Streams
vi. Budget
In order to promote the city aggressively and consistently, we believe the
following budget is necessary:
Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp,
Advertising & production
Co-op programs
Other programs & 'operations
Miscellaneous promotions
$ 650,000
$ 175,000
The advertising and co-op programs have been described in greater detail in the
marketing section of this report,
vii. Relationship to Other Organizations
One of the concerns of creating a new organization is that it would add to the
proliferation of already existing organizations in Philadelphia, In order to combat
this building of layers or "overlapping Olympic circles" we recommend that some
of the existing organizations or some specific responsibilities of continuing
organizations be folded into the new organization, For instance the activities of
the Mayor's Action Council for Visitors and certain functions of the City
Representative's office and the CVB could be handled by the PTMC. The
specifics and other possibilities for consolidation should be studied,
With the small staff of the PTMC focussed on marketing, and to maximize the
amount of funding going toward image building and co-op programs, we
recommend that tourism sales,(i.e. motorcoach, special interest, and packages)
remain the responsibility of the CVB. Also telemarketing 800# and fulfillment
operations should be handled outside of the PTMC.
viii. Funding
An effective marketing campaign will not be implemented and Philadelphia will
not reach its goal of becoming a destination city without sufficient and
sustainable funding. This is particularly true since so little money has been
devoted to promotion and advertising for more than a decade. A clear and
continuing financial commitment must be made to the tourism promotion effort.
A review of the current economic environment in Philadelphia revealed that
potential funding sources fell broadly into three categories; private sector,
government, and other.
Private Sector
This group includes local corporations, business organizations and foundations.
Local corporations should support this marketing campaign for one or more of
the following three reasons; 1) meeting its corporate citizenship responsibilities,
2) use for promotional purposes, and 3) business self interest (this is especially
true for companies in the hospitality industry but it is also true for other
businesses which will benefit by a more economically sound Philadelphia).
Local corporations have been contributing to various events and product
improvements aimed at stimulating the tourist situation in Philadelphia, in fact,
quite a few people referred in their interviews to a "corporate funding fatigue" that
was present in Philadelphia.
We contend that if presented properly, with the benefits to Philadelphia set forth,
that considerable funding can be raised from local corporations. Since the
economic impact of improved tourism can be so significant we believe that the
business associations such as Philadelphia First. the Chamber of Commerce
and tile Hotel and Restaurant Associations should not only assist in obtaining
funding from its members but should also make contributions themselves.
The Pew Charitable Trusts have generously supported tourism related
institutions in Philadelphia. PEW has been a major supporter of a number of
different tourist attractions such as the zoo, Independence Hall, the Academy of
Music and many historic properties. It has also contributed to events or activities
tllat draw tourists such as the Flower Show and Historic Philadelphia. PEWs
interest in and understanding of the importance of tourism to Philadelphia is
further evidenced by its funding of this study, We recommend that PEW and
other local foundations identify those recommendations in this report which they
believe meet their grant giving guidelines and participate in Philadelphia's
tourism effort with significant contributions. A contribution by PEW or other
foundations could serve as an effective catalyst for additional funding.
The hospitality industry and the attractions themselves have a special
responsibility to support the city's marketing efforts. The hotels for instance
should be doing more to promote Philadelphia. To date there has been
surprisingly little hotel sponsored promotion of the city. This is especially true
when contrasted to hotel activity in competitive cities. The Philadelphia hotels
should evidence their support by contributing to the funding of the new
organization and by participating in the c o ~ o p advertising program.
Tourism promotion is among the most important economic development tools
available to government and should be treated as such when making funding
and budget decisions. A significant portion of the funding for the new
organization must, therefore, come from government sources, either from direct
appropriations or taxation.
The government sources for direct appropriations include the city, the state and
quasi governmental agencies such as the Delaware River Port Authority. States
are critical to most of the tourism advertising campaigns throughout the US. The
Com parables volume of this report provides a number of examples of a states
participation in support of a city's efforts. Louisiana, Massachusetts and New
York all play central roles in the tourism promotion of their major cities and
Pennsylvania's funding of tourism is presently undergoing changes. It is
important for the new organization to attempt to obtain commitments of
assistance for Philadelphia's rejuvenated tourism marketing approach.
The city itself must also evidence its commitment by agreeing to fund the new
organization for a minimum of three years at predetermined levels. The city's
commitment whether it comes from economic development funds or other
sources will be central to attracting the remainder of the funds necessary to meet
the projected budget of $4 million a year for the first three years.
Since a continuing dedicated revenue stream is so essential to the success of
the organization and its programs serious consideration should be given to
additional taxation, the proceeds of which would be devoted to tourism marketing
and development A small increase in the hotel tax makes the most sense for a
number of reasons:
1, the direct relationship between hotel occupancy and tourism promotion.
2, the fact that the current tax of 13% leaves some room for increase before
reaching the level at which most authorities believe occupancy is
negatively affected by the amount of the tax.
3, we have been advised that a 1 % hotel tax increase at current occupancy
levels would result in $2 million, Assuming that the revenues from the
increase in the hotel tax were dedicated specifically for tourism marketing
the new organization would benefit by having a large percentage of the
resources needed for a marketing program assured over time, This would
provide the continuity so critical to a marketing campaign,
We understand the difficulties in increasing the hotel tax and insuring that
the revenues are dedicated to the tourism marketing program, however its
value to Philadelphia's tourism effort is so great that state and local
officials should consider this funding opportunity,
Quasi-governmental agencies such as the Delaware River Port Authority should
also be approached for funding, The Authority has a record of supporting
economic development ventures and tourism promotion fits squarely within that
The Convention & Visitors Bureau currently receives state tourism funding as the
city's designated tourist agency, Since we are recommending that the CVB
retain some of its tourism responsibilities such as tourism sales (see above) it
would be possible for the CVB to retain that designation, However, since the
tourism marketing efforts would be managed by the new organization the CVB
could contribute a portion of its budget to the new marketing effort.
Throughout our interviewing process and study there was constant reference to
the possibility of Riverboat Gambling. This study has not dealt with the issue
because of the uncertainty of the passage of riverboat gambling legislation and
the uncertainty of the form it would take if it were instituted. However, should it
come to pass, the revenues derived from riverboat gambling would be an
appropriate source for funding the tourism marketing campaign.
The new organization which we have recommended is central to quickly and effectively
improving tourism in Philadelphia and steps to create it should be undertaken as soon
as possible. Adjustments in the organization's format may be made, however, it is
important to begin establishing the organization to begin the groundwork necessary for
an advertising campaign.
Despite our belief that the organization described herein is the most effective and
efficient way to proceed, we recommend going forward only if three conditions are met.
1) Adequate funding is guaranteed for a minimum of three years
2) Tourism professionals are recruited to staff the organization
3) The organization has the support of local government and Philadelphia
tourism stakeholders
If these three conditions are not met the new organization would have little chance of
success and the money devoted to it would not be wisely spent.
Obviously, the key ingredient in moving the process forward is to obtain assurances of
the requisite funding. The incorporation of the not-for-profit, establishment of the Board
and Advisory Council, recruiting of staff and other administrative matters need to be
taken care of.
A search for an advertising agency must be conducted, which would include criteria and
screener development, solicitation of qualified firms, evaluation of capabilities and
presentations. Together with the advertising agency a marketing strategy must be
developed and an advertising campaign implemented.
Cooperative advertising and marketing guidelines must be developed, tourism
stakeholders need to be enlisted to participate in the cooperative marketing program
and coordination efforts need to be initiated.
Other issues such as obtaining additional funding, developing a research plan, working
with the state and regional groups, advising on the proposed Visitors Center at the
INHP and developing relationships and clarifying responsibilities with current tourism
organizations will need to be addressed over time.
Ed Rendell Mayor July 25
Aug. 5
Dec. 21
Dec. 22
April 6
May 25
David Cohen Chief of Staff Nov. 28
Dec. 21
Thomas Ridge Governor May 25
Karen vdH Butler Mayor's Action Committee July 29
on Visitors Sep. 26
Vincent Fumo State Senator Oct. 11
Randy Albright Senate Appropriations Committee
Bill Giles Phillies & Chairman CVB Sept. 1
Tom Muldoon CVB, President July 29
Jan. 5
Meryl Levitz CVB, Tourism Development July 29
Sep. 26
Dec. 16
Dec. 21
Dec. 22
Jan. 5
Andrew Tod CVB, Marketing Aug. 11
R.C. Staab CVB, Communications Aug. 11
Sep. 26
Jan. 5
Mark Beyerle CVB, Visitors Center Aug. 10
Sep. 28
- 2 -
Bob Butera Pa. Convention Center Aug. 5
Martha Aikens NPS, Superintendent Aug. 5
Aug. 12
May 1
Deidre Gibson NPS, Planner Aug. 9
Nov. 18
Nov. 28
April 14
May 1
Marie Rust NPS, Field Director, May 1
North East Region
B. J. Griffin NPS, Regional Director, Mid Nov. 28
Atlantic Region
Dave Hollenberg NPS, Chief of the National April 14
Register Programs Division May 1
Kathleen Dilonardo NPS, Chief of Interpretation Sept. 26
& Visitor Services
Denise L. Goren Deputy Mayor, Transportation Dec. 22
Nancy Moses Historic Philadelphia Aug. 10
Aug. 11
Sept 1
Dominick Sabatini Penn's Landing Aug. 11
Felicia Falcone
Jodie Milkman
Bill Hankowsky PIDC Aug. 25
Sept. 1
March 27
Barbara Kaplan Planning Commissioner July 29
- 3 -
Carol Cook Planning Commission July 29
Aug, 18
Ernie Leonardo Planning Commission Aug. 18
Paul Levy Center City District July 19
Dec, 22
March 27
Pamela Harper Wilson Airport-Marketing Aug, 11
Mark Pesce Airport-PR
John Claypool Greater Philadelphia First July 19
Mary Gregg
Charles Pizzi Chamber of Commerce, Pres, Aug, 25
Richard Maloney Chamber, Culture Aug. 25
Karen Davis Chamber, Communications Aug, 25
Richard Smoot CEO, PNC Bank Aug, 25
Donald Haskins VP Public Affairs
F aye Olivieri Hotel Association, Aug, 12
Kathleen Riordan Hotel Association, Manager Sept. 28
Jim Beley Ritz Carlton Aug, 5
Errin Smith
Debbie Batt Restaurant Assoc. Sept. 1
George Guenther Talmage Tours, Pres. Sept. 28
Pete Hoskins Zoo Aug. 25
Judy Wellington Aquarium Aug. 11
Jane Pepper
Horticultural Society July 18
Sept. 1
Nov. 10
March 2
Liz Hauck Horticultural Society July 18
Carol Lindemann
Bruce Crawley Minority Action Committee July 11
Theodore Herschberg University of Pennsylvania Aug. 9
George Beach Beach Advertising Aug. 9
Barbara lanarella
Maryann Sesso Elkman Advertising Aug. 9
Fred Stein Creative Consultants, Inc. Sept. 1
Mark Hoy Dir., Dept. of Commerce, Oct.
Office of Travel Marketing, Nov.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Harris Eckstut South Street Association Sept. 30
Marcia Longworth Wharton Nov. 10
Dan Leventhal
Roz Cohen
Michael Rubin Public Policy Nov. 7
University of Pennsylvania
Nan Eliot State of Pennsylvania Feb. 16
P.R. Representative in U.K.
Molly Espy Philadelphia Hospitality, Inc March 3
Robert Brasier President & CEO March 2
National Constitution Center
- 5 -
Stuart Feldman Vice President March 2
National Constitution Center
Ruth Nadler Research Dir., NYC CVB Aug. 17
Connie Goldstein Editor & Associate Publisl1er Aug. 18
Meetings & Conventions Mag.
Melissa Fromento East Coast Sales Rep., Aug. 10
Meetings & Conventions Mag. Aug. 18
Kathy Brashish Big Apple Greeters Aug. 9
Sept. 22
Rebecca Rimel President, Pew July 7
March 3
May 1
May 25
Michael Rubinger Pew July 7
Aug. 12
March 3
March 27
May 1
May 25
Tamar Datan Pew March 27
May 1
May 25
Doug Bauer Pew July '7
- 6 -
Reps of various Hospitality Cabinet Meeting July 25
(approx. 30 present)
Crawley, Levitz Hospitality Cabinet Nov. 28
Tissian, Tuppeny Marketing Sub Committee
Dale Kramer
Levitz, Goren, Levy Philly Phi ash Meeting Dec. 22
Eckstut, Skulnick
Hunt, Doran, Dalto, Philadelphia Arts Festival Dec. 22
Rendell, Eastwood,
20 Participants Amtrak - Rail Pass Jan. 5
Numerous participants Call to Action Conference May 25
Tourism Workshop
Matt Miller
Alma Megginson
Michelle Ellis
Jonathan Hyde
Todd Ryan
Larry Meehan
Tony Nunziante
Stacy Reinking
Kate Haymaker
Ade Moslieiec
Bill Stone
Margaritte Tully
Cameron Sullivan
Krista Rahe
- 7 -
interviews conducted in March 1995
Baltimore Associate Director, eVB
Baltimore Director of Tourism Sales, eVB
Boston Mass. Office Travel & Tourism
Boston Dep. Dir., Mass Office
Travel & Tourism
Boston PR, Greater Boston CVB
Boston Dir. of Tourism,
Greater Boston CVB
Boston Mayor's Office of Tourism
Chicago PR, Chicago CTTB
Chicago Media Relations Manager
Chicago CTTB
Chicago Director of Finance
Chicago CTTB
Chicago Director of Marketing
Chicago CTTB
Chicago Director,
Chicago Tourism Bureau
Chicago PR, Chicago Tourism Bureau
Denver Director of Travel Industry Sales,
-a -
Carl Lion
New Orleans Director of Tourism,
New Orleans CVB
Gabrielle Spritz New Orleans Research, New Orleans CVB
Gary Eselon New Orleans Vice President, New Orleans
Marketing Corporation
Sandy Jutras New Orleans Assistant to Vice President
New Orleans Marketing Corp.
Gary Huetman New Orleans Director of Tourism, Louisiana
State Dept. of Tourism
Ross Cruseman New Orleans Media Director, Louisiana
State Dept. of Tourism
Joyce Lee Pittsburgh Director of Tourism,
Pittsburgh CVB
Marla Meyer Pittsburgh Communications Director,
Pittsburgh CVB
Sharon Easton San Antonio Director of Visitor Marketing,
San Antonio CVB
John Marks San Francisco Director of Marketing,
San Francisco CVB
Steve Morris Seattle President, Seattle CVB
Marlene Jones Seattle V. P. of Tourism Development,
Seattle CVB
Melanie Suggs Washington DC DC Committee of Tourism
Marie Tibor Washington DC Director of Tourism Sales,
Washington DC CVB
Karen O'Neill Washington DC Tourism Sales Manager,
Washington DC eVB
Bernard Fagen
Sue Ellen May
Wilke Nelson
Dorrie Hardy
Katherine Hax
- 9 -
Program Analyst,
Office of Policy
Member Services
Grant Officer
Research Analyst
Office of Tourism
National Park Service
National Parks and
Conservation Association
National Park Foundation
Dare County, NC Tourism
Maryland Dept. of Economic &
Employment Development
Jonathan C. Hyde Deputy Director Office of Travel & Tourism
The Commonwealth of
IflLPlflAt T{)
Business & Leisure Travel Report
with Philadelphia Market Facts,
4/13/94, from R.C. Staab, CVB
Bringing the World to New York City,
The 1994 Tourism Marketing Plan of the
New York City CVB
Center City District
Preparing for the Public Environment, 1993
Survey Results
Center City District
Retail Market Study
January, 1995
City of Philadelphia
Five Year Financial Plan
Economic Development Section
January, 1994
City of Philadelphia
Request to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program
(For Avenue of the Arts)
November, 1992
Destination Philadelphia
Philadelphia City Planning Commission
1991 Surveys for Destination Philadelphia
Philadelphia City Planning Commission:
Special Events' Surveys (404 interviews)
Attractions Surveys (preliminary) (787 interviews)
Hotel Questionnaire (365 responses)
Destination New York - New Jersey:
Tourism and Travel to the Metropolitan Region
Port Authority of NY and NJ December 1994
Gallup Poll: Business Executives' Image of Philadelphia,
prepared for Greater Philadelphia Economic
Development Coalition, Nov" 1986
Destination New York-New Jersey:
Tourism and Travel to the Metropolitan Region
Part II of Tourism & The Arts
in the New York-New Jersey Region
December 1994
Geodemographic Lifestyle Segmentation Pennsylvania Travel Information Requesters, Final
Report, August 1991,
The Melior Group
Greater Philadelphia First
Tile Attitudes and Opinions of Residents of the Greater Philadelphia Region
- Baseline Survey January, 1995
Highlights of Image Research
Affecting Greater Philadelphia 1983 - 1992
GPEDC - 1986
Hotel Guests in Philadelphia, 1989,
Robert E, Coughlin, September, 1990
Lifestyle Segmentation II: Pennsylvania Travel Information Requesters 1990-1991 Final
Report, The Melior Group
Making Full Use Of Philadelphia's History
National Constitution Center, Stuart Feldman, June 1995
Market Demand and Economic Impact Study for the Proposed Pennsylvania Convention
Pannell Kerr Forster, May 1988
Mayor's Hospitality Cabinet, Mission Statements:
Office of Arts and Culture
Office of City Representative
Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia CVB
Penn's Landing Corporation
Avenue of the Arts
Philadelphia Hospitality, Inc.
MetropollV Volume I,
Meeting Patterns and the Sales Process,
Economic Research Associates, 1991
Metropol V Volume II,
Attitudinal and Image Findings of Philadelphia, 1993
New York Tourism 2000,
A Strategic Plan to Prepare NYC for the
Next Generation of Visitors
Old Philadelphia
District Plan
Working Draft
Philadelphia City Planning Commisssion
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Philadelphia Flower Show
Marketing Study & Plan, January, 1994
Pennsylvania International Tourism Taskforce (PITT)
Request for Proposal,
Public relations representation in the United Kingdom
Pennsylvania Convention Center Sales
May 1, 1994
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
Sales and Marketing Plan and Budget, FY 1994
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
Sales & Marketing Plan 1994-1995
-4 -
Section X: Tourism Marketing, Promotion & Sales
Section XI: Communications & Public Relations Activities
Section XII: Sales & Marketing Budget
Philadelphia International Airport Press Kit
Research Report on Cultural Tourism
Prepared for the Pew Cilaritable Trusts
November 15, 1993
South Broad Street
Economic and Cultural Development Plan
Executive Summary
Central Philadelphia Development Corporation
October 1992
South Broad Street
Economic and Cultural Development Plan
Final Report
Central Philadelphia Development Corporation
October 1992
Survey of Visitors to Philaldelphia Independence Hall
for Sheraton Society Hill, Donna Dolphin, 1985.
The Case for Regional Cooperation
and Philadelphia Citistate Project,
Theodore Herschberg, Center for Greater Philadelphia,
University of Pennsylvania, February, 1994
The Economic Impact of Travel on Pennsylvania Cities 1991 & 1992
US Travel Data Center, February 1994
The Greater Philadelphia Metro Report 1995 Edition
Cherbo Publishing Group, Inc.
The Minority Convention Market 1988
Conducted for the Minority Advisory Committee of the
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
-, 5 ~
The Port Authority of NY & NJ
Alliance for the Arts/New York City Partnership
Partnership for New Jersey
Trends in the Hotel Industry
PKF Consulting, May 1994
Tourists in Philadelphia, 1989:
Report to the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau,
Robert Coughlin, April 30, 1990
Tourism Marketing Promotion and Sales Plan
CVB - 1994-1995 Draft
Tourists in Philadelphia, 1987, Robert Coughlin
U,S. Department of the Interior
Letter Re: Thoughts on Tourism Management Organizations for Philadelphia
Deirdre Gibson
National Park Service
Mid-Atlantic Region
Nov, 21, 1994
"We the People 200"
Final Report on Tracking Study
Conducted for CVB by Spiro & Associates,
November 20, 1987
American Society of Travel Agents
1995 - Philadelphia - Plans, budget etc.
PCVS, Dec 1994
Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association
Co-op Advertising Memo
April 2, 1992
Hospitality is Big Business, So Let's Get in Line,
Ted Hershberg, Feb" 1992 article in Philadelphia Inquirer
Memo to Molly Espey Executive Director, Philadelphia Hospitality, Inc.
from John S. Needham, Director,
Memo from Tom Muldoon, CVB, to Destination Memo Recipients,
Re: Responses to Three Year Plan; Funding, Respondents to Three Year Plan, October 21,
Memo to Tom Muldoon from Vincent Grandineeti
Re: Pennsylvania Convention Center/
Philadelphia Marriott Definites & Tentative
Updated July 11, 1994
Memo to Tom Muldoon
from Meryl Levitz, Philadelphia CVS
re Three Year Plan to Build Philadelphia's
Destination Status, August 25, 1987
Memo from Tom Muldoon to Martha Aikens
Presenting ideas from INHP Long Term Planning Committee
June 13, 1994
Philadelphia Convention Calendar
Convention & Visitor's Bureau
Proposal for Annual Image Enhancement of
Greater Philadelphia, 1991, Greater Philadelphia
First, 2 1/2 pages
Raising Philadelphia's Image, A Call for Action, Revised: 3/30/94
1993 Places Rated Almanac,
RanKing of all 343 Metropolitan Areas
David Savagtau and Richard Boyer
Philadelphia Access
Harper Collins, 190 pages, 1994
Philadelphia Almanac and Citizens Manual,
223 pages, 1994
Philadelphia Convention Calendar,
1994 - 2002, CVB
Women in the City of Brotherly Love ... and Beyond
Your Friend, William Penn
.. 13
A Walking Tour of Center City
Celebrate Thomas Jefferson's 250th Birthday in Philadelphia
Chilton's 1994 Guide to Historic Society Hill
Destination Chestnut Hill
Fort Mifflin
Independence Park
NPS 1994 Summer Highlights
Map, Eastern Pennsylvania, CVB
Map, Independence National Historical Park
Multicultural Summer Festivals 94
Mummers Museum
Old Town Trolley Tours
Penn's Landing, 1994 Program
Pennsylvania 1993 Official
Transportation Map, DoT
Philadelphia City Hall, Wm. Penn Tours
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
Press kit including Official Visitors Guide,
numerous brochures including Yo Philadelphia,
Walking Guide, Calendar of Events, Hotel guide, etc.
Philadelphia 1994 Hotel Guide, CVB
The Philadelphia Illustrated Map,
- 9-
an easy walking guide to over 250 historical and
cultural sites, 1987,
Philadelphia Map and Classified Directory, Greater Downtown Area
Spring-Autumn 1994
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Pililadelphia Official Calendar of Events
June 1, 1994 - September 1, 1994
Philadelphia Official Calendar of Events 12/1/94 - 311195
Philadelphia Official Visitors Guide,
Sprin9 Summer 1994
Philadelphia's Parkway Museums
Philadelphia Post Card
Philadelphia Showsoffl
Flower, Craft, Antiques shows
Open House
Philadelphia Trolley Works
Please Touch Museum
Sacred Sites of Center City Walking Tour
See Philly in a Phlash
Shopping Guide a short walk from the
Pennsylvania Convention Center
Thomas Eakins Philadelphia
Unconventional Art
20 Hip Happening days and nights for
under $20
Philadelphia for Kids A to Z
CVB Brochure
Philadelphia Pop Culture
Philadelphia Seniors on the Go
Sports and Adventure Guide
Guide to the Delaware Valley
Cilannel WPVI-TV
The Unadulterated Guide to Philadelphia
Thirty things for a thirty something weekend
in Philadelphia
GMP Plan Newsletter # 2 Aug, 1994
GMP Survey Results, 217 responses, Aug-Sept, 1993
Guidelines for Interpretive Programs, August 1986
Independence NHP, The Pastry Shop: Pie Charts and Other Statistical Delicacies, 1992.
Independence NHP, Visitor Services Project, 1987
(study of park routes).
INHP Newsletter #1 and Survey, Aug, 1993
"Most Popular National Parks,"
INHP listed as 12th most visitors,
Public Law 795 - 80th Congress, June 28, 1948
Established INHP
Special Events Permits
1/92 - 7/94
Speech, Secretary of Interior Babbitt
America's National Parks: The "Welcome" Sign is Out,
May 23, 1994 at INHP
Visitor Statistics
1993 by month
Last 10 years 1983 - 1993
City of Philadelphia, Hotel Room Rental Tax,
FY 19901994 (annual), FY 1994 (monthly)
Employment and Wages by County
and Industry for 1992,
Population and Labor Force,
Pennsylvania Department of Labor,
Summer, 1994
Hotel Summary, room inventory by hotel, location,
Philadelphia CVB, January, 1994
Independence National Historic Park,
Visitor Use Summary, monthly and annually,
for 1987-1993, by Park Unit
Pennsylvania Convention Center Booking Update,
Philadelphia CVB, 9/12/94
Philadelphia Trends in the Hotel Industry,
monthly reports, 1993, 1994 to July,
PKF Consulting,
"Let's Sell More Tourists on Canada", The Financial Post, May 14, 1994
"Segmentation of the Senior Pleasure Travel Market", Shoemaker, "Journal of Travel
Research", Winter, 1989, pp. 14-21
Ackerman, Jerry, "Saunders on Hub Tourism", Boston Globe, June 13,1994, p. 18
Brandt, Cameron, "Safety First, Say Travelers", The WorldPaper, March 1995
Dunn, Brian "Going Grey: Seniors are Becoming a Formidable Market Which Can't Be
Ignored" Calgary Herald, April 25, 1993 p. F1
Fisher, Christy, "US Tourist Locales Feel Pinch", Advertising Age, March 7, 1994 pp. 8,46
Hasek, Glenn, "Canada's Hoteliers Seek Tourism Body," Hotel & Motel Management,
October 17, 1994, pp. 1,26
Hirsch, James S., "Why Tourists Love Stress-Free Big Easy", Wall Street Journal, Feb. 24,
Hobbs, Bill, "Toronto Marketing Effort Targets Tourists", Amusement Business, April 4-10,
1994, p. 21
Jusko, Jill, "Partners in Tourism", Hotel & Motel Management, May 23, 1994 p. 16
Knepler, Mike, "Norfolk Hits the Big Leagues of Tourism", The Virginian-Pilot, June 30,
Mill, Robert Christie and Alastair M. Morrison, The Tourism System: An Introductory Text.
Miller, Aneeta, "How Cities Beat the Rap", Newsweek, January 25, 1988
Morehouse III, Ward, "Broadway Loses Millions to Upstart Toronto", Reuters North American
Wire, October 19,1993
Morris, Jerry, "Hidden - and Not-So-Hidden-Treasures in our National Parks", Boston
Globe, March 31,1991
-14 -
Post, Theresa, "Summer in the City Program Promotes Big Apple Attractions", Travel
Weekly, May 23, 1994
Satagaj, Suzanne, "San Antonio", Advertising Age, February 17,1992, p. 38
Schewe, Charles D. "Strategically Positioning Your Way into the Aging Marketplace"
Business Horizons (May, 1991) p. 59
Taylor, Gordon D., "The United States Pleasure Travel Market", Journal of Business
Research, Januray 1989, pp. 1-79
Warrock, Anna M. "New England Toots Its Own Horn to Draw International Tourists", New
England Business, October 5, 1987, p. 42A3
Wendling, Patrice, "Tourism Officials Fret Over Milwaukee's Image", The Capital Timer,
February 8, 1994
Woodside, Arch G., and Lysonski, Steven, "A General Model of Traveler Destination
Choice", Journal ofTravel Research, Spring 1989, pp. 8-14
Center City District Press kit
Str'eetscape Design: Investing in a Walkable City,
Smart Tips, Press clippings, newsletter, etc.
Hero Worship,
article re Lawrence Levy and the Dive Restaurant
Historic Philadelphia Banner Program
Historic Philadelphia Press Kit,
News releases and articles
Newspaper Article - Re: Dive Restaurant and Mayor Rendell
Sunday, July 31, 1994
Penn's Landing
Press Kit
Penn's Landing Corporation
Controlled Properties
Penn's Landing Corporation
Press Kit
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Press kit including
1993 Yearbook, Program for Flower Show 1994,
Philadelphia Green Press materials
Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, 1992
Philadelphia CVB
Communications Department Mailing Lists
including category and count
Philadelphia Inquirer article on R.C. Staab,
"The Ambassador from Philadelphia"
February 17, 1 992
Philadelphia International Airport Press Kit.
Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority
Kit: Floor plans, meeting rooms, parking
facilities, art
PIDC memo, 1993 Activities,
February, 1994
PITT - Memo Re: U,K, Public Relations contract 12/7/94
The Greater Philadelphia Story,
published by Greater Philadelphia First
Economic Development Coalition, 70 pages
Greater Philadelphia Economic Development Coalition,
1993 Annual Report
Reprints of magazine articles
Report of Progress for 1993
"Zoo One" - Spring/Summer 1994

Vacation Travel To Philadelphia
(a qualitative analysis of
travel agents' perceptions)
Prepared for: Madigan Pratt Associates
Prepared By: Trinity Communications, Inc.
February 24, 1995
,PI!) 1<1!l1I :-11 f!'!'I, [l('"illlL, \1:\ O:llll)
1117 ,j7g11HI

Parter International, Inc, has been retained by the Pew Charitable Trust to
provide an analysis of the City of Philadelphia as a vacation destination, As
part of the process, the firm will be providing recommendations on how the city
can be positioned in the marketplace,
A review of existing city research on its visitors, and the reasons why individuals
have vacationed in Philadelphia in the past revealed very little information that
could be used for the development of a marketing positioning, Consequently, it
was decided to conduct primary qualitative research among travel agents to
learn more about how the city is perceived, its awareness as a vacation
destination, and perceptions of its advantages and disadvantages as a
vacation destination,
Trinity Communications was retained to conduct oneon-one, indepth
telephone interviews among travel agents to gain additional knowledge that
could help in the positioning assignment (In addition to interviewing travel
agents, a separate proprietary study of past Philadelphia vacationers was
conducted and summarized in a separate written report,)
The specific objectives for the travel agent research study was to help:
Understand the profile of tourists likely to travel to U,S, cities,
Determine agents' awareness and perceptions of tourist options
available in Philadelphia
Evaluate travel agents' perceptions of the strengths and limitations of
Philadelphia as a tourist destination
Assess agents' likelihood of recommending Philadelphia as a vacation
To achieve these objectives, 15minute, in-depth telephone interviews were
conducted with travel agents randomly selected from some of the regions in the
Northeastern U,S, considered rnost likely to send travelers to Philadelphia,
12 interviews were conducted February 3 and February 6,
Respondents represented travel agencies from the following six states:
- Maryland (Baltimore, Annapolis)
- Pennsylvania (Johnstown)
- New York (Binghamton)
- Virginia (Alexandria)
- New Jersey (Morristown, Paterson)
- Massachusetts (Boston, Cambridge)
Please note: For purposes of this study, "vacation travel" was defined as
individual tourist travel, including weekend visits and weekend "getaways", It
does not include chartered group or bus trips to cities,
This research was designed to explore hypotheses and provide insight and
direction, Due to its qualitative design and its limited sample size, findings may
not be projectable to the entire target audience. A copy of the interview
guideline is attached,
Based on this feedback, it appears that Philadelphia faces serious awareness,
identity, and image issues among travel agents that will need to be addressed if
Philadelphia is to become a more popular vacation destination. Although the
majority of travel agents interviewed stated that U.S. cities represented a
moderate to large proportion of their vacation bookings, very few considered
Philadelphia as a vacation destination; none received frequent inquiries about
Philadelphia from their clients; and only two said they would be likely to
recommend Philadelphia as a vacation destination to their clients. Very few
agents had any knowledge about what Philadelphia oHered (other than history)
that would appeal to tourists. In fact, although nearly all agents claimed that
Philadelphia was a very historical city, only a few could name more than one of
its numerous tourist attractions - historical or other - and very few could recall
anything other than the Liberty Bell. This feedback indicates that a lack of
information is a leading factor in Philadelphia's poor or nonexistent identity
among those travel agents surveyed.
When asked to describe Philadelphia, agents' responses were generally brief,
impartial, or somewhat negative, even among those who had traveled there -
further indicating the need to enhance the city's image and identity. Numerous
respondents described a city which, although historical, was somewhat dull or
lacking in many of the types of attractions they considered important to tourists,
such as cultural activities, good weather, interesting night life, entertainment,
safety, cleanliness, and a lively and friendly atmosphere.
Some agents felt that other cities with more appealing climates or personalities
had the same or better historical or cultural attractions as Philadelphia, and
they were therefore more likely to recommend these other cities to their clients
(e.g., DC, Boston). When asked what one thing the city should do if it wished to
improve its tourism trade, more than half mentioned the need for accelerated
promotion to educate both travelers and agents about the history, culture, night
life, and special events that Philadelphia has to oHer.
Vacation travel to U.S. cities was a popular choice among respondents'
clients: Three-quarters claimed that 30% or more of their tourist business
centered on U.S. city destinations; and a few claimed that as much as 60% -
80% of their tourist business was to U.S. cities.
Although agents claimed there is no one criterion for which tourists tend to
choose a city, the most frequently noted included nice climate (warmth), culture
(e.g., theater, museums, historical sites), shopping, dining, night life, mobility,
good hotels, good value, ease of access (i.e., for quick "getaways"), and variety.
When asked to name the most popular city destinations, nearly all felt Orlando
was most popular, followed by other cities in Florida, San Francisco, Los
Angeles, New Orleans, and Las Vegas.
Profile 91.. City Vacationers
Overall, many agents felt that people who go to cities are the type who want to
do more than "lie on the beach".
Additionally, nearly all agents felt that the "type" of person visiting a city varies
and depends on their specific goal and destination. For example:
- People with children tend to go to places with children's recreational
and educational activities (Orlando being the most obvious example).
- People seeking culture may go to New York, with or without children.
-Those seeking a combination of scenery, culture, and nice weather may
travel to the West Coast or Florida.
- Not surprisingly, Las Vegas was considered popular with singles and
couples, and less popular with families.
Some agents felt cities were popular with families who wanted to "educate"
their children.
A few claimed that weekend "getaways" to U.S. cities appealed to middle-
rather than upper-income families, since they were generally less costly than
longer or more exotic vacations (e.g., Caribbean).
Qombining with Vacation
Respondents claimed that clients seldom combined business trips with
vacations, primarily because most business travelers are anxious to get home,
Travelers who do vacation after completing business tend to be those traveling
with their spouse andlor those visiting a city with a warm climate (e,g"
California or Florida) or a very interesting environment.
"Corporate guys are on the road all the time, I don't think they'd want to
take the extra time, If they did, they'd bring their wife and stay in an
interesting place, like Toronto or something,"
Agent!'.!' Awareness and PerceptiomL,Qf Philadelphia
When asked to name the tourist attractions and activities in Philadelphia, the
vast majority of respondents were unable to recall anything other than the
Liberty Bell. In fact, a few could not even recall that.
The few tourist sites which were mentioned (usually by one respondent each)
included: Franklin Art Institute, Bookbinder's Restaurant, Philadelphia Museum
of Art, Society Hill, Elfreth's Alley,
Even among the few respondents who replied that Philadelphia offered a
variety of things to do and see to tourists, there appeared to be an image
problem, or, at minimum, a lack of any clear cut, positive identity, For example:
"There isn't a whole lot of appeal to Philadelphia. What would I
recommend them doing? There's just nothing '" I've only been there
once when I was a little girl of ten. Other than ten minutes of
sightseeing, there really isn't a whole lot to do in , There's nothing there.
I'm sure my clients would say, 'Why are you recommending Philly?',
and I couldn't say. I'd feel a lot more comfortable recommending
Pittsburgh, I know their restaurants, etcetera. That's a nice place to visit,
especially for a weekend trip."
"Off the top of my head, nothing comes to mind."
"I haven't been there (Philadelphia), so I don't know a lot of what it has to
offer. If I were to recommend something like that, I'd recommend New
York or DC or Chicago over Philadelphia. I think they have more to offer,
maybe partly because I've never been there. All those cities have better
museums, same history. Probably better night life or the city is prettier."
Recommending Philadelphia to Vacation Travelers
When asked to describe Philadelphia's personality, the vague, limited
feedback received further confirmed most respondents' lack of familiarity with
the city and their lack of awareness of its offerings.
Only two of the twelve interviewed agents said that they were very or
somewhat likely to recommend Philadelphia as a vacation destination to their
A few agents felt Philadelphia was a city they'd recommend to people en route
to another destination, or as a place to visit for a day trip.
"I'd recommend Ph illy to someone who was going to Atlantic City. It's
nice to have a few different options."
The positive mentions about Philadelphia included:
"There's something for everyone. It has 'undiscovered territory', which I
think makes it a very overlooked area."
"It's diverse and friendly, laid back, polite, fanatical about sports."
"It has history, nice restaurants, and nice hotels."
And the negatives included:
"It doesn't appeal to everyone. People would look at me funny if I were to
suggest Philadelphia. They wouldn't expect me to say 'Philadelphia'."
"It's just not what people are looking for - they want warmer weather for
the beaches, or attractions - Philadelphia has attractions, But I think
most people associate it with history, and I don't think historic
destinations are usually a primary - maybe a secondary but not a
primary - reason for vacations."
"Philadelphia just isn't a big tourist spot."
"Why send them to Philadelphia, when I could send them to DC or
"It's not metropolitan enough,"
When asked to describe the personalities of Boston and Baltimore, agents'
comments on these two cities tended to be more specific and more enthusiastic
than their feedback on Philadelphia, particularly when describing Boston. Even
those who had never been to either Philadelphia or Boston tended to be far
more enthusiastic about Boston.
Agents describing Boston:
"Multiple personalities, a melting pot, so many cultures - the North End,
like Little Italy. Diverse, from opera to ballet to jazz to New Wave. Eating
wise, it's great. The museums, great theater, lots of cultural events,
Ilome shows, exhibits, so much going on. I'm sure that Philly does, too,
but I'm not aware of it."
"Never been there, but I think it would have a lot more appeal (tllan
Pililadelphia), because it has a lot more attractions. I am sure there are a
lot of museums having to do with witchcraft. Nothing I can think of that
stands out, but it sounds more appealing."
Agents describing Baltimore:
"Some go for a baseball game. The harbor and aquarium are
interesting. The Clipper Ship, Man of War is interesting, and that's where
the national anthem was penned at Fort Henry,"
"There's no awareness of Philadelphia. Why send them to Philadelphia,
when Baltimore has the same things, better things?"
.eromotional E f f g . L t ~ .
When asked what one thing they would recommend to increase tourism in
Philadelphia, the need for increased promotional efforts was cited by more than
half of the respondents.
"Promote what it has to offer. You constantly see promotions for Florida,
New York, different areas throughout the states. Produce a promotion
showing positive and exciting and fun things and places to do there,
especially things for families, and show that it's only a one and a half
hour flight away. I know there are things there, but if there are any
promotions about it, I don't recall seeing any,"
"Advertise attractions in the area to agencies and to the general public, to
make them aware of what they do offer, because I'm sure they offer more
than I'm aware of. I get things about other cities."
"I've never been there ... from what I know of it, I don't want to say it's a
wellkept secret, but because of the lack of promotion on it, I don't think it
gets the credit it should. It's diverse and friendly, laid back, polite.
fanatical about sports."
"To recommend something, I have to have read about it; and I haven't
read anything about Philadelphia. They send me videotapes about other
cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles. Some of them I request, some
send brochures of what videos are offered. But I've never seen
anything about Philadelphia."
"I don't think people know what, if anything, Philadelphia has to offer. No
news media covers it - no promotion on TV; people don't think of
Philadelphia. People don't think of cities, generally, when planning a
vacation. It it's not shown to you, it's not even a consideration."
"Do more advertising. The city has history, it's pretty. Let people know
that it is a fun city."
"When someone comes to the office, I receive brochures, and some
people don't know where they're going. If I don't have brochures from
Philly, I can't show them Philly. It's not well advertised. I have no written
material on Philadelphia. It's hard to sell if it's not advertised."
Miscellaneous S!!9.9!!lillim
"Create a festival that would draw people in at slow times, such as Mardi
Gras in New Orleans. They really need to promote the city more,
because most people don't know much about it."
1 0

Philadelphia Tourism Research: Travel Agents
(telephone interview guideline)
Hello, this is calling from Trinity Communications, an independent
marketing communications firm in BoslOn, On behalf of a nonprofit organization, we're
conducting a brief survey about vacation travel to major U.S. cities, This is not a sales call.
Your name and your ag"ncy's name will be held in confidence, May I speak to an in
your agency who would be famili;lf with this issue? (Arrangejorappoilltmenl lime If
needed. )
Name Agency _., Locarioll ___ .
1, In the past two years, roughly what percentage of your agency's inquiries and
bookings are for vacation travel to U.S. cities? I'm referring 10 individual tourists or
vocation travelers to U.S. citjes only - not chartered group or bus tour travelers. This
includes weekend vacationers, too. Would you say individual vacation travelers to U.S.
cities are ...
._ less than 5% of your total inquirieslbookings
_ between 6% and 10%
_ between I I % and 20%
_ over 20% (Record percentage.)
2a. Thinking of U.S. cities that in your experience are popular with tourists. which
ones are the most popular? Again, this is excluding tourists participating in chartered
group or bus tours. (Do nol read list. Check all that apply ami explain .wiD: be/ow.)
_ Atlanta
__ . Austin
_ Boston
_. Charlotte
_ Fort Lauderdale
Fort.h Worth
_ Los Angeles
_ New Orleans
New York
= Philadelprua
_ San Antonio
_ San Diego
_ .. _ San Francisco
Santa Fe

_ Tampa
__ Washington, DC
..... _ Williamsburg
. __ SL Louis
_ Nashville
_ Fort. Myers
_ Sarasota
2b. Why do you think these arc the IllOSt popular cities') (Please probe/i)!' details.)
3. Based on your experience, what type of tourist do you think likes to visit a U.S. city
011 their vacation, as opposed to a town or a resort area') How would you
describe that person') (Ph'ase probej(Jr details reiiw"ding ag(', income, position, married,
siniiie, geographic origin, other delllogrllplzidpsychograp/tic in/im/iatioll.)
4. Thinking ahout clients who ask about or book personal vacations to U.S. cities.
what do you think are their priorities? What are they looking fo() (Do /lot read list.
Check all that apply.)
cultural actj vitit's art museums
theatre historical diversity
_ music/symphony __ shopping food/dining
__ special events
night life
ilctivit.ies for
visiting friends/relatives
great hotels
outdoor activities
other (Please be specific.)
.. _ stimulation of peopk
__ sports
_"_ people/crowds
._"" proximity to other vacation
activities or areas
5. In this interview, [need to focus on just one city. Let's see ... (pause) ... I need to
ask you about ... Philadelphia.
6a. How frequently would you say that you or others in your agency receive inquiries
about or book travelers 00 vacations to Philadelphia? Again, this is excluding group or bus
tours. Would you say you receive inquiries or book travelers on vacations to
Philadelphia ...
Very frequently
Not very frequently
__ Somewhat frequent
._ Not at all frequently
__ Not very frequently ~ Not at all frequently
6 b. Why did you say (illserl respollse 10 Q,5,),! What do you think the reasons is'1
(Plea,\"!' probe for delaiis,)
7. How likely would you be to recommend Philadelphia as a vacmion city to your
clients? Would you SilY you'd be ...
__ ._ Very likely
. __ Somewhat. likely ____ Not very likely __ Not at all likely
8. Why did you say (illsert response 10 Q, 7)'1 (Probe j(!I' Iheil' perceptiolls/cliellfs'
perceptiolls olPhiiadelphia,)
9a. If Philadelphia were a person, how would you describe its personality? (Probe lor
9b. How w()uld you describe Boston's? (Probe for derails,
9c. How would you describe Baltimore's? (Probe.f()r dellliis.)
10. In your experience, how frequently do travelers who go to it city un business
combine business with vacation. that is, stay in the cit.y for a kw days ur Jllore of vacation
after wrnpJcting their business? Would you say this happens '" ? (Probe for reasons
""_ Very frequently _'" Somewhat frequently
___ Not very frequently
._ Not at all frequently
1.1 a. In your experience, how frequentlY do travelers who go to Philadelphia all
business comhine business with a vacation, that is, stay in Philadelphia 011 vacation for i1
few days or more after completing their business'! Would you say this happens , .. '!
__ Very frequently
~ Somewhat frequently
__ Not very frequently _ Not at all frequently
lIb. Why did you say (response to Q, I Ill,)'!
12. What types of vacation activities do people who go to Philadelphia and combine
business with vacar.iol1 generally pursue? (Probe regarding illlereSIS, whether they tmvel
wirhjiunily, a/on/!, demo!;rapilics.)
1 3. Ple;lSe tell me the names of all the things to do and places to go to and see that you
think might be attractive to tourists when visiting Philadelphia. Please be as specific as
possible. (Do /lor read list. Check 11/1 Ihm app/y.)
~ Liberty Bell " ~ Philadelphia Symphony
~ Valley Forge ~ At.lantic City ILoogwood
The Welcome ._" holiday celebrati(lns
America Festival
The Constitution ' ~ Riverboat gambling
"."._ History Bookbinders Restaurant
~ Society Hill ~ Independence Square
Phil. Museum 01' Art
~ Betsy Ross's
~ The flower show
_ Professional sports
_ Independence Nmional
Historic Park

Vacation Travel To Philadelphia
(a qualitative analysis of
visitors' perceptions)
Prepared for: Madigan Pratt Associates
Prepared By: Trinity Communications, Inc.
March 24, 1995

Parter International, Inc. has been retained by the Pew Charitable Trust to
provide an analysis of the City of Philadelphia as a vacation destination. As
part of the process, the firm will be providing recommendations on how the city
can be positioned in the marketplace.
A review of existing city research on its visitors and the reasons why individuals
have vacationed in Philadelphia in the past provided little information that could
help develop a marketing positioning. To learn more about awareness and
perceptions of the city as a vacation destination, and about attitudes regarding
its perceived strengths and limitations as a vacation destination, Trinity
Communications was retained to conduct one-on-one, in-depth telephone
interviews with travel agents in February 1995. This research, although
qualitative and thus not projectable, indicated that Philadelphia suffers from
serious awareness and image problems among this target audience.
To provide additional knowledge that could help position Philadelphia to key
audiences, Trinity Communications was then asked to conduct additional
interviews with travelers who had recently vacationed in Philadelphia.
The specific objectives for this vacation traveler study were to help:
Explore hypotheses developed from the research conducted with travel
Gain further insight regarding travelers' motivations for vacationing in
Determine travelers' awareness, perceptions, and usage of tourist
options available in Philadelphia
Evaluate travelers' perceptions of the strengths and limitations of
Philadelphia as a tourist destination
Assess their likelihood of recommending Philadelphia as a vacation
Obtain suggestions for Increasing tourism to Philadelphia.
To achieve tllese objectives, 15minute, indepth telephone interview:;; were
conducted with randomly selected consumers who claimed to have vacationed
in Philadelphia within the past two years.
16 interviews were conducted in late February and early March 1995.
Respondents were from the following eight states:
New York
Rhode Island
New Jersey
Please note: For purposes of this study, "vacation travel" was
defined as individual tourist travel, including weekend visits and
weekend "getaways".
This research was designed to explore and refine hypotheses and
to help provide some insight and direction. Due to the qualitative
nature of its design and its very small sample size, the findings are
not projectable - therefore, the limited feedback obtained in this
research should not be assumed to be representative of the entire
target audience. Copies of the interview guideline as well as the
research consultant's biography are attached.
Summary of Findings
Most travelers to Philadelphia claimed to have enjoyed their vacation
thoroughly. When asked to describe Philadelphia, respondents were generally
positive: most commended the city for its historical significance; some noted its
friendliness, quaintness, and reasonable cost, and a few noted that it was not
fully appreciated for its offerings. Although nearly all were impressed with the
wealth of historical attractions offered by the city, many had not taken advantage
of a number of the city's offerings (e.g., museums, restaurants, shops).
Two-thirds of respondents said they were very likely or somewhat likely to
vacation in Philadelphia again, primarily because they felt there were many
other things there to see and do. However, a number of them had vacationed
there only because other circumstances led them to travel there (e.g., business
trip, wedding). However, more than half claimed they would not have
vacationed in Philadelphia at all if not for the fact that they were going there to
accomplish something else - primarily business or social visits to relatives and
friends. Importantly, many visitors - even the most enthUSiastic - perceived
Philadelphia as a city which, although quaint and charming in its historical
sections, was generally dilapidated, and suffered from a high crime rate, heavy
traffic, and congestion.
In conjunction with their concern about crime, a few respondents also
expressed anxiety that, unlike cities like Boston and New York, Philadelphia's
streets appear relatively abandoned in the evening. Numerous visitors also felt
that the city should provide better directions for both drivers and pedestrians,
again due to their overall anxiety regarding getting around the city in safety.
Although a few applauded the mayor's efforts to rehabilitate the city, an equal
number claimed that the city was in a state of continued decline and had a long
way to go in terms of rehabilitation.
When asked what the city should do to increase tourism, the most frequently
cited answers focused on the need to reduce crime, provide better directions
for pedestrians and drivers, decrease traffic congestion and confusion, and
increase promotion about what Philadelphia has to offer.
This research indicates that Philadelphia vacationers enjoyed a positive
experience overall. However, it also supports the hypotheses, established after
conducting travel agent interviews, that Philadelphia has serious issues to
resolve if it is to become a more popular tourist destination.
Key Findings
Profile of Philadelphia Vacationers
Vacation destinations
On average, respondents had vacationed in 5 U.S. destinations in the past
two years, with the range being from 2 to 12 vacations.
Most respondents had vacationed in only a few U.S. cities in the past two
The most popular city destination, not surprisingly, was Orlando.
Other popular choices tended to be historic, including Washington, DC,
Boston, and Baltimore.
Other cities receiving mention included San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago,
Las Vegas, and Santa Fe.
Traveling Companjonli
Nearly two-thirds of the respondents traveled with their children.
Nearly one-third were accompanied by their spouse.
One respondent traveled alone to visit a friend, and one was accompanied by
a friend.
Choice of Transportation
About two-thirds of the Philadelphia travelers went by car.
Of the remainder, 3 flew, and 3 took the train.
Length of Visit
All respondents vacationed there for only a few days, usually a weekend.
Why Philadelphia?
When asked why they had vacationed in Philadelphia, the responses varied.
However, less than half (six) claimed to have gone there strictly for a vacation;
the remainder combined a brief vacation with other activities.
One-third vacationed in the city to take advantage of its historical sights.
One-third combined sightseeing with visits or special events involving family
members or friends.
Three respondents combined vacation with a business trip.
Two went strictly for a weekend getaway.
One respondent won a discounted hotel package deal for a weekend at a
Philadelphia hotel, and claimed that he would not otherwise have gone tllere.
Wh.iI.LIourists Po In Philadelphia
When asked what they had done in Philadelphia, the majority of respondents
were able to recall, on average, only four events or places, perhaps due to lack
of time or perhaps indicating that, even among those who have chosen to visit
the city, awareness of what it has to offer is relatively low.
The most frequently noted attractions were the Liberty Bell, Independence
Hall, Betsy Ross's house, Penn's Landing, carriage rides through the city, and
Only a few people mentioned touring Philadelphia's museums, with the
Science Museum receiving the most frequent mention.
Trilvelers' Perceptions of Their Philadelphia Vacation
All respondents clearly enjoyed their visit to Philadelphia, describing their
overall vacation experience in very positive terms. Many were impressed by the
wealth of historical offerings and the numerous other activities, including
museums, dining, and shopping. A few respondents commented on the
friendliness of the city and its compact layout, which they felt made it easy to
The positive mentions about Philadelphia focused on ..
... its history _ ..
"Great, beautiful, very different from down South. Lots of history - we
have history in Atlanta, but up there, you have cobblestone streets and
houses that are hundreds of years old. It all began there."
"Steeped in history, above and beyond .. , it was just the grandeur of it -
Society Hill and how they have improved it over the years. There's
been a tremendous improvement in Society Hill and the Landing in the
past 10-12 years. All of the lights, the guided tours: they are very
extensive and very informative,"
"Wonderful - the city and its quaintness allow you to relax and enjoy
history in a very sedate and relaxed setting."
"Outstanding in its history, and everyone is marvelous to you."
"When you think of Ph illy, Baltimore, and DC, they played a significant
role in the history of this country, and there are always new things to
see and to do in all of them."
"I enjoy it. It's a city you can do a lot of walking in. In the old historic area,
you feel pretty comfortable walking, enjoying the historic sense of the
city. I like the shopping, too."
.. and its pace, variety, and people ...
"it's exciting, because something is always happening,"
"Very enjoyable, I liked the ethnicity of the city, We found the people
very helpful; the city was very compact. We drove and also took the
subway and the bus. It was easy to do little driving, and lots of walking."
"It was excellent; just excellent. It's a nice city. We were there Fourth of
July weekend. Everything's more compact, where in Boston you are
traveling all over these crazy streets, It's more user friendly. Everything
is compacted into one area."
However, numerous respondents also expressed some concerns about the city.
These appeared to be primarily focused on crime - including anxiety about
getting lost and ending up in a bad neighborhood; and a diSlike of the heavy
traffic, confusing road signage, and lack of clear directions for tourists. Much of
the concern about signage and directions appeared to be generated by a fear
of ending up in a "bad section" of the city,
... crime, and fear of ending up in a bad neighborhood _ ..
"Scary, My car got broken into in a parking garage near the hotel. There
are lots of people there just waiting for tourists to take advantage of -
the street corner people. Besides New York, it's the worst. I don't mean
homeless people, I rnean people waiting to take advantage of tourists ...
like, I'll give you directions, if you give me five bucks."
"There are certain areas you just can't go into in Philadelphia, and I'm not
sure where those areas are ". People at the hotel told us, 'You'll kind of
know when you get to that area'. I'd rather know before hand."
"There was a risk factor - you could go from a historical neighborhood
into a high crime neighborhood, easily."
"There are some areas which are kind of run down, and you have to
travel around them very quickly. You have to be careful ... local people
had some differing opinions about where we could and couldn't walk,
so there was some anxiety there."
"Went out to breakfast Sunday morning and were approached by I don't
know how many beggars ... pretty rough area, when you walk toward
Center City. A little frightening - nobody's out; I guess that can
happen anywhere."
"I felt unsafe in Philadelphia - I didn't even believe my car was in the
garage - I figured the valets were driving it around half the time."
"I didn't feel safe there at night - no one is out. It's not like New York
City or Boston."
commenting on recommending Philadelphia to friends ...
"I'd want to teli them what to do and where not to go. I'd say not to go by
themselves after a certain time, no matter where they are. I'd say not to
look like a tourist, no matter what time it is. There is a lot of crime in
parts of North Philly, and even Center City has changed dramatically."
"It really has kind of a bad reputation as a city. I mention to people I enjoy
Philadelphia, and they say, 'You do? I get a lot of negative replies
back. People think it has a lot of crime; a city that's kind of in decline.
don't see it, but I think that's the image it has."
.. a sense of dilapidation and deterioration ...
"It's a deteriorating situation - doesn't appear to be a viable city any
more. Has some worthwhile things to see, and I don't mind visiting
because of family and friends. But it's not an area I'd pick to spend a lot
of time in.'
"I'd have to say I liked the street people least. When you're walking
along, spending all that money and gOing to ali these lovely places and
then you see all the street people - it kind of put a damper on things."
"There are a lot of really interesting things there: zoos, museums, Boat
House Row, historical things. But most of my friends would prefer going
to other places. Because, although there are some really neat places
there, it's basically a very dumpy town."
"They are rebuilding areas, but it's mostly cosmetic. Once you get
outside pockets of civilization, you get into dilapidated areas. I
applaud their renovation eHorts, but I'm afraid they are never going to
catch up. It takes too much money."
Philadelphia's Personality
When asked how they would describe Philadelphia if it were a person, the
majority of responses were positive and varied. Positive perceptions focused
on the city's history, diversity, friendliness, and spirit of renovation; the
negatives tended to center on perceptions of a city with a lot of crime,
dilapidation, and the lack of an exciting identity.
the positives .. ,
"Quaint, like Ben Franklin. A quaint little historical town."
"Very busy, active, interesting."
"Exciting, lots to do there."
"A very old city trying to be younger. It's trying to rejuvenate itself. I see
lots of work being done to restore areas, make downtown areas more
attractive. Wednesday night, the shops stay open longer, to make
people stay downtown."
" Friendly, warm."
"A good friend."
"Schizophrenic, very diversified, mUltiple personality."
"Faded, old-line, and rich."
and the negatives ...
"Exciting but not trustworthy. The crime ... it could be a fun person, but
you've got to keep your eyes open."
"Old and decrepit."
1 0
"Unpredictable - there are certain places you just don't go."
"What was the name of that band leader who used to fill in for Doc
Severensen on the Johnny Carson Show? I can't remember it either.
That's what I mean. He was just sort of there. Philadelphia is there, but
it's sort of dull ... doesn't have the vibrancy of a New York or a Chicago
or a San Francisco. It's suffered from a lack of image for many, many
years; but it's not a bad place. If you know the city and its people and
clubs, there are some great spots. You know what W.C. Fields had on
his tombstone? 'All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia?'
It's just kind of dull. Chicago is great; so is San Francisco, New
Orleans. But Philadelphia?"
Would IJley Go Back?
When asked how likely they'd be to go back to Philadelphia on another
vacation, the feedback reinforced the finding that, overall, their visit to
Philadelphia had been a very positive vacation experience for most travelers .
More than two-thirds said they would be Very Likely or Somewhat Likely to
retum there on vacation, with most claiming that it was due to the many other
things to do and see that they had not yet experienced.
"Sure, I'd go back there. Great museums - undersold. Wonderful
restaurants - also undersold."
"Mayor Rendell is doing an excellent job in reducing prices on shopping,
restaurants, even the buses, to bring people in."
"I'd go there again, even if I wasn't going there on business. I'd go back,
and I'd take my family back, because there are a lot of things I'd like to
see, like the Franklin Museum and other museums, and the area
southwest of the city where some of the older estates are."
"There are unlimited things to do there: anybody can find something to
do there."
One-third claimed they would be Very Unlikely or Somewhat Unlikely to
vacation there again, for one or more of the following reasons: a desire to
explore new cities; a preference for rural vacations; and a perception that
Philadelphia did not offer enough to merit a repeat vacation visit.
"I like to go to different places. New Orleans and San Diego are high on
my list this year. Also, Houston."
"It's a place to come from, not a place to go to."
1 1
Would They Recommend Philadelphia To Friends?
The feedback to this question further supports the fact that most Philadelphia
vacationers enjoyed a positive experience, overall.
Nearly all respondents said they were Very Likely or Somewhat Likely to
recommend Philadelphia to friends or relatives, primarily due to the many
activities, particularly historical, that Philadelphia offers,
"We recommend it all the time - there's a lot to do. Lots of good hotels,
restaurants, and it's close to New York, so you can even do it in a day."
"We tell them it's a great family vacation, with all the historic sites. It's a
must to take children to."
Only two respondents said they were not likely to recommend Philadelphia to
friends, One claimed that this was due to crime; the other, to a perception that
the city was dirty,
Suggestions for Improvement
When asked what one suggestion they would make to increase tourism in
Philadelphia, answers varied. However, nearly one-third of the respondents
mentioned traffic-related issues - the need to improve confusing traffic or travel
pattems, reduce congestion, or the need to provide better directions on
highways, city thoroughfares, or subways,
After the traffic issue, respondents were most likely to suggest better promotion
of the city (3 mentions), efforts to reduce crime, lower transportation fares, and
playing up the historical significance of the city (2 mentions each),
improve traffic, directions, and crime ...
"Their traffic infrastructure isn't realistic; they have limited space, and so
many highways going in and out. Some areas are kept up pretty well;
but I wouldn't want to get sidetracked on a Side street in Philly, because
they are dangerous; I think Philly has a very high crime rate, They
should do something about the crime."
"They need to make the subway easier to identify ... we had some trouble
locating the stations, We had to stop and ask several people, and they
weren't too clear,"
"The traffic is too congested and confusing."
1 2
"Better directions through the town for tourists - more signs. When they
have a detour, put signs up through the detour. If you're on the
expressway, the sign says, "Society Hill", then you get to the exit for it
and there's a detour, with no directions to Society Hill. They need signs
that get you back where you're going, because Philadelphia is
definitely a town you don't want to get lost in."
promote it more ...
"Start advertising, start promoting. I don't know if they do any kind of
travel promotion or enhancements. If they do any, I'm not aware of
them. And my wife and I read the travel magazines all the time."
highlight its historical significance ...
"I'd play up the historical aspects of it, its proximity to DC, Baltimore and
New York; the shore. It has a lot going for it. I don't think people are
aware of it. I think they think of DC first and Boston second, and they
don't think of Philly as often. Since it's so close, it certainly has as
much or more to offer than Boston. Their restaurants are reasonable,
it's not an expensive city. Families of all backgrounds can generally
afford to visit it. A lot of things are free - those are the things I would
play up."
"Play up the historical significance of the city more. Play upon the old
charm of the city, that's the part I find so enjoyable. There was a lovely
old saloon that George Washington and a number of colonials went to,
and it just reopened."
miscellaneous suggestions
"Lower the Amtrak fare to make it more affordable."
"Lower tour bus fares and make them more accessible. Promote the
ferry that goes across to Camden more."
"Have more places in the historic district for eating. We couldn't find any
restaurants that would be good for a family.'
1 3

Philadelphia Tourism Research: Consumers
(telephone interview guideline)
Hello. may I please speak with (Ilame Oil lisl)? This is ... .._ fr'om Trinity
Communications, an independenl communications firm in Bo\ton. On behalf of a f1on"
pront organizalion. we're conducting a brief, confidential survey about vacation travel to
U.S. cities. This is not a sales call. Could you please take a few minutes to answer some
questions? (Arrange for callback/appoilltment time ifneeded.)
Name ______ _
Cm/Slate __ _
1. In the pasl two years, how many vacations, including weekend vacations or weekend
getaways, have you or your family taken?
(Record number) __ .
2. Again, thinking of your vacations in the past two years, including weekend vacations
or getaways, please name all of the U.S. cities you have visited. (Do not read list. Check
alltllill apply.)
_ Boston
_ Charleston
_ Charlotte
_ Chicago
Fort Lauderdale
Forth Worth
""_ Los Angeles
New Orleans
_New York
_ Philadelphia (Go 10 Q.4.)
_ San Antonio
_ San Diego
San Francisco
_Santa Fe
_ Seattle
_ Tampa
.. Washington, DC
_ Williamsburg
_ Phoenix
__ SI. Louis
_ Nashville
_ Fort Myers
_ Las Vegas
_ Florida city (all other)
_ ______ . _______________ _
(Ask Q.3 only if they did not mention Philadelphia in Q.2. Otherwise, go 10 Q.4).} For
purposes of this interview, I need to ask: you about one U.S. city. Let's see ... (pause) ... I
need to ask: you about ... Philadelphia. You did not mention Philadelphia as a city you
have vacationed in.
3. Would you consider a vacation in Philadelphia? This would include a weekend
vacation or a weekend getaway. Why? Why not? (Note: lfrespondenr IIOW says 'hey
JI)I) U"II-I"II."!rl'I. BII.I.,n, '1'
hI7,',7:l'hU;1 F"I, 111-

have lieI'll 10 Philadelphill Oil v(leulioll, omli"u" illiervicw. Olhel>visl', record (lIISIV('/',
Ihallk, alld lerminarc)
4. For purposes of this interview, [ need to ask you about one U.S. city. Let's see.
(pause) ". I need t() a ~ k you about ". Philadelphia. Youlllcntioncd Philadelphia as a city
you have vacationed in. What made you decide to vacation in Philadelphiary (Probe IO/Ilid
"ill r';OSOIl(s) /in visit.)
_ package deal _ recommended by friend/relative ... _ SpOrlS
m1iclc I read ,.,m. special event __ historical places
... __ other (Please specify.)
5. Did you use a travel agent when making your vacation plans to visit. Philaddphia'?
Why? Why not'?
6. Who, if ,1Oyone, accompanied you to Philadelphia on your vacation?
__ family _ friend(s) children went alone
__ went with group other
7. How did you get there'?
drove flew took t.rain took bus
8. Please tell me what you did and saw when visiting Philadelphia. Please be as specific
as possible. (Do IIOt read list. Check all that apply.)
__ Liberty Bell
_ Valley Forge
The Welcome
_ Philadelphia Symphony
_ Atlantic City ILongwood
. ___ holiday celbrations
_ Phil. Museum of Art
_ Betsy Ross's
The flower show
America Festival
The Constit.ution ._ Riverboat gambling
_ History _. Bookbinders Restaurant
_ Society Hill _._. Independence Square
__ Boat tOurs _ Bus, train or trolley tours
__ historical tour Norman Rockwell Museum
_ professional sports _. Zoo
_ Penn's Landing South Street
__ . Wannamaker's
""_. Professiomll sports
. _Independence N<ltional
Historic Park
_ walking tours
Science Museum
Franklin Institute
_ other (Please specify.)
9. If you were to describe your vacation experience to friends or relatives in one
sentence, how would you describe it?
1 o. What did you like best about your visit to Philadelphia? (Do not read list. Check
all that apply.)
cultural activities art museums
_ theatre historical _ diversity
_ music/symphony _ shopping _ food/dining
_ special events
.. _ night life
activities for
_ visiting friends/relatives
_ great hotels
outdoor activities
_ other! Please specify.)
_ .. stimulation of people
_ sports
._._ leaming/education
_ people/crowds
_ proximity to other vacation
activities or areas
_ mobility
11. What did you like least" Why'!
12. If Phil'ldeJphi" were a person, how would you de:;cribe it? (Probe jiJr derails.)
13a. How likely would you be to go to Philadelphia again on vacation') Would you
say you'd be ...
__ Very likely Somewhat likely __ Not very likely _ .._ Not at all likely
13b. Why did you say (insert unswl!r 10 f3u.)')
14 a. How likely would you be to recommend Philadelphia as a vacation destination to
your friends Of relatives? Would you say you'd be ...
"" _. Very likely _ Somewhat likely .. _ Not very likely Not at all
14b. Why did you say (inserl answer 10 14a)?
15. If you could make just one suggestion to help the city ()f Philadelphia incre,\se the
Ilumber of tourists who visit it, what would that be, and why') (Proh(1 for d(llaiis.)
Data and researcil set forth herein is a review and summary of the principal research
and data which exist on Philadelphia.
Coughlin, Keene
For five years, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitor Bureau commissioned an
annual study, Tourists in Pili/adelphia, from Coughlin, Keene & Associates. These
reports were produced in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 and in a reduced version in 1989.
The purpose of the studies was to estimate the total number of tourists coming to
Philadelphia and their economic impact. One of the shortcomings of the studies was a
narrow definition of tourist to exclude business travelers. A simple intercept survey of
five major attractions and six events was conducted in 1985-1988. In 1989 only the
Liberty Bell and Visitor Center were surveyed.
The five attractions surveyed were:
Museum of Art
Franklin Institute
Visitor Center
Liberty Bell
The six events were:
Army-Navy Game
Flower Show
Jambalaya Festival
River Blues
Ph illy' Baseball Games
The assumption behind the studies was that "tourist" (limited to pleasure visitors) came
to see an attraction, attend an event, or shop. The purpose of the interview was to
eliminate overlap in attendance by asking what people did and to determine a total
number of tourists and their spending. A very simple questionnaire was used, asking
where people were from, whether they came on business or pleasure, what else they
did, whether they stayed overnight and what they spent. Then the data was analyzed
to determine what visitation to the attraction or event was not local, estimate from all
attendance how much visitation was "tourist", and how the visitation overlapped to
eliminate doublecounting,
Although there were many interviews (some 12,000 in 1987), business travelers were
excluded, In 1989, about 1,700 interviews were projected into 174 pages of detailed
data, matrices and analyses,
The eVB Report
The CVB regularly issues a Business and Leisure Travel Repolt, estimating the number
and economic impact of convention attendees, business travelers and pleasure non-
metropolitan visitors to major attractions and events. There is minimal hard data
underlying the estimates, and it may be best used for PRo It is not reliable enough to
provide a real assessment of tourism activity. The convention impact is based on
estimated attendees, estimated length of stay and average national spending patterns
provided by the International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus. The
business travelers are determined by estimating the number of business travelers at the
hotels among all visitors (also estimated). The number of leisure travelers are
estimated as a percent of visitation to various attractions,
The reports do provide total attendance at the various attractions, performances and
events, but these numbers all represent visits not visitors. Reliance on previously
established ratios, even if they are valid, will not identify a current or changing situation.
PKF Monthly Reports
The hotel consultant, PKF produces a monthly report, Trends in the Hotel Industry, for
Philadelphia. It includes occupancy, room rate, and double occupancy factors for
downtown, the environs and the suburban area. It could be valuable information if it
were consistent. However, the data and reporting units vary from month to month. For
example, in May 1994, they reported on 4,592 rooms in downtown; in June, they
reported on 5,537 rooms; and in July, on 5,223 rooms. (The CVB reports that there
were 6,500 rooms downtown.) The flUctuating base distorts any attempt to show total
rooms nights, total occupancy, or change.
Nevertheless, the Philadelphia Business Journal did just that, using the PKF
information to chart total hotel room nights over time, showing a fluctuating total room
nights which reflected only reporting differences, not change in actual usage.
City Planning Report
The Philadelphia City Planning Commission prepared a report, dated February, 1993,
Destination Philadelphia, referred to earlier in this study. The report is well done and
has many useful recommendations, but with respect to basic data it presents no trend
data, little hard statistical information, and bases the analysis on small, anecdotal
The report maintains that there were 24 million visitors to Philadelphia in 1991, but
nowhere does the report indicate where the information comes from. Of those, 12
million were pleasure, 11.5 million on business and .5 million at meetings. Three million
pleasure and 4 million business visitors were from outside. Tourists are considered to
be only the 3 million pleasure visitors from outside and the convention attendees.
An extensive profile of the visitor is presented in the report. The profile references,
cited in the appendix are three surveys done by the PCPC in 1991. An attractions
survey interviewed 787 people at the Franklin Institute and Independence Hall. An
events survey interviewed 404 people at three events. A hotel survey got 365
completed questionnaires (an 8 percent return). To this are added some national
perception studies and information from the 1989 Coughlin study, and that constitutes
the data base.
The report illustrates that Philadelphia in 1990 was not competitive when compared to
other cities in the number of hotel rooms. There is also 1990 attendance information at
Philadelphia historic and cultural attractions. There are references to travel and
110spitality employment and taxes, but no trend data.
The descriptive and design analyses in the report are quite interesting, as are many of
the suggestions. The recommendations, however, are almost encyclopedic and without
clear direction about how to proceed. Many of the ideas are worth considering in a total
tourism strategy, but there is little direction about what is most important to do or why.
The three surveys conducted by the PC PC while limited, do provide some interesting
information. In the hotel survey, they found that about 60 percent of guests were on
business or going to a conference. Of all hotel guests surveyed, 44 percent went to the
Liberty Bell. From the attraction survey, they found few business or convention visitors
at the attractions, 68 percent attendance from outside the metro area and 22 percent
staying overnight in a hotel. From the events survey, 34 percent were from outside the
metro area, and 11 percent stayed overnight.
Other Studies
The studies and data sources cited above are the only ones which provide any city-
wide perspective on tourism. There are many other one-time surveys which provide
snapshot information of a single event, attraction or point in time, While the information
is sometimes interesting, there is little comparable from study to study, In fact, the
information is sometimes conflicting. Even taken together, they provide little insight into
Philadelphia tourism and no reliable or consistent guidance about how to enhance
tourism. Several of these individual studies are summarized below.
Coughlin, Keene and Associates did a survey, Hotel Guests in Philadelphia, 1989.
Interviews of 928 persons were done in the lobbies of six hotels in the fall of 1989. The
author said it was done during the wrong time of year and should be considered a "pilot
study". (It missed the summer leisure tourists.) They had no base data to expand the
study to all hotel guests, so they "estimated" the total number of hotel guests. Then
they projected data to a large universe of hotel guests. They found most guests (66
percent) were on business. Of the total guests, 5 percent were on group tours, 10
percent were foreign.
The Art Museum, in 1992, sponsored a series of studies from Jerry Wind at Wharton to
develop support for their budget when it was being cut by the City. The purpose was to
demonstrate their value to the City and economic impact. The study interviewed 924
visitors. Of the total, two-thirds were Metro residents, one-third came from outside the
region, and 16 percent stayed overnight (but we don't know where - whether with
friends or at a hotel or motel). A large number of the visitors were repeat (72 percent)
and 5 percent were foreign,
In 1987, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society undertook a Market Study of the Annual
Flower Show, to assess how the show was perceived. 80th telephone and on-site
interviewing were done. From the 1,023 on-site surveys, it was determined that 40
percent of the viSitors were from outside the metro area, more than half of whom came
on bus tours. Altogether, 29 percent of attendees surveyed came by bus. The show
attracted a lot of return visitors (two thirds). It was not determined whether anyone
stayed overnight.
A SUlvey of Visitors to Philadelphia's Independence Hall was commissioned by the
Sheraton Society Hill in 1985, It surveyed 1,000 visitors who stayed in hotels. Of those
visiting the attraction and spending the night in a hotel, 34 percent stayed in
Philadelphia. The rest stayed in the suburbs, the region, or elsewhere. Many were
going to other destinations. Only 32 percent wanted to stay in downtown Philadelphia.
The National Park Service occasionally surveys the Independence National Historical
Park. They keep detailed attendance records. However, they do not eliminate overlaps
from their counts. They add up all the "visits" to each of the park buildings and total this
to measure "attendance". Actually, the Liberty Bell visitation probably measures close
to the total number of visitors to the park.
In 1987, a Visitor Services Project tracked people's use of the park to find out where
they went. They also found out where they were from and how long they stayed in the
park. Of 524 surveys, 6 percent were foreign, 12 percent were from Philadelphia, and
the rest were from outside -- and widely dispersed around the U,S. (Altogether 30
percent were from the Middle Atlantic area.) The time spent varied from 1 to 5 hours,
with the median being 3 hOlJrs. A 1992 study that plotted attendance confirmed that the
median time spent was 3 hours.
One interesting study was a tracking study on the image of Philadelphia done by Spiro
& Associates in 1987, in connection with the "We, the People 200" celebration. About
800 people were surveyed by telephone, 400 before the events (and adVertising) and
400 after. About one third of those contacted had actually visited Philadelphia. The
study found there were no differences in perceptions about Philadelphia by those who
had visited and those who had not -- and no differences before and after the
Table A.
City of Philadelphia
Hotel Room Receipts FY 19901994
Fiscal Year Hotel Room Receipts
(in millions)
1990 $155.2
1991 153.8
1992 156,2
1993 158.5
1994 174.6
City of Philadelphia Room Tax Resources
,----------- ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Table B. City of Philadelphia Seasonality
Monthly Hotel Room Receipts
Month (1993/94) Hotel Room Receipts
1993: July
August 6,9
November 9,9
1994: January
February 8,7
March 8,1
April 10,1
May 8,7
June 12,0
Source: City of Philadelphia Room Tax Revenues, METAPLAN, Inc.
Table C. Independence National Historical ParI<
Uberty Bell Pavilion Attendance 19841993
Year Liberty Bell Attendance
1984 1,350,600
1985 1,406,800
1986 1,345,200
1987 1,848,200
1988 1,481,300
1989 1,400,100
1990 1,490,300
1991 1,438,800
1992 1,489,200
1993 1,417,900
... " " m ~ m " ~ ~ ~
Source: NPS Independence Park, METAPLAN, Inc.
Table D. Employment Comparisons
Philadelphia County and Pennsylvania, 1987, 1992
Employment Category Pennsylvania Philadelphia Percent
County of Sales
Total Employment 4,650,400 681.400 14.7%
Hotel. Lodging Places 52,800 5,800 11.1
Eating, Drinking Places 259,200 31,400 12.1
Amusement, Recreation 40,300 4,500 11.2
Museums, Zoos, Gardens 2,100 900 43.4
Total Employment 4,819,100 623,800 12.9%
Hotel, Lodging Places 52,200 6,400 12.3
Eating, Drinking Places 275,600 27,500 10.0
Amusements, Recreation 50,900 4,900 9.5
Museums, Zoos, Gardens 3,500 1,500 44.0
Source: Pennsylvania Dept. Of Labor, METAPLAN, Inc.
Covered wage and salary employment.
The following will serve to highlight the different tourist related programs that were run
for tile City. Examples of the creative follow.
"Philadelphia Get To Know Us:' - Among all the individuals interviewed in tile
course of this assignment, the only real advertising campaign for the City that
could be recalled was "Philadelphia - Get To Know Us." This program appeared
in tile mid1980s.
According to some familiar with the program, it was not really designed as a
tourism campaign, but rather to make Philadelphia feel good about itself a self
image campaign. The campaign did have a significant amount of recall among
those interviewed and the overall feeling about tile program was positive. No
one, however, could describe any specific messages the campaign conveyed
about the City. There is no way of determining whether the campaign is recalled
because it was particularly good or because it represented the only significant
advertising in recent memory.
Actual marketing and media plans detailing objectives, strategies, rationales and
budgets for the program were unavailable. It has been reported that much of the
media as well as production costs were donated to the City, so the total
out-of.-pocket costs can not be determined. Aside from a few insertions in
Gourmet Magazine, it is believed that the only advertising placed outside
Philadelphia appeared in New York City. We have been told tilat approximately
$400,000 was spent in the New York effort "with very poor response." However,
without specific objectives on what the programs was expected to generate, or
actual response, it is difficult to determine the true effectiveness of the program.
Two fourcolor ads (attached) ran in the May 1986 issue of Gourmet Magazine
along with an extensive article on the cuisine of Philadelphia. Both ads carried
the "You've Got A Friend In Pennsylvania" mention at the bottom suggesting that
the ads were part of a cooperative effort with the State.
"Philadelphia Isn't As Bad As Philadelphians Say It Is" - In interviews,
Philadelphians were asked if there were any campaigns for the City that they
could remember, While many could remember the "Get To Know Us" effort, a
surprisingly large number of people claimed to recall one that said, "Philadelphia
- It's Not As Bad As You Think," No one interviewed could remember anything
specific about the program, and for some time it was felt that it was perhaps an
old joke that, somehow through reputation had taken on a life of its own,
Our further research uncovered that it was never an advertising campaign, but
one billboard placed along a major Philadelphia artery. Rather than Saying,
"Philadelphia - It's Not As Bad As You Think" it read slightly differently,
"Philadelphia Isn't As Bad As Philadelphians Say It Is,"
The billboard was created by a small advertising agency and appeared perhaps
twenty years ago or longer, The staying power of a single Billboard is quite
remarkable - perhaps it hit a nerve or perhaps the longevity of its recall results
from the vacuum created through the lack of other Philadelphia marketing
Event Associated Promotion - Between 1990 and 1993 the Convention and
Visitors Bureau began running a series of newspaper advertisements featuring
Ben Franklin and inviting readers to vacation in Philadelphia (attached), While
the ads did mention some of the attractions found in the City, none carried a
tagline or positioning statement which summed up the essence of a Philadelphia
vacation experience.
Given the fact that the event promotions were poorly funded, did not fit within an
overall tourism promotion effort and there is no research on the programs, it is
believed that these promotional efforts had very little impact on tourism to
Philadelphia. Specific executions include:
1990 - The 1990 execution centered on Ben Franklin and mentioned the fact
that "9 special weekend parties from January to September" were being
celebrated. The ad carried a coupon and an 800 number to call for "free
information and hotel packages." No statistics are available in the effectiveness
of this program.
.1llill ~ In 1991, Ben invited visitors to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Bill
of Rights. Again, a coupon and telephone number were used in the newspaper
advertisement. The new signature for the state of Pennsylvania - "America
Starts Here," was included in this ad, suggesting some sort of cooperative effort
with the State.
1992 - For 1992, the program was used to invite vacationers to celebrate
America's quincentenary in Philadelphia. A new element, a box with a stylized
signature "Neighbors In The New World" was added to the ads. The response
mechanism and State signature continued as in previous years.
In fiscal year 1992/93 The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau spent
$200,000 in advertising. Nearly all of these funds were in support of the new
convention center and related hotel development and consequently very little
exposure of this ad was realized,
199;2 -In 1993, an ad using the "Two Rivers, One Great Vacation," headline was
used. This ad contained virtually the same elements as the previous year's, but
was more focused on the historical features of the City.
The 1993/94 budget called for a reduction in spending to $110,000. A minimal
advertising budget was called for in the preliminary 1994/95 marketing and sales
plan with the majority of funds ($85,000) allocated to "Calendar of Events.
In 1993, and then again in 1994, advertisements promoting the Welcome
America! celebration were run in northern New Jersey and central Pennsylvania
newspapers. Just as with the Ben Franklin ads, there was no central theme or
positioning line for the City of Philadelphia in the ads, They were more geared
toward promoting a specific event as opposed to the City.
Regional Promotion - 1994/95 An additional $61,000 was allocated to
cooperative marketing with Lancaster and $36,000 for support of "Welcome
Cooperative advertisements tilat flave run in the past five years have been
reviewed and found to be more in line with the events type ads as opposed to
the image ads that ran in the mid 1980s.
International Promotion -Philadelphia participates in PITT the Pennsylvania
International Tourism Taskforce which is comprised of the state and several
cities/regions. The PITT program consists primarily of public relations, literature
fulfillment and participation in trade shows in the United Kingdom and Germany.
Tt,ere is no advertising associated with the PITT program.
Package Promotions - A significant cooperative newspaper effort which
packaged six hotels along with tickets to a Rolling Stones concert or the
"Picasso Still Lives" exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art was run this
year. The effort is significant for several reasons. First it represented one of the
most significant promotional efforts on behalf of the hotels in the City. Secondly,
it was the first attempt to "package" the City to make it easy for potential
travelers to actually buy a vacation in Philadelphia.
The current Barnes Foundation Exhibit is an excellent example of cooperative
partnership between the CVB, local hotels and American Express. Still, as the
attached advertisement which appeared in the New York Times shows -
promotional activities continue to support individual events and fail to provide the
City with an overall image, or position the City as a desirable place to visit for
anything else but a specific event.
"We The P e o p l e ~ Bicentennial Celebration (1986) - The bicentennial
celebration of the Constitution was a major event for the City of Philadelphia.
Through a tremendous effort of hundreds of volunteers the biggest event in the
City's modern history became a reality. President Reagan visited the City and
major networks hosted shows like The Today Show during the event.
"We The People" while being a major tourist event, was primarily conceived and
executed as a Philadelphian event. Limited promotion outside of the public
relations activity could be documented.
Meeting and Conventions Promotion - In Philadelphia, the CVB has had to
place additional emphasis on the meeting and convention business in recent
years in an effort to sell space in the new Pennsylvania Convention Center
(PCC). Promotion of the new PCC by the Philadelphia CVB has centered on
direct sales supported by limited advertising and public relations, The PCC has
also used a limited amount of magazine advertising to promote the facility.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau did use a limited amount of advertising in
1993 to announce the opening of the new Convention Center. The ad, which
appeared only in meeting and convention magazines was 'feature rich" and
included a signature lil1e directed to the Center, not the City. It read,
Pennsylvania Convention Center -- In the center of it ,<;//!" At roughly the same
time the Pennsylvania Convention Center ran a few ads in meeting business
publications which featured tile new center. The ad did not contain a tag line
and was not at all similar to the CVB ad.
its charms. And to Turnbcrry I add that par-
ticular that rrlakes of every day and
night a time to treasured. Scotland ,:an-
nOt offer the lush warmth of the Caribbean,
nor the bracing ski slopes of Europe, but it
can 1lnd a peacefulness 1
C:'lI1nOl imagine being ehicwhcn.::.
Turnbcrry Hotcl Golf Courses
Ayrshire KA26 9LT. Scotland
Tel. (06553) 202
ChcfCuneron's artful blending ()fScot-
tish and cuisines b hallmark of
the as ttH: r,:dpes that
f()llow demtmstrate.
,)\'ouI.\'1I Tt.'(l
2 r.:::ups all-purpotit: flour
2!h tablespoons double-acting
baking powder
'2 huge eggs
4 tablespoons suglH'
2 tablespoons vcgcl.1lblc oil
n;\ to 2 cups milk
mciled butter for bl'Ushillf!
the griddh:
unsalted butt!;'.)' and jam OJ'
whipped cream and
as aC(:Olllpanimcnts
lnw a bo ....... 1 sift together the flt)ur and tlw p<)wder. In another bowl beat the
egg:.;, the: and thc oil until the mixturc
is combincd well and :.;tir in of the
milk. Add the milk mix.tuJ'c 10 the flour
mixture and sliJ' hatter until it is just
Hem 11 griddle nvc!' heat until it
hot, brush it with some melted but ..
101', and tcst the baiter by dmpping 1 table ..
::,poon of' it iJf1to the griddle, If the batter is
too thick 10 sprciH1 by itself into Ii 3-iJH..'h
r(Jllnd, continue testing, adding the remain-
ing};. to the batttJ' necessary until il
docs. D!'op the ballC:!' I.')Y whlcf<>poons mHO
the griddk ;md cook the pancllkcs for 1 to '2
minutes, or until bubbles on the SUI""
filet:: and begin to burst. Turn the pancakes
and cook them f()r 1 minute 01' until
the underside.:) (II'(; golden brown,
pancakes with a spatulillo a dish
{()wel (IS I.hey and them
Wiu'm, covercd Make pancake.s
with batter in the same man-
ncr, brushing the griddle with more meltcd
butler each batch, S(!I'W the. pan ..
warm with the softened
jam Ol'the
Makes about 50
Whisky /"JOlt!/
I cups golden
5 tablespoons Sc{)tch whisky
It bubbles. Spark/e .
Sizzles. Thrill .
Excites. Pu/.at ....
Rock 'n' Roll. Jazz.
C/a.sico/. Swing.
Th"atro. 80/lot.
Opera. Popular.
Caf" . Bistros.
Clubs. Every
night. Evory
Enjoy. Let
your hair
Paint th"
rod. Be

For c frO(} Phi!adell:Jhia Vocation Pockot, call 1-800-523-2004.
0 0

You'vo got (I frimid J" POllmylvol1io
GOUI1Mt::T I MAY 1986
Come make passionate love
to a silliing Lobster Fro
Diovo/o, touch your lip, to Voau
A/socia"" .. , linger over a lustful
mocha mousse. Ahhhhhh.
Italian. French. Chinese.
Spanish. Creole. Indian. Thai.
German. Evon American. If you
warship food, love to dine,
como to Philadelphia.
For a free Philadelphia Vacation
Packet, call )800523-2004.
.......... .. ''i.
&7 !tJ:iq/<lWurPAf.
Y(l(!'\fO got (] friand in POllnsy/vani(J
grecmi, pitch Hnd pUll course., and
tenniH. (;ourts: if that' s not enough, addition-
al options include horse racing and riding,
fishing, shooting, hill walking. loafing,
tmqUc.l, golf instruction, . ,.ind GOLF.
. ti;nberry can be full of ac-
(C. C tivity und at the same time
'" a haven of peace, J have
<: ... , stayed at other Scottish
hotds where one was c()nstantly subjected
to loud rcc()untings oj' many a cv"
cry piIIY, At Turnbcrry golf i:-; serious, but
not to the point of fanaticit->m. In July the
6,875-yurd par" 71 Ailsa course: will, inci-
dontally. be t.he venue for Iho 1986 Brilish
Open IlS il Was once before, in 1977.
The Ailsa links courliC, originally de-
signed by Willie as was lhe Anan
("OurSc. was remade by MacKenzie Ross af ..
tcr World War II inw [he: m.aslcrpicce it h;
today. The Armn lies inland within the Ally
sa and is said to demanding; it i:-: n
pal' 69 and 6,276 yards. When the com.mon
ground wag linked with the foreshore and
golf was played over it, wag
kn()wn as a links course and gradually carne
10 be called g<llf Iinh, Both Ihe Ailsa and
the Arran named holes, such Ca
which "take care, '. and
Lang Whang! Or "good whack." Tickl y
Tap means "a subtle and Dinna
FOUler means "don't mess about."
Long before my visit was {)"cr, my mus-
ings about re,(:ommcnding or
peat MIIYS Wt:I't: sharpened when I heard thal
celebrates a very :-;pecial Christ-
mas, by grace ()f the North Atl;mtic Drift,
and so my advice now late spring
to late- and 0. return for Chrigtmas.
Most places something they can
blame everything dose on-Londt)n has its
fog, Chicago its Wind, and Scandinavia its
bicycle riders-but Turnbcrry has only
and l;:ommcndation for its Drift,
which with the Gulf Stream as the
latter moves north and cast from the Gulf of
Mexico nnd is from the castel'l1
U.S, coast by the LabradorCurrem. bring-
ing Turnhcl'rY glorious veget,ntion,
healthful air. and balmy Christmas. (Refur-
bishllleni will keep tho hOld closed for
ChristnHlti, 1986, but Yl'.lU starl looking
forward now 10 Christon,,,. 1987,)
To me Scotland is an ultimate
tion. One can go on, ifonc mUSl, to Iceland
or ptlssibly to Murnlansk; nnc can even
travel from Yugoslavia to Boston via
wick. Bm on the whole Scotlnnd is not u
where one stops in pHssing.
ing save itself should take one
there. Ii is both gloriou, and Iln",mod-its
golC salmon, and lamb. its gardens, and its
Turnberry be,ing only a scattered handful of
hil-lj.!tq ,llid I)f
thl' 11\.'\\' dl't:.HJe: In I
tt) ht\Ll:-'I' .1I Fi'i.ltlklin
ellUrl (at
.'\alilllwllli"tork:d P,lrk)
fllr' pl;l\, ... lirid
l(lll("('n ... E.\:pIMI
dN'U'it OIl ilu:
,\IU<"PlilTl and <",.'(' tlw I..\:I it
ill)! tw",
IIIWnin)! thh
'1'h:lI\ till'
q \\I(I-,(nd partil':-'
lrolll .lallu<Jf"' W SepH't'1lhl'!',
J"ili in IiI"
ili)..l !",turn: For ial
hll!I.! Ili)).!.I' ... iirid 1/"(,(,
in/()rnwtilm. in thl'
IllUPllll (,ill:
1800.321 WKND

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( \, \ 1 \, 1 1 ( I \, " \ I ... I I ( \ 1,'" I \ I Ii 1 \!
Ben Franklin VOl!
to celebrate your
10 visit Phi/adelphi,) in
1991 during the 200th
Anl1iversm'v of the Bill
of Rights ..
:"'pc(iil/ pro-
grums and exhibits ,U
Independence Nrniotlal
Histol'ical Park ilild
Franklin COUtl.
r-+O EXI'Jl'ti!.!IH.'(: Ibe
Choices Forum
;md in1er')C1ivc video
.,.....0 View mOljor
exhihits on the work
IJnd anistic struggles
of Henry 0, T,lnner .11
the Philadelphiu
I'vluseum of Art and
Thomas EllkillS Ilt Iht:
Pennsvlvnnio. Acadcm,'
of Fine Arts,
For' special hme!
olid iii for
rrtllliOll about
!i(md in
1 .... \.\11. _____ _
, ___ .
'" \ 11\ 'nf" ,.11
, \IAf!",r':T
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Quiuce11umary in
Wp'I'I' thmwin::1
10 fotnl1wnlnr:lI('
lInnt\er.:llry 01
c:llIinf,': it
in f\;I'\-\ ,!r\d 1.<,'('
ilwit(, you 10 join
(:(1111\' Ttlll
and 1'\'('11 di(' N"lIt. P"11tl
lind Sm"ltll Mdl'id will \i.;il.
Our Phil,l,
and Gospel Picnic
VVI'ldwnd - nl:lk(, ,I
in Phl1adl'I()hi:l.
Stili Lif(!s" its
'ht' Phihldld!lhi:l
(If AI"{,
__ , ___ ., .. ,
,\,Id, ",(,'11 h:l\'i';\
Cf\l\llTlh\l\ PI\"
[),lrT\' in I lI'ith
P;'lv!\toI1i 11;ldi1il!. \l\1f P:lf:Hh'!
F(lr infnttli,ll!f\n .
lind ill dli'
\ hl')I\\" (II' Iall:
J-ROO6R2 7676
AD()!l.HS:-; __ ....
C:1T\' ._ .. .. __ .... _. __ .,_._ .. _. __ ..
stATE _______ ?lI'_, ____ ._ ..
In the heart of America's 1110St historic
city, constlUctioll continues 011 the
nc.W PCllllsy\vanin Convention Center.
InJunc 19')3, Philadelphia will open
a statt.'(,f-thc-an, uniquely (kslgned
f,\('.ilit)' that comhhles the historically
certified Reading J'Tmil1altmin
slwd, with a new and cXc:iting
exhibition center.
'135,000 <<.jlwre !'eet of dedicated
exhibition SpiKe.
A .1 ,201l room Marriou hOiel
l'linnectl'd to thelacility.
city is
about to open
1I1e 2nd largest
A IOwl of :;,625 hOld rooms
within walking distane".
in 1I1e Northeast?
50 meeting rooms
and 90,000
square ht of
meeting space,
A 32,000 squ:lI'C
i()ot halln)om
Unique two"bel
design I())' ensy tralIic lio\\',
27 off-stl'wtl'uck loadmg hays,
Call I'()r our lWW Pennsylvania
Convention Center brochure
which includes 1100" plans,
maps and much more,
(:I'!NI'\',IHIOI' Io(JRI:hl'
ot only does
Philadelphia now
boast a new woM
class facility with
the Pennsylvania
Convention Center,
more importantly,
we Ilave also rewritten
the rules that control
facility-labor relations.
We now boast the
most user friendly
labor partnership in
tile Ilistory of the city.
In Pililadelphia,
we understand that the most important
element of successful events lies not
necessarily with the physical structure
where your event is held, but with the
human element, tile people involved in
making your event happen. That's why
Philadelphia Ilas established a new facility-
customer-labor partnership that is as
world class as our facility. Tilis is our
pledge to the industry.
To find out more about tile Center and
how this agreement will make your next
event run smoothly, call 1-8004289000.
Don't miss out on Ilistory in tile making.

11111' i'ulltt!llI.iIlIlI:,mWr I'lallil
11111 SImI'! I'itililililillitiil, I'A l!1I111-22!1l1
1I1t1l1l1!: 1-S1I1I-12S-illllllll (215) HN-41110
fax: (215HIH141
I .-
.-- -,.,"
Two Rivers,
One Great
F(lllQW the \\'fHCt'\\':\\'S of the New \\'orld I{;
Phlbdclph\::J.'s and p;tl'k.
Touch the LIbert\" Bell. nde the fcm'
and swmg. to the 'rh\"thms of musIC'
Ilw Eo:;l CO;l.s(s
hottC:;i ne\\' dubs and l'cs\au-
rilnls the Ddawarc
R1W,j' w<l.lcdrol1t
On II", Sd"l\'lkili RII',r, r"I1"",
the pin\) of the
Re\'olutlon frOI11 Flo
10 V,IIe\'

1 6th & WK nh'd.
P ..\ 191(J;!

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'1c," ] Oill President B ill (I ill tOil
'to' and Vice President AI Gore
... ......" .....

. Grwc:l 0 pen iag --(.J Freedom
Fralning 50 HCJ1!S in j j days wi! II:
The Philadelphia Oeche'lra
The Pointer Sislers Fats Domin"
C h u bhl' Checker Bobb) R rdd I
The S! ylistics Mongo SanlaMari"
Th, Philly Pops' 10,000 Maniacs
" Parades" FirC\\'tlfks " (!jnccrts
i'ral,,,,,, /lords:

i GUPSI Quaners Sni\o I !oick I-Ht10-424-2'1Qll
(f ivt 3 rc-J. luGH in ns 1
I Embass)' Suires 1I00d
(do\vntown lora!ion)
1 '
for fllmr i,,/omwlinOl, call J -800-53 7-7676
m" ]lnqnim

-.,". ';! '.,-.- . !'."! -f
Certainli>ro B

.. ,','
Free Part<w!"Y .' {IWrit"I' , 1/
Mu:seum Admi,..ion II' ,/1 ,/ A JlI'S!
Summer Mummers 11 1/(1t(I /li/,11i
Boxing Tribute
to Muhammad Ali
Fre'e Headliner Entertainment

" Thl\ Phdh J!t

Kid Cr('()le and dh: COt;"OIlUh
Fireworks Galore!
'j" ,( \\1:'\ Ii,.. \\":,('111i'
j'l"(l,hUfl' \,11: dw IIijlL1.lL ':,+.,.1 \ 1'-1',11:\ (,"1\,"
." 1.800.681.7676 ,XI. I
H"""lr,"'I11\ ,.;.:: .. ,I', ,1;:,1;'. '1111 'IILI\I:,'
,,111 J1)ul.l,'1,,';:I:l:,1 \," \,1.)\11111' L \1>:, , .
. " 1.800.444.7666, .... '''" ""'.
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Philadelphia Hotels have the
hottest tickets in the East!
Tn is. summer, OUT weekend ["uesls mo':e w the fronl
of the line \\'ith sped al p.a ckages - good Friday and
Sa mrday only - guarantee YUill adm ission to:
I'I&asse ttm Ules, June AliI- 3lI -Th e Philadelphia
Museum of Ar1 presents more th an ] 00 slil 1 ife paint
ings ! hat span the career D f! he 20th ceElwJ)"s most
f.arnous painter - Pablo Picasso_
i8lll111 111M Max -Tbtin.- hi. E'ltsIqs - Tuulcman
Omnivcrse Th eater a [ The Franklin Inslilu le Science
Museum presenEs., the StoDe's. S!ee!
Jungle Tour on a screen and backed up ; .. itn
56. speakers 0 f SOlin d {j call the hOI el by noonj
Thursd ay before the 'Ir\'eekend you plan to
i PbssII EmIm Weeilllil htUge i
I From J/25penoon:;, !
{;;''($I n:o;"'1 ,,"J' cr...: !
CUr,..d..:rr,rnll.... f::;r ;:... 1
". ,
I: i
IWeti:crltF;dlf!"_ !
ta."S . 1
(8'5 !
f "..;;;..'" :
- Shenuoo Society um !
-I " -(!. T I
t !
L m $.'6..1..:1)'1 N.G.i= .....l

-' ... -_Im
'lIa! -!'Khif"

Dc:i;... ""!i' BND
J-,.,D IICli:!iSlCo f\;:;]Ji:,-gSiO:;.e:;
Ine F:.o:::!.5;D b.b1i1
G.:.;e;-pli;nl'i:::,,'!"11al Paiir.;g
Fr:-: .. i5 (ajl: L -roJ.. THiAEll
..... <1 [0; Oill
-:;m" :"'-?: y .... ,::3:';-:::
. .i\nd J set sail for Philadelphia in June
whfn lhe city's Columbus 500 celebratio n,
Nei gh bo rs in the New \\'orld crests:
Columbus Cara,'e11'our - the recreation
of the N ina, Pima and Santa Maria,
June 17-22
1'1, filiI I f I II! I
fIIuts-Xun fVenings
Tall Ships'92 - "ith 19 majestic tall strips
from around th e world, June 2630
Freedom Festhral - means free fireworks..
concerts, parades as )'Ou eel ebrate America's
birthpl ace - Philadelphia, July 3-5

t I
June 9 to AUOUst 30

f, J 'f" r f 'I f, '"
fir a fne P8lIadel.B[1 GIIiH tail 1-800-537 -1m.

.f, f :-br . .. 'it:
F!--..<J.DtL.-.,..n... r?'

H 13 iJ'.,".!'J....,; (;<::.0.:' .......

wl:J[ioas i10Jm

of P"'...r.l.$...<D OR
E--Jllillg St-J"ts l},tlJ:: tfrlill
-ri-;'V'J) WUUf
Go; OL.-t
r..cbge f';i(E: iJ!.5...o.J Iin.dudes lal) pef;:! v:L dociJre 0CClJp>"..3..')'
$30.10 $139.00
O..-:-t'N.'gbi lLi.<ui'irghiS
1tjidE_P2l> _

1",,'0 tidff;; ,.:) n'l1(:';'<1:;
Y.-(.lio;.) hlilii< a;: .roe
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The City of Philadelphia does have a wealth of collateral material running the gambit
from maps to restaurant, shopping, walking tour and hotel brochure guides. Much of
the information could be considered helpful in directing visitors to different areas of
As is the case with many destinations, the layouts and graphic design covers a wide
range of looks, quality and tastes. When viewed in isolation each piece could be
deemed attractive, informative and generally well designed. However, when viewed in
conjunction with many others. the collective effect is one of disunion and perhaps even
some confusion.
For Philadelphia to maximize the economic impact of tourism it will need to ensure that
every contact with a visitor is a pleasant one. Presenting visitors with a vast array of
different and visually confUSing brochures does have an impact on their overall
perception of the City itself.
A sampling of brochures and maps picked up at various locations around the City
during the summer of 1994 included:
National Historic Park
- Street Map
Summer Highlights
Center City Transit Routes
- Airport Line
Performing Arts Guide
Waterfront Guide
Multi-cultural Summer Festival t
Thomas Jefferson Walking Tour'
Penn's Landing 1994 Prograrn
The Town Crier
Philadelphia Taxi Talk t
Philadelphia Shopping Guide t
Philadelpilia Hotel Guide t
Philadelphia Official Calendar of Events t
Convention Center Visitor Guide'
Philadelphia Official ViSitors Guide 't
Partially funded by the CVB and/or Convention Center
t Partially funded by the State
It would be impossible to have a consistent graphic look across all collateral for any
diverse destination ~ there are simply too many different organizations and individuals
involved. It is however possible to Ilave a consistent look for individual organizations or
cooperative partners.
For instance, although only two collateral pieces from the National Park service were
reviewed, they were the only ones with any sense of a consistent look and feel, Scaled
to fit inside a #10 envelop, both pieces included a black band across the top and the
word "Independence" positioned in the upper left hand corner in reverse type. "National
Historic Park Philadelphia" and "National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior"
were similarly positioned in the upper right hand corner, The same type face was used
for both pieces.
Publications prepared for or partially underwritten with the aid of the Convention and
Visitor's Bureau and/or the Convention Center are not as graphically coordinated as
they should be. While there are some "similar" elements, they are few and the overall
effect does not suggest that they come from the same or related organizations.
This is partially a result of the creative and production being decentralized with many
independent contractors involved. Decentralized creative and production is usually
done in an effort to save money. While money can usually be saved, the impact of the
collective effort is usually diminished, The question that needs to be addressed is,
"Does the savings offset the reduced impact?"
The CVB's advertising agency does offer assistance in graphic layout at times, but
usually only in an advisory position with no final control or say in the end product.
CVB and Convention Center publications should be better coordinated and designed to
give visitors and residents alike a uniform image of the City.
Just as it had done for the past eight years, the CVB was not planning on placing much
emphasis on targeting the consumer or vacationer market. The vast majority of
resources were again being planned to address the needs of the Convention Center.
The preliminary 1994/95 CVB Tourism Marketing Promotion & Sales Plan called for
changes in the emphasis of the sales efforts concerning the target market segments
detailed below,
The small amount of funds allocated for tourism were to be broken down in the
following manner:
Domestic motorcoach/lour Operator 65% 35%
Retail travel agents 0% 15%
~ - , ..
In!'1 markeUrecepllve operators 20% 15%
Packaging & partnerships 5t>/o 15%
~ - ,
Special events 5% 10%
Minority/ethnic 5% 0,1
Consumer 0% 0%
Within the CVB, efforts have been allocated annually toward Tour Operators which
bring the vast majority of Philadelphia's visitors - a combination of overnight visitors and
day-trippers - primarily those visiting Independence National Historical Park.
During our interviewing process it was revealed that tour operators see Philadelphia as
a popular "stop" on the New York to BaltimorelWashington bus route, When pressed
as to why Philadelphia isn't considered more than just a "stop" and why bus tours don't
program a more extended stay in the city, the response is that there is simply no
consumer demand for it. Discussions with several individuals familiar with the motor
coach business in the east confirms this,
One of the key findings from the qualitative reseal'ch among travel agents within a 250
mile radius of Philadelphia, conducted for this report, is that there is very little travel
agent awareness of all the City has to offer, Therefore, in addition to experiencing
little consumer pull there is also little travel agent push on behalf of Philadelphia, The
City has an excellent opportunity to increase awareness of the City as a destination city
through the upcoming American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) Conference,
In travel, the two most effective methods of persuading someone to visit a destination
are positive word of mouth (recommendations from friends and relatives) and having
previously been to the destination. Marketing executives develop elaborate programs
to attract travel agents on familiarization trips (FAMs) so they can experience the
destination or service first hand and later recommend it to their clients.
The ASTA conference represents the equivalent of a mega-FAM and provides
Philadelphia with an excellent opportunity to showcase the City to thousands of agents
at one time. Providing agents with a positive experience at the conference could result
in millions of dollars in new vacationer spending in the City in coming years. The City's
effort with respect to ASTA will be a critically important undertaking. Indications are
that the CVB and City have devoted substantial resources to preparing for this
Philadelphia is a city in transition and one that is really just beginning to promote itself
to visitors as a vacation destination. Although virtually no effort was to have been
placed against the consumer market by the CVB in this fiscal year, important changes
The CVB together with partners, have launched two significant efforts directed against
consumers. This includes a $200,000 cooperative advertising program with the State of
Pennsylvania and the $150,000 Barnes Exhibit cooperative promotion. These two
efforts are significant because they address two of the central problems with past
tourism activity for the City: building awareness and creating vacation packages.
The cooperative program with the State is designed to build awareness of the City
through insertions in large circulation consumer magazines. The Barnes Exhibit
program offers packages which makes it easy for visitors to actually buy a vacation
As a result of the highly successful Barnes Exhibit cooperative program, which
exceeded everyone'S expectations, the CVB is currently working with local hotels to
develop at least six similar programs for the next fiscal year. These programs have
already been included in preliminary budgets for next year and include funds for
programs aimed at seniors, the Barnes reopening, the Cezanne Exhibit, the Flower
Show, Jambalaya Jam and Welcome America. ..
The increased emphasis on targeting the vacationer market by the CVB and other
Philadelphia organizations is most likely a result of a number of factors, not the least of
which includes the Mayor's leadership, the establishment of the Hospitality Cabinet and
the upcoming ASTA convention.
For tourism to truly flourish in the City, actions taken to build awareness and package
trips to the City so it is easy to buy, will need to intensify. In addition to stronger
communications and promotional programs, the new effort will need to have a longevity
spanning several years in order for the City's tourism initiatives to be successful. For all
of this to occur organizational adjustments need to be made to ensure that there is an
entity which is devoted to tourism promotion, possesses funds necessary to develop
and launch an effective marketing campaign, Also, the organization must have the
commitment and the resources to devote consistent funding to the marketing effort for
Philadelphia tourism for a number of years.
One of the most comprehensive research studies on the US tourism market was
conducted by Canada Tourism in 1985. Although now 10 years old, the research
provides interesting information on the segmentation of the us tourism market.
Perhaps most importantly for Philadelphia, is the fact that there is a significant portion
of the population that are interested in visiting cities.
The following will provide a summary of the research as it pertains to Philadelphia.
Ideally, by implementing the recommended research programs a more precise
understanding of city travelers, particularly those inclined to visit Philadelphia will be
One objective of the Canadian study was to identify the basic long-haul travel
motivations, benefits sought and product/activity needs of the tourists. Thus, particular
emphasis was placed on the segmentation of the market based upon: attitudes to
vacation travel; benefits sought from vacation travel; activities, facilities and interests
required to meet these benefits. In essence, the results of the survey gave general
information on the life-style, vacation style, benefits segments, activity/products
segments, travel habits, and preferences of the pleasLire travelers.
In the study, there were eight trip types identified as being taken by the population. On
the basis of the eight trip types established in the study and on the importance tourists
place on travel activities, two major product segments evolved in the research findings:
a big city product; a cultural product both of which are highly applicable to the city of
Philadelphia. Following is a summary of the characteristics of the two product
Big city product segment
Primary Activities
Going to live concerts or live theater
Taking gLiided tOLirs
Going to bars and discos
Attending ethnic festivals and events
Taking rides at amLisement parks
Shopping for arts and crafts of the area
Secondary Activities
Visiting museums and galleries
Viewing science exhibits
Dining in elegant, sophisticated restaurants
Staying in first-class hotels
Dining in a variety of restaurants
Being by the ocean
Spending time with someone special
Having fun, being entertained
Getting away from pressures and responsibilities
Just resting and relaxing
Being together as a family
Benefits - Special Emphasis
Finding thrills and excitement
Meeting people with similar interests
Having lots of different things to see and do
Being pampered, having all of one's needs attended to
Taking advantage of reduced fares
Fact of visiting a big city is important
No distinguishing demographic characteristics ... similar to the entire
US travel population
Geographic Location
No distinguishing characteristics as far as geographic distribution
by census divisions
Applications to Philadelphia
In regards to the importance tourists place on activities, Philadelphia should promote its
variety of prestigious restaurants, theaters, and museums. Another area of focus would
be guided and/or walking tours of the city which could concentrate on showing tourists
the city's historical sites.
Cultural product segment
Divided into two different trip types for analysis: touring and city:
1, Touring cultural product - touring travelers with a strong interest in cultural
Primary Activities
Visiting museums and galleries
Viewing science exhibits
Attending ethnic festivals and events
Shopping for arts and crafts of the area
Secondary Activities
Going to live theater and concerts
Going to zoos or wildlife exhibits
Seeing wildlife one doesn't usually see
Fulfilling a dream of visiting a place one has always wanted to visit
A prestige trip
Staying in first-class hotels
Dining at elegant, sophisticated restaurants
Visiting big cities
Visiting small towns and villages
Tend to be older, contain more retired people, and consists of more
females tl1an the total touring trip group
Tend to be concentrated in the Middle Atlantic Census Division
2. City cultural product - touring travelers with a strong interest in cultural
Primary Activities
Visiting museums and galleries
Going to zoos or wildlife exhibits
Viewing science exhibits
Attending ethnic festivals and events
Taking guided tours
Secondary Activities
Going to live theater and concerts
Taking rides at amusement parks
Attending sporting events
Walking or strolling about
Visiting places important in history
Experiencing different cultures, ways of life
Fulfilling a dream of visiting a place one has always wanted to visit
A prestige trip
Staying in first-class hotels
Having budget accommodations
Sampling the local cuisine
Visiting big cities
Being by the ocean
Tend to be better educated and more affluent than all the city trip
Tend to be located more in the Middle Atlantic and East North
Central Census Divisions and less in the Pacific
Similarities between the touring and city trip types in the cultural product segment:
1. Interest in viewing culture
2. Attracted to quality amenities
3. Benefit in seeing the trip as a prestigious one
Differences between the touring and city trip types in the cultural product segment:
1. City trip type is concentrated in the Northeast
2. Interests of city trip type are wider than the touring one
3. Members of city trip type are slightly more upscale
Differences between the cultural product segment and the total population:
1. Members of cultural segment are older, better educated
2. More female members in the cultural segment
3. Cultural segment concentrated more in tile Northeast of the US
Applications to Philadelp/Jia
Philadelphia has most of tile attractions, amenities, and benefits to appeal to and
satisfy the touring cultural and city cultural tourist type. Specific attractions to promote
for both groups would be the museums, theaters, and ethnic events and festivals. The
major differences between tile two segments Philadelphia should be aware of are that
the people who are attracted to the city cultural product are especially interested in
historical places and tend to better educated and wealthier. Thus, Philadelphia should
heavily promote its richness of history and design informative programs and/or walking
tours. In regards to the tourists attracted to the touring cultural product, Philadelphia
should target the older, retired segment.
Metropoll V
The Convention and Visitors Bureau subscribes to Metropoll which is as explained
earlier, a survey conducted among a national sample of major meeting and convention
decision makers, Although the survey is geared primarily toward the meetings and
conventions market, it does ask respondents to rate 40 cities based on a series of
vacation related attributes.
As with the earlier Metropoll Studies, Philadelphia performs well for being "inexpensive
to get to" (ranked 5th), for having "moderate food and lodging costs" (index 14th) and
being easy to get to (18th). Unfortunately tt1ese are all secondary attributes, those
attributes which are not particularly important when making a vacation destination
...... -


TOUR 94 1D
.. -

_ .._-
l,OW RAlEJSAFE 25 33
Philadelphia's rating - average is 100 "Philadelphia's rank compared to 40 other cities
The City performs poorly on key attributes vacationers consider when selecting a
destination - attributes such as a "popular place" (31st), being "different/unique" (28th),
having "friendly residents" (32nd), and offering "good value for the money" (35th).
Particularly disturbing are the perceptions of Philadelphia as being a "clean/attractive
city" (35th) and for "low crime rate/safe" (33rd).
The seriousness of Philadelphia's image problems as a vacation destination can be
more easily seen when the figures on the preceding table are expressed graphically.
Again, the figures in this chart are the perceptions meeting planners have of
Philadelphia as a vacation destination. Their perceptions, like those of vacationers are
shaped by a number of elements including the media and advertising and promotion.
They are also shaped by personal experience with the destination -- 57% of
respondents claimed to have visited Philadelphia sometime in the past.
As part of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission's work in developing the
Destination Philadelphia report it conducted a series of research studies. These
Special Events Survey
Attraction Survey
Hotel Survey
Each of the three studies measured different individuals and used different
questionnaires and are therefore not directly comparable. The surveys do however
provide several valuable insights into the image of Philadelphia and issues that will
need to be addressed as the City tries to capitalize on tourism.
The following will provide details of those reports as they pertain to Philadelphia's
Special Events Survey
The Special Events project surveyed 404 individuals who had attended three separate
special events - the Core States Bike Race, July 4th and River Blues. The majority of
respondents were from inside the metropolitan area (66% versus 34%
Of those individuals within the metro area who participated in the survey, city residents
rated Philadelphia slightly higher than suburban residents in every attribute measured.
Attribute Cltv Suburban
Attractlvoness 6.7 6.4
Restaurants 8 7.9
Architecture 8.2 7.9
Safety 5.1 5
Transit 5.3 5.1
Historic area 8.7 8.3
Cleanliness 5 4.7
~ - - -
Parks 7.1 6.7
Shops 7.6 7.2
Friendliness 6.5 6.2
This information tends to confirm comments made by industry leaders about how
residents of the suburbs have a less favorable opinion of the City than those who
actually live there. Comments were made during t h ~ interviews that "many"
suburbanites actually brag about how long it has been since they have visited
Philadelphia. Some see their lack of visitation as a matter of accomplishment or pride.
While this survey shows that there is a difference, albeit a small one, between the two
groups it must be pOinted out that the suburbanites who did come to the City didn't see
it as much of a problem. Perhaps a greater difference in opinion would be seen if a
random sample of suburbanites (including tl10se that have and those that have not
viSited the City recently) were taken.
In the events surveys, the primary reason individuals from outside the metropolitan area
were in town was a result of their "special interest" (33%) in the event. Events therefore
can be used to attract individuals to tM City.
Interestingly, more visitors had heard about the event as a result of "word-of-mouth"
(29%) than because of "media exposure" (22%). The lack of funds available to
promote events has been previously noted.
Nearly half of the non-metropolitan visitors spent the night in the city with a
two-thirds/one-third split between staying in a hotel versus staying with friends or
relatives. Therefore, not only can events entice individuals from outside the
metropolitan area to visit the City, they can also help increase hotel occupancies.
Those visitors that stayed overnight had a more favorable impression of the City on
every attribute measured. Significantly more positive perceptions were expressed by
overnight stayers on the important attributes of "safety," "cleanliness,' and
"friendliness." It is difficult to determine the casual relationship here. Did the
individuals feel better about Philadelphia because they stayed over - or did they stay
over because they already felt better about Philadelphia?
Attribute No Nights Nights
Attractiveness 6,9 7.3
Restaurants 7.5 7.8
Architecture 7.3 8
Safety 5.7 6.9
Transit 5.4 7.4
Historic area 8.4 8.8
Cleanliness 5.8 6.6
Parks 6.7 7.8
Shops 7.5 8.3
Friendliness 6.6 7.6
Unfortunately the survey does not break-out perceptions of hotel stayers and those that
stayed with friends or relatives.
Attractions Survey'
The Philadelphia City Planning Commission surveyed a total of 787 individuals who had
visited the Franklin Institute or Independence Hall. 68% of the respondents were from
outside the metropolitan area, 32% lived in the metropolitan area,
By far the main reason for their visit was for sightseeing (74%) which is not surprising
given the locations where the surveys were administered.
Roason %
Sightseeing 74
Cultural Event 12
Visiting Friends 3
Sporting Events 2
Business 6
Convention Meeting 3
As can be seen in the following chart, non-Metropolitan residents impressions of
Philadelphia were more favorable than metropolitan residents in all areas surveyed
other than restaurants and parks,
In the special events survey residents of the City had a more favorable impression than
those people from the suburbs. Together the "city" and "suburban" make-up the "metro
area". This attractions study found that individuals outside the metro area have a better
image of the City than those within the metro area.
Non-Metro Metro
Historic Area 8.7 8.5
Architecture 8.4 8.3
Shopping 7.5 7
Restaurants 7.8 8
Parks 8 8
Public Transit 7.4 6.1
Overall 7.7 7
Cleanliness 7.7 5.4
Safaty 7 5.5
Friendliness 8 7.1
Of particular note are the last three attributes - cleanliness, safety and friendliness. In
all three instances, visitors from outside the metropolitan area had a decidedly more
favorable impression of the city than local residents. This may be in part a result of the
"Philadelphia Phenomenon" where Pililadelphians seem so negative about their city. It
may also be because non-metro individuals only saw the areas immediately
surrounding Independence Park and the Franklin Institute while metro area residents
were thinking of the entire city when responding to the survey.
It is quite possible that the City is missing out on the two most effective and inexpensive
forms of marketing communications in the travel industry -- positive word-of-mouth and
recommendations of friends and relatives. If the City's own residents have a poor
image of the City they will find it difficult to communicate positive images and promote
Philadelphia. If this is true, then why would any outsider wish to visit. At this point, the
economic consequences of such resident perceptions cannot be determined, but could
be substantial.
.!:iotel Survey
In late June and early July 1991, members of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel
Association distributed a Planning Commission designed questionnaire to hotel quests,
A total of 365 valid responses were received from which general observations about
how hotel guests "consume" Philadelphia's visitor services, (an 8% return)
Of the 365 responses the majority were from business people (44%) with another 15%
from conventioneers, Only 29% could be considered extended stay vacationers with
19% coming for sightseeing and another 10% visiting friends and relatives,
While not specifically dealing with vacationers, the survey does contain several
important observations on the City's image -- specifically:
1, Exceedjng Expectations - While it may be encouraging that the guests'
experience exceeds expectations, it is troublesome that expectations are low
to begin with, Changes in perception were most notable among first time
2, Weak I:Qin\ - The City's weakest points, as reported by hotel guests, were
cleanliness, safety and road signs, (This was in 1991,)
3, Opportunity - At the time the report was written it stated, "With the opening of
the new convention center, the City has a unique opportunity to reveal its
[best kept] secrets to a new generation of visitors, It is important that
Philadelphia make the most of this opportunity,"
As the Metropoll research as well as the two qualitative studies conducted as part of
this assignment tend to indicate - the City has not made "the most of this opportunity,"
Except for "Enthusiasm" for building a tourism promotion program, which has only
recently been present in Philadelphia, the other characteristics are not present in any
organization in Philadelphia.
While there are numerous organizations in Philadelphia involved with tourism, there has
been no organization that is perceived to be effectively marketing Philadelphia as a
tourist destination or to have taken a leadership role with respect to tourism. The CVB
which plays this role in many cities is seen, as a result of recent priorities, to be focused
on convention sales rather than tourism.
There has been little government funding available for or devoted to tourism promotion
in Philadelphia for more than a decade. The private sector has contributed to
developing events and programs aimed at improving the tourism product such as
Welcome America, Penn's Landing events and Historic Philadelphia but almost no
money has been devoted to advertising.
The attractions rather than working together for the common good are competing for
the limited resources which are available. There are few examples of cooperative
Philadelphia is behind its competitors in developing a tourism promotion program.
1. A new organization needs to be created. One influential Philadelphia CEO said,
"Tourism is so important to Philadelphia it needs a new organization that doesn't
exist today."
2. Simplicity is the key. The new organization should be a not-for-profit corporation
with a small board and staff.
3, The proposed name is The Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp, and a proposed
organization chart appears on page 128,
4, The responsibilities of the organization should be developing and implementing an
effective tourism marketing program, coordination of the various tourism
stakeholders in Philadelphia and developing dedicated revenue streams necessary
for continuity,
5, The organization needs to promote the City aggressively and consistently for a
minimum 3 years, with the following preliminary annual budgets:
Philadelphia T9l!risnl Marketing Corp,
Advertising & Production
Co-op programs
Other programs & 'Operations
Miscellaneous Promotions