Hotel Online  Special Report


  Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau Reiterates Importance
of Expansion of PA Convention Center at Annual Meeting
PHILADELPHIA - Nov. 25, 2005--The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB) hosted more than 1,200 members at its 37th Annual Luncheon on Wednesday - the largest hospitality event of the year - held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. During the luncheon, PCVB President Tom Muldoon and Chairman Nick DeBenedictis reiterated the importance of expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the significance of Governor Rendell's release of funds for drawings, business plans and land acquisition on November 14. Mayor John F. Street also announced increased funding support for the hospitality industry.

"Expansion will have an enormous impact on the region's hospitality industry and its residents," said Tom Muldoon, president, PCVB. "For the last week, we have been telling customers and trade press across the country that these major milestones have been met on the road to expansion. With 35 customers representing more than $1 billion in potential economic impact waiting in the sidelines, we are confident that last week's noteworthy release of funding will give us the momentum to get expansion business signed. One group has already reconfirmed their commitment to Philadelphia - ASIS in 2010."

The theme for this year's luncheon, "Philadelphia: A Five-Star Destination," focused on the five key selling points of the city -service, diversity, communications, collaboration and development.

Those in attendance included: Mayor Street, Deputy Secretary of Tourism J. Mickey Rowley, members of City Council, other state and city officials, and representatives of Philadelphia's hotels, restaurants, attractions, shops, entertainment, transportation and performing arts venues connected to the hospitality industry.

Attendees enjoyed a presentation from some of Philadelphia's shining stars, including Ray Briscuso, former executive director of BIO 2005, who spoke about service and how the Philadelphia region, and its hotels, attractions and restaurants provided BIO with a five-star level of service. So much so that Briscuso announced that BIO is interested in returning to Philadelphia and the expanded convention center.

Judge Nelson Diaz, first vice chair of the PCVB's Multicultural Affairs Congress (MAC), showcased its new Hispanic marketing video; and Delilah Winder, owner of Bluezette and Delilah's Southern Cuisine, spoke about MAC's diversity initiative, which includes increasing procurement opportunities for multiculturally-owned businesses and developing a thriving multicultural workforce for Philadelphia.

John Kroll, president of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association (GPHA), spoke on communications and how Philadelphia's regional tourism promotion agencies are working hard to get the word out about our five-star destination. Key points included a new monthly hotel data project with GPHA, PCVB and GPTMC that provides clear research on how the hotels and the hospitality industry are fairing, as well as the PCVB's recent new responsibilities in managing the communications for the convention center and a new expansion marketing campaign.

Meryl Levitz, president of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), and City Rep. Stephanie Naidoff, director of commerce for the City of Philadelphia, focused on collaborations and how the region's top economic development agencies are maximizing their efforts by working together on projects such as a five-county map book, convention conversion program, new regional kiosks, Live 8 and Army/Navy Weekend. Plus, Naidoff spoke about extending the city's retail offerings through a newly developed Retail Advisory Board.

Hon. Michael Nutter, chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (PCCA), spoke about the recent hospitality industry developments that are continuing to position our city as a five-star destination. From Convention Center expansion to new attractions, to new buildings enhancing our skyline, to blockbuster exhibits being brought to the city - Philadelphia's package continues to be improved.

Prior to the luncheon, the PCVB held its Annual Meeting of the Membership and elected its 2006 Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. In December, the Executive Committee will appoint the members of the full board who will serve a one-year term from December 2005 to December 2006.

Sponsors of the PCVB's 2005 Annual Luncheon included: American Express Company; Aramark; Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll; Canandaigua Wine Company; Comcast Corporation; Delaware River Port Authority; GPTMC; Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority; Philadelphia International Airport; Saul Ewing, LLP; Taggart Printing; 20/10 Design and US Airways.

The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB),, a private non-profit corporation, is the City of Philadelphia's primary marketing and sales organization. The mission of the PCVB is to promote and sell Philadelphia as a convention, meeting and tourist destination to national and international audiences. Focusing on the meetings and conventions, international tourism and the travel trade, the PCVB's sales force works diligently to increase the city's hotel occupancy and average daily rate, while concurrently affecting other segments of the hospitality industry, such as attractions, the performing arts, restaurants and retail.


 Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB)
Marissa Feldman, 610-931-2263

Also See:  A Look at the Larger Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau Booked Conventions Occurring at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in 2005 / January 2005

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