Hotel Online  Special Report


Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau Continues to Energize
the Hospitality Industry;  Generates More Than $1 Billion
in Future Convention & Tourism Bookings
PHILADELPHIA - July 25, 2006 -- As reported to the media and members of the PCVB today, in fiscal year 2006, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB) booked more than $1 billion in future conventions for a total of 605,000 total hotel room nights. At the event, the PCVB also recapped its achievements for 2005 in the international, group travel, sports and multicultural markets; outlined its business plan for the next 18 months; and launched a new Web site -, and new joint marketing plan for the Pennsylvania Convention Center. 

The sales staff of the group travel market increased their hotel room night bookings by 30 percent in 2005. The international tourism department also saw an increase with final numbers reaching $234 million in direct economic impact for the year-end total. The Multicultural Affairs Congress (MAC) and the Philadelphia Sports Congress, both divisions of the PCVB, had positive years that brought economic success as well a diversification of new customer channels. Philadelphia was named a community partner by the United States Olympic Committee, while MAC expanded into the Asian market with new customers like the Organization of Chinese Americans. 

"The PCVB is an economic engine for Philadelphia; we bring in hundreds of thousands of people annually who spend money while experiencing all the city and region have to offer," said Tom Muldoon, president, PCVB. "Every division of the PCVB has increased business and revenue since our last report. Our hard-working and experienced staff, and our dedicated members and board members, have all played an important part in the city's and PCVB's achievements." 

In order to continue to book an increased level of business, the PCVB and the Pennsylvania Convention Center launched a new marketing and sales campaign that focuses on Philadelphia as a destination. "Philadelphia, Where You're at Liberty to Meet" is the tagline for the new partnership campaign and was presented for the first time at the member event. 

All collateral, tradeshow booths, advertisements, sales kits, and more now contain the new campaign, which features a collage of Philadelphia's assets set within the Liberty Bell. International superstar and Philadelphia native Patti LaBelle is featured in one of the advertisements. 

The PCVB also relaunched a new and improved Web site,, during the annual event. The new site features a complete redesign and includes fresh content aimed to enable users to explore Philadelphia, making it easier to plan meetings, conventions, international leisure vacations, and group travel to the region. The domain name, .travel, is the official domain reserved exclusively for organizations in the travel industry. The PCVB is the first CVB to launch and promote a Web site using the new .travel domain. 

"In the year ahead, the PCVB and its Board of Directors will continue to focus with our regional partners to tell the world what a 'hot city' Philadelphia has become. This complements our efforts of selling and promoting the current and expanding Pennsylvania Convention Center," said Nicholas DeBenedictis, chairman, PCVB. "As a businessman, I applaud the work of the PCVB and its accomplishment in generating one billion dollars in economic impact. This is especially impressive when you remember that the PCVB is a non-profit, working within a budget that delivers a 100 percent return on investment. It's clear how much the PCVB affects the entire regional hospitality industry and its bottom line." 

Annual Report and Business Plan Highlights
  • According to the annual Center City Hotel Report, prepared by PKF Consulting, conventions and meetings accounted for 39 percent (up 1 percent from 2004) of the hotel demand in 2005, generating more than a million room nights. The PCVB is responsible for booking more than 605,000 in convention center-related (314,618) and hotel-related (290,720) room nights. 
  • The PCVB and the Pennsylvania Convention Center have teamed up on a new marketing communications campaign. At the center of this creative campaign is consistent branding between the building and the PCVB speaking in one voice. Look for marketing, including a tradeshow booth, beginning in August 2006 that say "Philadelphia, Where the Pretzel Meets The Twist" or "Where LaBelle, Meets The Bell" as in Patti LaBelle, a Philadelphia native and international performer, who has agreed to let the PCVB use her name and photo in the campaign. 
  • In rating more than 40 destinations and convention centers, meeting planners gave the PCC a score of 7.95 out of 10, up from 6.93 (considered average) in 2004. Philadelphia topped the list of cities in response to the question: Which city, if any, has done the best job in changing your perception from a city you wouldn't consider for your biggest meeting to one you are considering? 
International Tourism: 
  • The number of overseas visitors to Philadelphia increased in 2005 to a record 434,000, according to the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) and CIC Research, Inc. These visitors generated an economic impact of $234 million. 
  • International marketing expanded upon the successful online Pan-European promotion with Expedia, and added new partnerships with and Online Travel Corporation. These partnerships accounted for more than 9,000 additional room nights. 
Multicultural Market: 
  • The multicultural market, fueled by African American and Hispanic groups, including family reunions, accounted for 13.4% of PCVB-generated room nights in 2005. 
  • The Multicultural Affairs Congress assisted in hosting nearly 100 multicultural meetings and conventions that contributed more than 30,000 room nights. 
  • Hispanic Meetings and Travel Magazine designated Philadelphia as a "Top 10 Hispanic Meetings Destination" and The Washington Post named Philadelphia as one of the "Top 10 Places to Hold Family Reunions." 
Group Tourism: 
  • Because of the improved regional product and PCVB sales and marketing initiatives, hotels reported that the number of group tour room nights rocketed from 53,000 in 2004 to more than 69,000 in 2005, a 30% increase. 
  • The PCVB moved to third place as the "Top Motorcoach Destinations of 2006" as voted by the National Tour Association members, and was named "The CVB that Works Hardest for Groups" by the American Bus Association. 
Sports Market: 
  • The 2005 Army/Navy Game brought 70,000 fans to Philadelphia for the third-largest crowd in Lincoln Financial Field history for an economic impact of $35 million. 
  • The Sports Congress booked the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships, which will generate more than 10,000 room nights and $10 million in economic impact. 
  • Philadelphia hosted the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships three-day event for an economic impact of $35 million for the region. The Championship broke all-time NCAA records, and Philadelphia is now the city to host the highest-attended NCAA outdoor event.

About the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau 

Who we are: The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB), a private non-profit membership corporation, is the official Tourism Promotion Agency for the City of Philadelphia, and the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The PCVB competes with its counterparts worldwide for convention and tourism business. The organization has departments dedicated to the multicultural, sports, and life sciences markets. 

Our mission: To generate economic impact and job growth by increasing the region's hotel occupancy and revenues, while concurrently affecting other diverse segments of the hospitality industry. To do whatever it takes to attract ethnically diverse regional, national and international convention and tourism customers through creative sales, marketing and communications efforts. To deliver exceptional service and experiences for all, ensuring repeat business across market segments. To increase the quality of life for all our citizens, stakeholders, and visitors by supporting the region's vibrant arts and entertainment, historic, cultural, retail, restaurant, and sports venues. 


 Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau 
Sarah Hines

Also See: Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau Reiterates Importance of Expansion of PA Convention Center at Annual Meeting / November 2005
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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