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Survey: Philadelphia gets tourism boost

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) surveyed 1,022 people from July 1-4, 2006 and learned that half of all people who were downtown at historic attractions or attending Sunoco Welcome America! events were visiting from outside the five- county Philadelphia region. The survey also revealed that the city’s historic attractions were the primary reason for the visit over the national holiday.

“More tourists were in Philadelphia for the holiday than expected,” said Deborah Diamond, Ph.D., GPTMC director of research. “The survey confirms that history is a huge part of Philadelphia’s appeal to tourists, but it also shows that our visitors love a party. The celebrations around Fourth of July weekend provide our visitors reasons to extend their stay and show how much fun a Philadelphia visit is, which leads to repeat visitation.”

In May 2006, GPTMC announced that the Greater Philadelphia region experienced a stunning 55% increase in overnight leisure visitation between 1997 and 2005. According to Global Insight, leisure tourists spend more than $11 million a day in the Greater Philadelphia region.

GPTMC, working with the Melior Group, conducted intercept surveys at several downtown locations, including Penn’s Landing, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Reading Terminal Market, around Independence Mall and at Phlash stops. This is the first-time that GPTMC conducted a survey on tourism during the Fourth of July holiday. A separate research report on hotel occupancy will be available in August.

GPTMC and Sunoco Welcome America! began simultaneous advertising campaigns in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston and Baltimore in June. Of those cities, New York was represented the most this Independence Day weekend with 10% of those surveyed visiting from that region. Publicity around the city’s celebration was also very strong thanks to accolades from the Associated Press and USA Today, both naming Philly one of the top Fourth of July spots.


The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside(TM) a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality. For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit or call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Independence National Historical Park, at (800) 537-7676.