DOWNTOWN – The Philadelphia tourism industry is hanging on to the CDC’s good news as a beacon of hope. They are ready to welcome visitors and their money to the city.
The city and its tourist office are saying it very clearly, they want tourists to come back.
“We need to welcome our visitors again. Visitors spend money in our restaurants, sleep in our hotels, shop in our stores and buy tickets to sporting events, concerts and much more,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
The COVID pandemic put an end to all of those Philadelphia staples last year and hit the city’s tax coffers in a major way.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars! Tourism generates over $ 300 million for the city’s tax base. This is the taxes paid by tourists, not residents and we immediately saw this drop.” , said Jeff Guaracino, President and CEO of Visit Philadelphia.
The city says July 4 and other events are underway, but how depends on how the pandemic progresses.
Ryan Todd is with Canopy Hotel at East Market in the downtown area. Its industry has been one of the hardest hit with thousands of cancellations almost overnight.
âBefore 2020, in 2019, we had $ 1.7 million in the group’s business and it was all canceled, due to the pandemic,â Todd explained.
“I feel like we didn’t have enough time to do everything we wanted!” exclaimed visitor Amy Porras.
Porras and her boyfriend chose Philadelphia to celebrate their birthday, after Amy said she did tons of research to pick the right hotel. She said he ticked all the boxes.
“Everything! All about that. The room, the service was great. The happy hour was good. Everything was great, honestly. I have no complaints and the rooms were very clean!” Porras commented.
In order for the city to recover all this lost money, it will depend a lot on outsiders like Amy and her partner.
âThere’s so much food too! We love the food. It’s one of the main reasons we came here,â Porras added.
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