Center City hotels experience record-breaking first quarter
By The Philadelphia Tribune, Staff Report
The Eagles Super Bowl win, the return of popular events like the Philadelphia Auto Show and Philadelphia Flower Show and a full convention calendar have contributed to an occupancy of 73.1 percent and $135 million in revenue for local hotels during the first quarter.
These historic results have been largely driven by Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) booked events, which drove demand for hotel rooms and created compression in the market.
“Tourism is Philadelphia’s second-largest employment sector and it is essential that the city attract visitors not only during peak tourism months, but year-round,” said Julie Coker Graham, president & CEO of the PHLCVB.
“To support the industry, we work to attract meetings, conventions and sporting events that increase hotel occupancy and drive rate. During the Eagles’ historic Super Bowl run, we had citywide events in town which created compression in the market and allowed hotels to increase their rates, ultimately resulting in an unequivocally strong start to 2018.”
Philadelphia area hotels saw revenue rise by $19.9 million year-over-year (YOY), a 17.4 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2017. Much of this success can be attributed to citywide conventions and events, which were responsible for 66 percent — or $13.1 million — of the YOY room revenue growth.
“There’s a steady drumbeat of momentum building throughout the city’s hotels and we’re encouraged by all of these economic vital signs,” The Westin Philadelphia General Manager Jay Dellavecchia said.
“With a foundation of meetings and conventions to rely on, the PHLCVB has been a catalyst during this period of record-setting growth. The first quarter numbers have set the tone for — what will hopefully be — another great year for the tourism industry in Philadelphia.”
The PHLCVB acts as the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center, working to attract meetings, conventions and events to the City of Philadelphia. In busier tourism seasons, the combination of meeting and convention visitors along with domestic and overseas travelers increases the demand and creates a room rate compression at local hotels. During the less popular travel months, business visitors coming to town for meetings and conventions provide an economic boost and help maintain jobs during a historically slower time period.
“Our partnership with the PHLCVB is producing great results for our hotels, the businesses surrounding the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the over 73,000 hospitality workers in our great city,” said PCC President and CEO John J. McNichol.
“We thank all of our customers for contributing to a record-breaking start to this year, which also marks the center’s 25th anniversary of leading the region’s hospitality industry in Southeastern Pennsylvania.”