By Paul Colston, Conference & Meetings World
A full convention calendar coupled with popular events have resulted in Philadelphia reporting a booming hotel performance for Q1.

From the Eagles Super Bowl run to a strong convention calendar, and the return of popular events like the Philadelphia Auto Show and the Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018 in Philadelphia is off to a great start, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) reports.

Meetings and conventions have contributed to a record-breaking occupancy of 73.1% for the first quarter, and $135m in hotel room revenue for local hotels, the bureau says, and claims these historic first quarter results have been largely driven by PHLCVB booked events.

“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,” says 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,” Coker Graham adds.

In closing out Q1, Philadelphia area hotels saw revenue rise by $19.9m year-over-year, a 17.4% increase compared to Q1 2017. Much of this success can be attributed to citywide conventions and events, which were responsible for 66% – or $13.1m – of the y-o-y room revenue growth.

In Q1 2018 alone, local hotels experienced the following:

  • Increased Hotel Occupancy: 73.1%, up 5.1% y-o-y
  • Increased Average Daily Rate (ADR): $173, up 9.6% y-o-y
  • Increased Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR): $127, up 15.1% y-o-y
  • Room Revenue: $135m, up 17.4% y-o-y.

“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 says. “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. “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,” says PCC president and CEO John J. McNichol. “We thank all of our customers for contributing to a record-breaking start to this year.”