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Philadelphia Enjoys Banner Year In Tourism

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia hotels set a record in 2016, raking in more than $600-million with a 78 percent occupancy rate. But that’s just part of the good news in a report on local tourism released Wednesday.

“2016 was an outstanding year,” said Julie Coker Graham, president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The new report from the Bureau estimates the Democratic National Convention brought 54,000 visitors and $133-million in direct spending to the region, with a total impact of $231-million. That’s almost a quarter of the $989-million produced by meetings and conventions.

The report also estimates the DNC generated $26-million worth of media exposure for the city and $11-million in state and local taxes — with such long term benefits as 11 impact projects and donations to local non-profits.

Graham says other big events such as the NCAA Lacrosse finals, the South American Football Championship and eight large conventions added another quarter million dollars.

“All of the indicators are positive and certainly the future looks even brighter,” Graham said.

Graham sees the NFL Draft in two weeks as the major draw for this year. She’s also predicting an increase in visitors from overseas.

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