PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia’s tourism marketers don’t fight fire with fire, but with the sweet sounds of success instead.
Philly took some knocks lately, what with Glenn Beck’s critical screed and a poll saying the city is the third rudest. Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation doesn’t waste time responding to each slight.
Instead, she points to ways in which the area is in the top ten: “The most bike-friendly, gay-friendly, vegetarian-friendly, pet-friendly, kid-friendly, pedestrian-friendly, eco-friendly and of course number-one according to US Airways magazine in the world as a place to celebrate the Christmas and New year holiday because of our tradition.”
She stays on message about the positives, and that has paid off in the 14 years since the first GPTMC ads.
“Center City room nights alone have tripled and even during the Recession leisure tourism continued to go up,” she says. “Last year, we had 36 million visitors, about 40% of them were repeat visitors, so that tells us that somebody in Philadelphia is treating people really well, and not rudely.”
Levitz says, that Saturday is the busiest hotel night means tourists come here because they like it, not just because business brings them to town.
Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio