PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation has released a new report on the impact of tourism marketing on the region. And there’s reason to celebrate.

Fifteen years ago, Philadelphia didn’t quite know what to do with itself after its manufacturing base was gone. But after a meeting of state, local and charitable institutions, it was decided that Philadelphia should show off what it already has. That’s when the Greater Philadelphia Marketing Tourism Corporation began. And, 15 years later, according to the new report, the region is welcoming 10 Million more leisure visitors than in 1997.

Hear Karin Phillips’ interview with Meryl Levitz in this CBS Philly At Your Leisure podcast…

Meryl Levitz, GPTMC’s President and CEO, says, “That tipping point has been reached through a series of not only marketing stories, but also the stories that the marketing stories are built on, that Philadelphia has arrived.”

Levitz says Philadelphia and its marketing haven’t stopped yet, “Two new hotels will open right in the tourist district.  A wonderful underground museum celebrating Benjamin Franklin (will open soon).” A new “With Love” TV campaign begins June 6th.

Dr. Bill Siegel, CEO of the Toronto-based Longwoods International, which conducted the report, says, “There’s been huge growth in infrastructure.  I don’t know how much is the chicken and how much is the egg but there’s no doubt that marketing has played an extremely key role.”

Reported by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio 1060

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