This week, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau announced they have had the strongest convention booking in more than a decade.

Bookings were especially strong in the second half of 2014, which is likely due to changes in work rules and customer rights that were implemented in May 2014. PHLCVB achieved 91 percent of its 2014 booking goal—or 846,357 room nights—with 79 percent of that business slated to take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center with the rest at regional hotels.  

The CVB achieved these impressive numbers due to leveraging positive customer services at the convention center after the signing of a customer satisfaction agreement by four labor unions.

“We are beyond pleased at what we have accomplished in 2014,” says Jack Ferguson, president and CEO, PHLCVB. “The work of the PHLCVB and PCC teams in communicating those changes to clients should also be noted, as meeting planners who had never considered Philadelphia are now coming to the table and taking us into serious consideration as a host city.”

The agreement, signed in May, has brought in definite bookings of large conventions that are 47 percent higher than the same fiscal period in 2013. More than $870 million in new business is expected in upcoming years. Bookings include events by the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Heart Association, the National Association of Black MBA’s and the National Media trade show. The PHLCVB currently has 37 meetings and conventions booked at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of 2015.

“We are extremely pleased with the record occupancy among Center City hotels in 2014,” says Greg Stafford, president, Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association. “The PHLCVB’s hard work last year will go a long way to ensuring that we are able to have even more years like these in the future.”

If you want to be sure your meeting in the Northeast will strengthen team bonds, consider holding it at Cliff House Maine. Nestled on 70 acres atop Bald Head Cliff on the southern coast of Maine, the luxury property offers 226 guest rooms, including 40 suites, an adjacent 18-hole golf course, and 25,000 square feet of conference and meeting space that can accommodate up to 300 attendees. Venues include the Atlantic Ballroom, with its double-height panoramic windows offering endless views of the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Last November, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a comprehensive $450 million “Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs” recovery package to support New York’s hard-hit tourism sector. Part of that package is a $25 million “Meet in New York” grant program that focuses on venues and events that generate and support business-related travel. “This holistic approach to visitation recognizes the spending habits of business and convention travelers for overnight stays, food, and activities,” the governor’s press office noted.

 

After having closed its doors in November 2019 for an extensive renovation, The Pridwin Hotel & Cottages on Shelter Island, New York, is accepting reservations beginning July 15. The 49-room luxury property, which dates to 1927, will be reopening under the ownership of a collaboration between Cape Resorts, a hospitality investment and management company specializing in adaptive reuse and historical preservation of resort properties, and the Petry family, who has owned and operated the resort since 1961.