Center City Philadelphia is experience a stellar 2015 with its leisure tourism occupancy.

The first six months of the year, hotels have sold 416,000 room nights for leisure travelers—a 3.8 percent from the first half of 2014. And with the pope’s visit in September on the horizon, the area will hopefully result in a leisurely record year.

“Leisure has been a consistent producer for Philadelphia over the past two decades,” says Meryl Levitz, president/CEO, Visit Philadelphia. “These 2015 results prove that leisure travelers come here all year long—not just for events—because it’s always a good time to visit. Philadelphia has become a destination.”

Average daily rates for the three major segments also are up. Commercial increased 9 percent to $197 over the same time last year, group increased 5.5 percent to $186 and leisure increased 5 percent to $172.

Peter Tyson of PKF Consulting—a hospitality consulting and research form—expects area hotels to beat last year’s record for both leisure occupancy and overall occupancy. July through October typically yield the most visitors, and the pope’s visit is sure to be a boost to occupancy rates.

“The highest demand period for leisure in Center City typically has been the second half of the year,” says Tyson. “If that trend continues in 2015—and we expect that it will—leisure will break records again this year.”

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.