On April 17, Philadelphia mayoral candidates gathered to address the challenges and opportunities presented by one of the city’s top industries—travel and tourism. The Mayoral Candidates Forum was hosted by five major tourism industry organizations.
Representing the hospitality industry were the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, the primary sales and marketing agency for the expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center; the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, the principal advocate of the hotel industry in the Philadelphia region; the Independence Visitor Center Corporation; the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, manager of the Pennsylvania Convention Center; and VISIT PHILADELPHIA, the state-designated regional marketing agency for Greater Philadelphia.
Held at the Independence Visitor Center, about 200 staff, board members and stakeholders of the five hospitality agencies attended to find out how the candidates plan to support the industry, consisting of hotels, restaurants, attractions, transportation and other partners.
Moderated by Matt O’Donnell, morning anchor, 6abc, the seven mayoral candidates included Lynne Abraham (D), Nelson Diaz (D), James Kenney (D), Melissa Murray Bailey (R), Doug Oliver (D), Milton Street (D) and Senator Anthony Williams (D).
Approximately 65,000 leisure and hospitality jobs are located in Philadelphia, as recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to leading tourism research firm Tourism Economics, 40,000 full-time jobs are supported by visitor spending, which also generates $5.8 billion in annual economic impact and $400 million in state and local tax revenue. The tax revenue helps fund priority programs and services.