Press Releases

Philadelphia Region's Tourism Industry Began Its Rebound from Covid-19 in 2021, Welcoming 36.2 Million Visitors

4 May, 2022

PHILADELPHIA – The City of Philadelphia, in partnership with VISIT PHILADELPHIA® and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), today announced that 36.2 million people visited the five-county Greater Philadelphia region in 2021, a 21% increase from 2020 and proof that the industry's recovery from COVID-19 is well underway. While the tourism sector saw increases in all key metrics (visitation, spending, economic impact, tax revenue and jobs) over 2020, a full recovery is not expected until 2023.

“The tourism and hospitality industry in Philadelphia and all over the word was devastated by COVID-19. The loss of tourism meant the loss of spending, tax revenue and jobs that all Philadelphians benefit from,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “To see our hospitality community work so smartly, strategically and collaboratively to bring visitors back to our hotels, museums, restaurants and shops is hallmark Philly. And while the strides they made in 2021 were extraordinary, they are keenly focused on meeting and surpassing the record numbers set in 2019.”

Visitation & Economic Impact Breakdown:

  • Domestic Visitation: 36.2 million people visited the Greater Philadelphia region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties) in 2021—that's an increase of 21% from 2020 and 19% below the record set in 2019.
  • Visitor Spending & Its Impact: Visitors spent $5.2 billion—a 26% increase over 2020 and 32% below 2019. This direct visitor spending:
    • Generated $8.6 billion (or $23.5 million per day) in economic impact, a 26% increase over 2020 and a 30% decrease from 2019.
    • Generated $734 million in state and local tax revenue, an increase of 23% over 2020, which helps support priority programs such as social and public services, and travel and tourism marketing and sales efforts. Revenue is still down 27% from 2019.
    • Directly supported 76,700 jobs across major employment sectors (food and beverage, lodging, transportation, recreation and retail), a 36% increase over 2020 and a 27% decrease from 2019.

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Source: Econsult Solutions

About the PHLCVB:
The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) creates positive economic impact across the Philadelphia region, driving job growth and promoting the health and vibrancy of our hospitality industry by marketing the destination, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and attracting overnight visitors. The PHLCVB's work engages our partners, the local Philadelphia community as well as culturally and ethnically diverse regional, national and international convention, sporting event and tourism customers. The PHLCVB is also the official tourism promotion agency for the city of Philadelphia globally and is responsible for growing the number of overseas leisure visitors who come to the region each year. To learn more, visit www.discoverPHL.com.

About VISIT PHILADELPHIA:
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region's official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia's image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia's official visitor website, visitphilly.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the site an effective trip-planning tool. Visitors can also find loads of inspiration on Visit Philly's social media channels.