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Philadelphia breaks into top 10 most-visited gay destinations

News release from Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp.:

LGBT Study Proves That Seven Years Of Gay & Lesbian Marketing Pays Off

PHILADELPHIA, February 22, 2011 - Philadelphia broke into the top 10 U.S. destinations visited by gay and lesbian travelers in 2010-just seven years after the launch of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation's (GPTMC) groundbreaking Philadelphia - Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay® campaign. According to expert gay and lesbian research company Community Marketing, Inc.'s annual LGBT Tourism Study, Philadelphia tied for the #9 spot on the list of most-visited destinations and tied for the #2 spot on the list of the destinations most effectively promoting to LGBT travelers. Before GPTMC's gay and lesbian tourism marketing campaign kicked off in 2003, the region ranked outside the top 20 destinations.

"This is great news for Philadelphia, a destination that relies on high-yield markets such as gay and lesbian travelers," said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of GPTMC. "These visits mean jobs for our residents and economic impact for the whole region."

In partnership with San Francisco-based Community Marketing, Inc., GPTMC created a custom study about Philadelphia's gay and lesbian travelers. Here are some key findings from the report, titled Philadelphia's Gay and Lesbian Visitors:

  • Despite the recession, Philadelphia's gay and lesbian travelers are spending more money (57%) on their trips than the region's general market visitors.
  • Philadelphia appeals to younger gay and lesbian travelers. Both lesbians and gay men ages 18-35 ranked Philly a top 10 leisure destination.
  • Many gay and lesbian visitors show equal or greater interest in vacation activities that are not gay-specific. Top reasons to visit included "been there before and liked it," "visit friends and family" and "see local historic sites."
  • Philadelphia's gay and lesbian visitors are extremely loyal, with 90% reporting they had been to the city before and 84% planning to return within the next year.
  • People remember the Philadelphia - Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay® campaign. 43% of respondents recognized at least one of the ads.

People familiar with the campaign spent an astounding 36% more during their Philadelphia trip, $1,013 compared to $743.

Here are some other notables about GPTMC's gay and lesbian marketing:

  • According to a previous study by Community Marketing, Inc., every $1 that GPTMC spends on Philadelphia - Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay® generates $153 in visitor spending.
  • Philadelphia was the first destination in the country to air a gay television commercial.
  • Philadelphia was one of the first major U.S. cities to actively invite gay and lesbian travelers to visit.

Philadelphia - Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay® has won top awards from the U.S. Travel Association, the Association of National Advertisers, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, the Public Relations Society of America and PRWeek for its approach and effectiveness. Philadelphia first broke into the prized "Top 20 U.S. Destinations" list in 2006, when it ranked 16th; it moved to 15th in 2008 and to 11th in 2009.

The 15th annual LGBT Tourism Study is available at communitymarketinginc.com. The Philadelphia's Gay and Lesbian Visitors study, as well as GPTMC's other studies and reports, are available for free at visitphilly.com/research.

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