Philadelphia hotels set occupancy record for 2015

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 The Philadelphia skyline can be seen past a community garden located in the Spring Garden neighborhood. (PRNewsFoto/Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation/R. Kennedy for GPTMC)

The Philadelphia skyline can be seen past a community garden located in the Spring Garden neighborhood. (PRNewsFoto/Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation/R. Kennedy for GPTMC)

Philadelphia had a record number of hotel rooms  sold in 2015.  Even with a major visitor removed from the equation, it still would have been a bonanza.

Fritz Smith, vice president of research at Visit Philadelphia, said the city remains a hot destination for leisure travelers.

“We’re up about two percentage points in occupancy,  and we’re up by about a couple of hundred thousand visitors to the city and the region,” Smith said. “I would just say our travel economy in Philadelphia is very healthy.”

Even without all the visitors in the city when Pope Francis visited at the end of September, Smith said Philadelphia still would have set a record for hotel room occupancy.

“The hotels were up about 20 percent in average daily rate during that time period,  Sunday night was really an unusually high night because the papal Mass was in the afternoon on that Sunday,” he said.

With the Democratic National Convention coming to down and new hotels coming on line, Smith said 2016 could shatter 2015’s record.

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