VisitPhilly officials will fix Germantown tourism oversights, tour neighborhood

 The Revolutionary Germantown Festival, at which this photo was taken last year, is a big tourism draw for the neighborhood. (NewsWorks, file art)

The Revolutionary Germantown Festival, at which this photo was taken last year, is a big tourism draw for the neighborhood. (NewsWorks, file art)

Last week, they felt as if it’d been snubbed. This week, Germantown residents say their neighborhood will finally get the online recognition it deserves.

On Friday, a collection of residents and officials held an hour-long conference call with honchos to discuss the website’s coverage of the Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood’s historic-tourism offerings.

After responding to a petition started by resident Julie Stapleton Carroll, tourism-site officials committed to correct listings that stated Germantown attractions are located in Mt. Airy.

They also agreed to discuss further coverage of Germantown’s tourism draws.

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Action, reaction

Within hours of posting the petition, a mission fomented (there were 519 e-signatures as of 9:15 a.m. Wednesday) and a meeting was set for last week’s end.

Carroll told NewsWorks that representatives from Historic Germantown and Germantown Restoration CDC spoke with VisitPhilly’s social-media manager, head of web development and President/CEO Meryl Levitz.

Carroll said her original goals for starting the petition were satisfied, most notably the agreement to fix landmark locations.

Levitz said that VisitPhilly’s head of web development will work with Germantown community leaders to compile a list of short- and long-term projects to promote the neighborhood.

“I think we all left pretty happy,” Levitz said. “Everybody was just happy to be talking.”

What’s next?

VisitPhilly administrators will visit Germantown this summer for a tour of the area led by Historic Germantown.

Levitz said she would like to see that develop into a means through which tourist itineraries can be formulated.

Carroll said she plans to keep the petition posted online in case nothing materializes, but doesn’t feel it would come to that.

“My sense is that they wanted to move quickly,” Carroll said. “They were very responsive to us.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the Germantown Historical Society spearheaded the petition. Historic Germantown is the organzation that, along with the Germantown Restoration CDC, reached out to VisitPhilly. NewsWorks regrets the error.

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