Contact: John Golden
Hotel Business in 2015 Forecasts a Hearty 2016
A Robust Fourth Quarter for Montgomery County Hotels Has the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board Predicting Strong Bookings for the July DNC and Beyond
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - The upshot of the visit from Pope Francis this past September has the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) confident that 2016 will represent a healthy year for overnight stays at its area hotels.
Recently released metrics from the STR Global, a worldwide tourism data-analytics firm, showed 2015 upticks across multiple measures:
- Average daily rate was up 8.9 percent
- Occupancy was up 10.2 percent
- Revenue per available room was up 20 percent
These and other industry bellwethers has the VFTCB looking forward eagerly to 2016, especially with the coming of delegates to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in July.
Our relationship with the DNC has solidified Montgomery County's designation as a delegate magnet," says VFTCB President & CEO Mike Bowman. "This is great news for us. The Papal visit, while advantageous, was somewhat less predictable; we had no real way of anticipating exactly how many pilgrims were coming to Montgomery County, nor how many would actually fill our accommodations.
The DNC is a different case altogether. We will know very soon - well in advance - who is coming, where they are staying and how long their visits will be," added Bowman.
"With strong tourism assets that include world-class shopping, top-rated dining and award-winning hotels, Montgomery County is in a great position to host DNC delegates. We are proud that our hospitality partners are energized to help our entire county shine in the national spotlight in July," said Josh Shapiro, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
Edward Harris, VFTCB Vice President of Marketing and Communications, says that the additional preparation time will enable the tourism board to craft messaging specific to those coming to the area. "We are already implementing a strategy on how to welcome the delegates and families coming here, how to specifically make them feel at home and how to ensure that when they leave, they will take a piece of the goodwill they experience with them."
Other high-profile events in 2016 are aiding in the VFTCB's goal of inspiring tourists to come to, stay and delve into Montgomery County. These include the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park System and the 40th anniversary of the designation of Valley Forge as a national - not merely state - park. Both of these celebrations are expected to add to the 1.6 million tourists who visit Valley Forge National Historical Park annually. There is also as a comprehensive plan in the works to market the county as a destination for golf, with nearly 60 public courses available.
On a smaller scale, tourism attractions such as the Pottstown Carousel, opening in 2016, are also expected to raise the visibility of Montgomery County, as well as enhancements to established attractions like Elmwood Park Zoo, especially as a family-friendly destination.
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About the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board
The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) is a nonprofit, membership based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County, Pa., as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 300-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The VFTCB recently went through a top to bottom rebranding of the organization. It launched a new "Let Freedom Reign" branding campaign in May 2014, which has quickly generated new excitement and interest in Montgomery County and its numerous tourism and convention destinations. The campaign included a traveling #MakeItMontco kiosk, which has already visited more than 30 locations, a multimedia advertising campaign, a robust media relations campaign, "whistle stop" tours through Montgomery County towns to educate residents and elected officials about the new campaign. The VFTCB's award-winning website, valleyforge.org, serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents, as well as hosts The Pursuit, a nationally recognized twice-weekly blog.