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July 26, 2016

Democratic National Convention Forecast to Bring $180 Million to Philadelphia

Photo by Freeimages.com/Sam Levan

The U.S. Travel Association has released a new report projecting that the Democratic National Convention, which is being held from July 25 to 28, will bring $180 million in direct spending to its host city of Philadelphia

Including indirect and induced impact, DNC attendees are expected to generate a total of $300 million in economic output, the U.S. Travel Association said. That total could support 1,800 additional jobs in Philadelphia.

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said that these projections do not take into account potential future visits to Philadelphia inspired by both convention-goers' experience this week and images and stories from the event broadcast around the world.

The U.S. Travel Association’s forecast focuses on spending by attendees on items such as lodging, meals, transportation and general retail; as well as spending by the host committee, funding for security, etc. U.S. Travel economists generated the convention impact figures using hotel data provided by the travel research firm STR, as well as other travel and economic statistics. The organization's goal is to highlight the substantial and positive economic and jobs impact of large, in-person meetings such as political conventions.

The numbers for Philadelphia come as part of a larger-scale analysis of both the DNC and the Republican National Convention last week in Cleveland. The total impact of both conventions is split straight down the middle for each host city—$180 million in spending, $300 million in economic output, and 1,800 jobs in both Philadelphia and Cleveland, the U.S. Travel Association said. 

Some of the combined numbers for both conventions:

Total projected attendees: 100,000-120,000
Delegates: 10,000-12,000
Media members: 30,000-36,000
Other visitors and participants: 60,000-72,000
Average daily trip spending per attendee: $300
Hotel/other lodging room nights: 148,500
Total lodging revenues: $33 million

During the two conventions, the U.S. Travel Association is targeting attendees with an advertising campaign emphasizing the idea that travel is “serious business.” The organization has placed ads extolling the economic value of the political conventions in Amtrak Acela trains in the Northeast Corridor, mirroring similar messaging installed in Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Additionally, U.S. Travel will have a branding presence at the POLITICO Hub in Philadelphia, an oasis offering refreshments, speakers and entertainment. U.S. Travel-sponsored items at those venues will include several convention "necessities"—including charging stations for electronic devices, pillows, chewable coffee and oxygen bars.

Source: U.S. Travel Association

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