2015 is coming to a close, and the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board is reporting that 2016 will likely be a strong for overnight stays at its area hotels.
Recently released metrics from the STR Global, a worldwide tourism data-analytics firm, show 2015 saw improvements across multiple fields:
- Average daily rate was up 8.9 percent
- Occupancy was up 10.2 percent
- Revenue per available room was up 20 percent
These numbers are enough to promise a secure 2016, but the Democratic National Convention in 2016 will likely boost measures even higher.
"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,” says Josh Shapiro, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “We are proud that our hospitality partners are energized to help our entire county shine in the national spotlight in July.”
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 National Park System founding and the 40th anniversary of the designation of Valley Forge as a national park. Both of these celebrations are expected to add to the 1.6 million tourists who visit Valley Forge National Historical Park annually.
On a smaller scale, tourism attractions such as the Pottstown Carousel, opening in 2016, are also expected to raise the visibility of Montgomery County, and enhancements to established attractions like Elmwood Park Zoo, especially as a family-friendly destination.
But the DNC will be the clincher of success in the coming year.
“Our relationship with the DNC has solidified Montgomery County's designation as a delegate magnet," says Mike Bowman, VFTCB president/CEO. "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.”