Center City Philadelphia is experience a stellar 2015 with its leisure tourism occupancy.

The first six months of the year, hotels have sold 416,000 room nights for leisure travelers—a 3.8 percent from the first half of 2014. And with the pope’s visit in September on the horizon, the area will hopefully result in a leisurely record year.

“Leisure has been a consistent producer for Philadelphia over the past two decades,” says Meryl Levitz, president/CEO, Visit Philadelphia. “These 2015 results prove that leisure travelers come here all year long—not just for events—because it’s always a good time to visit. Philadelphia has become a destination.”

Average daily rates for the three major segments also are up. Commercial increased 9 percent to $197 over the same time last year, group increased 5.5 percent to $186 and leisure increased 5 percent to $172.

Peter Tyson of PKF Consulting—a hospitality consulting and research form—expects area hotels to beat last year’s record for both leisure occupancy and overall occupancy. July through October typically yield the most visitors, and the pope’s visit is sure to be a boost to occupancy rates.

“The highest demand period for leisure in Center City typically has been the second half of the year,” says Tyson. “If that trend continues in 2015—and we expect that it will—leisure will break records again this year.”

Formed in 1937, the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) serves as the advocate and resource for the food service industry in Texas, representing the state’s $70 billion

 

Choice Hotels International announced its Best of Choice award winners at the company’s 66th annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. The awards recognize the top hotels in Choice’s global portfolio of more than 7,000 franchised properties. Suburban Extended Stay Hotel Midland I-20 in Midland was one of the 2022 winners.

 

 

The Fort Worth Zoo’s newest habitat, Elephant Springs, received a Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Themed Entertainment Association. The habitat is one of only 13 international honorees, and, among the Outstanding Achievement award recipients, the Fort Worth Zoo is the only zoo, the only institution in Texas, and one of only six facilities in the United States to be recognized.