There are 14 neighborhoods surrounding Center City that don’t feature a Liberty Bell or an Independence Hall. Starting today, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) is turning its considerable marketing machine toward encouraging tourists and residents alike to start exploring them.
The Philadelphia Neighborhoods campaign spotlights neighborhoods from Cedar Park to Pennsport in the hopes of provoking visitors to travel “one block farther,” according to GPTMC President and CEO Meryl Levitz. “People want to explore the neighborhoods of a city in addition to the downtown to fully immerse themselves in the destination and to really get to know it,” Levitz said. The campaign launches today at www.visitphilly.com/neighborhoods.
The campaign features itineraries tailored to each neighborhood as well as videos and other content generated by residents and the GPTMC’s committee of neighborhood advisors. Neighborhoods were determined by drawing concentric circles around Center City, explained Ethan Connor Ross, vice president of research and planning at GPTMC. The group wanted to focus on neighborhoods within 15 minutes of Center City hotels, and considered walkability ratings and Yelp reviews to help determine where to shine the spotlight. “It’s not all of them, we know,” Levitz said.
Expect lots of videos and Instagram images as well as a series of neighborhood crests bound to start turning up on more than just the campaign website.
The William Penn Foundation is funding the Neighborhoods project due in large part to the success of the Philly Homegrown campaign, which the foundation also supported. The Homegrown program encouraged tourists and residents alike to eat locally. Levitz said once GPTMC got into the neighborhoods to promote farmers markets and restaurants, they quickly realized there was an opportunity to do even more. ”There’s a lot more going on than food,” Levitz said.