Last month, Visit Philly Teams decided to launch a campaign to push and attract leisure visitors safely back to the City of Brotherly Love. With the pandemic still in the midst, the ‘Pack Light. Plan Big. For Philly.’ campaign is here to show that the city has a lot to offer, and its starting with one huge summertime event.
According to a release, the tourism marketing corporation has worked and is continuing to work with Live Nation, the James Beard Foundation, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and others to reach potential travelers and encourage overnight visitation as the region’s tourism and hospitality industry continues to recover after the substantial impacts of COVID-19.
“We’re seeing great results from our Pack Light. Plan Big. For Philly. campaign.,” said Jeff Guaracino, President and CEO of Visit Philadelphia in a statement. “As we go into the second half of summer, we’re ramping up our efforts to help keep our region’s great momentum going.”
Over the course of the past few weeks—the promotional entries are accepted through Aug. 25—there have already been 34,000 entries and counting and there is still a chance for some to win big. The prize? Each week, one contestant wins a fanny pack filled with gift cards and tickets — valued at up to $3,300 — for an exclusive Philadelphia weekend escape. The prize packs were made possible by nearly 20 hotel, attraction and event partners, including Element Philadelphia, Live Nation, James Beard Award-affiliated restaurants, the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus, Philadelphia Union and others.
Specifically the fanny pack includes: $500 in gift cards for Philly-born shops, $250 gift card and reservation for two at a James Beard-affiliated restaurant, two VIP passes for Made in America music festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Saturday, Sept. 4, and Sunday, Sept. 5, two tickets to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, two tickets to the African American Museum in Philadelphia, two tickets to the Philadelphia Zoo and its Big Time: Life in an Endangerous Age exhibition, two tickets to the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, two two-day Philly PHLASH Downtown Loop passes, $25 Independence Gift Shop gift card and an entertainment for a return trip, which includes two tickets for ‘Beautiful: ‘The Carole King Musical’ at the Academy of Music on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.
What Visit Philly also has on its docket is a joint marketing partnership with Live Nation to “encourage the thousands of concertgoers who will be returning to Philly for live entertainment to extend their experience by spending a night or two.” The release states that a marketing effort was made with the National Pan-Hellenic Council, also known as the Divine Nine, that encourages members of nine historically Black sororities and fraternities to visit Philadelphia through a series of itineraries, videos and a trip giveaway. In addition, Visit Philly is also serving as a cohost of one of four satellite events for the James Beard Awards: Stories of Resilience & Leadership celebration, taking place at SOUTH on Sept. 27, with SOUTH owner Ben Bynum and Stephanie Willis of Everybody Eats Philly.
Finally, Philadelphians and tourists alike can also expect a video done in partnership with the City of Philadelphia that celebrates the city’s 75% vaccination rate, showing off a fun, vibrant, open-for-business destination with the beloved Boyz II Men hit “Motownphilly.”
Visit Philly sums it up best for why this matters: “Philadelphia is vying for travelers, including visitors from our own region, in what has become the most competitive travel marketplace the industry has ever seen. With COVID-19 restrictions lifting and people eager to travel again, Visit Philadelphia has been using our $2.5 million Pack Light. Plan Big. For Philly. campaign to encourage people to choose Philadelphia for a fun and easy getaway.”
For more information, including upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages, interactive maps and more, visit visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com. Travelers can also call the Independence Visitor Center for additional information at 1-800-537-7676.