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Philadelphia Finds that for Every $1 Invested in Gay Tourism Marketing, Gay Travelers Spend $153 on Hotels, Shops and More; Research Study Looks at Economic Returns, Marketing Effectiveness, Lesbian Travel


PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 16 -- Just 14 months after the launch of the Philadelphia and Its Countryside(tm) gay-friendly tourism marketing campaign, gay travelers are spending 30 percent more than they did before the effort debuted, up from $179 per day in 2003 to $233 a day in 2004. Gay Tourism 2005, a new 30-page research study conducted by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) and Community Marketing, Inc., also revealed that for every $1 GPTMC invests in gay tourism marketing, $153 is returned in direct visitor spending. Gay travelers spend $54 billion a year in the United States on travel.

“The Gay Tourism 2005 report gives unprecedented insight into the powerful economic return that gay travel can bring to a destination,” said Deborah Diamond, Ph.D., GPTMC research director. “We were surprised to learn that gay overnight visitors spend nearly double that of our general overnight visitors, $233 compared to $101 respectively.”

Gay Tourism 2005 also contains a groundbreaking section dedicated solely to the region’s lesbian visitors. This first-of-its-kind study revealed that compared to gay men, lesbian travelers to Philadelphia:

-- Spend the same per day

-- Are more likely to be younger

-- Tend to travel with partners rather than with friends

-- Are less likely to recall gay advertising

In addition, gay men are staying longer in Philadelphia (on average 2.4 nights), while lesbians are staying for a shorter period of time (just 1.8 nights).

“Gay Tourism 2005 is significant because the findings challenge many preconceived notions about the economic strength of the lesbian travel segment,” said Thomas Roth, president of Community Marketing, Inc. based in San Francisco, Calif. “Gay and lesbian travel continues to be a huge growth opportunity for destinations around the world in the leisure, group meeting and convention areas of the tourism industry.”

Gay Tourism 2005 goes on to prove that gay marketing campaigns are effective. Respondents reported that GPTMC’s $1 million marketing campaign, Philadelphia-Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay(tm), has been successful in building the region’s image as a gay-friendly destination, with 87 percent of the respondents saying that the campaign improved their image of the city and region. The data also confirms that gay tourism has improved the bottom line for regional businesses, attractions and hotels. Those respondents who saw GPTMC’s gay-friendly advertising said they spent more money, $607 compared to $445, and stayed longer, on average 2.4 nights compared to 2.1 nights, than those gay travelers who did not see the advertising.

These findings are being compared to a benchmark study, Gay Tourism 2003, which was conducted prior to the GPTMC gay tourism campaign launch. Gay Tourism 2005 is a follow-up study that took place in February 2005, and had more than 2,636 respondents. Of those who answered specific questions about lesbian travel, 871 identified themselves as lesbian, while 59 identified themselves as bisexual. Of the total 2,636 respondents, 533 people reported having been to Philadelphia and Its Countryside(tm) in the past year.

Community Marketing, Inc. has earned a global reputation as a leader in gay tourism marketing since 1992. Community Marketing helps destinations increase their share of the $54.1 billion gay travel market through research, media relations and partnerships with suppliers and travel agents. For more gay tourism research information, visit .

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) builds the region’s economy and image through destination marketing to increase the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county region. For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit or call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Independence National Historical Park, at 800-537-7676.



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