As president and CEO of GPTMC, Meryl Levitz is responsible for expanding Philadelphia’s regional tourism, worth $8.7 billion in economic impact and accounting for more than 85,000 regional jobs annually. The region welcomed 37.4 million domestic visitors in 2010, 33.1 million of whom were leisure visitors. That’s 10 million more leisure visitors than in 1997, when GPTMC first started marketing.
For Levitz, the key to building the economic engine of tourism is partnership—increasing visitor spending by bringing together groups with similar interests to develop promotional programs that reach high-yield markets. Partnerships with the hospitality community, arts and cultural institutions, restaurants and county visitor bureaus have proven to be vital to the success of the regional tourism industry.