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More Tourists Visit Historic Area & Sleep Over in Philadelphia This Summer

August 7 2003 - Philadelphia's historic area is jumping, and judging by hotel package sales more visitors are sleeping over. Visitors to the Independence Visitor Center have more than doubled compared to last year; the National Constitution Center welcomed more than 70,000 guests since July 4th; Ride The Ducks is a sell-out; and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) reports that sales of its summer hotel package, Philly - You Just Can't Do It In A Day(TM), are up by 263 percent.

"New products and patriotic attractions plus a great hotel deal are making for a strong tourism season in Philadelphia," says Meryl Levitz, GPTMC president and CEO.

GPTMC is currently running its summer advertising campaign to promote activities in Philadelphia and Its Countryside, including the Philly - You Just Can't Do It In A Day(TM) Hotel Package. In the first six weeks of the package, 5,600 room nights were consumed by leisure travelers compared to 1,545 consumed at this time last year. There are just six weeks left in Philadelphia's official summer tourism season.

Here's what some of the city's most popular attractions are reporting:

- The National Park Service reports 135,300 people made a visit to the Liberty Bell in July, up from 118,543 visits in July of last year.

- 467,247 visitors have passed through the doors of the Independence Visitor Center in June and July. That's more than double the amount of last year's visitor numbers. The IVC expects to welcome its two millionth visitor in August.

- The National Constitution Center (NCC) reports welcoming more than 70,000 visitors since opening on July 4, 2003, mostly from the Philadelphia region, New York and Washington D.C. but from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii.

- Some 24,000 visitors have boarded Ride the Ducks (an amphibious sightseeing tour aboard a converted 1945 Army DUKW vessel), making Philadelphia its best city launch to date. Ride the Ducks sell out many tours and have carried as many as 1,000 passengers a day, surpassing their estimates by nearly 50 percent.

- The Franklin Institute Science Museum reports 142,000 visitors in June and July up from 121,000 visitors during the same period last year.

The Philly - You Just Can't Do It In A Day(TM) Hotel Package enables visitors to stay one night and get the second night free when they check in Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, through September 14, 2003. Available at more than 60 hotels in Philadelphia and Its Countryside, the package starts at around $149 per room for two nights with free hotel parking both nights.

In addition to a great rate and free hotel parking, hotel package guests receive a keepsake "Bag Full of Summer," including a coupon good for two tickets for the price of one to Lights of Liberty; an interactive "Philadelphia Speaks" CD-ROM, featuring a guided tour of all the great things to see and do in the region; a Grand Opening Guide from the National Constitution Center; a Trip Planner and Lodging and Events Directory; and Philadelphia magazine's Essential Guide To Eating & Drinking in Philadelphia.

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