With the papal visit to Philadelphia just weeks away, hotels are preparing for a wave of guests. Expedia’s market managers have been in close contact with hotel partners to provide suggestions on how to maximize success and demand during the busy time. Here are some of their insights:
The top three international markets visiting NYC during the pope’s visit are United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany. But Argentina and Spain/Canary Islands are tied for longest visit—averaging more than six days.
Of the three markets Pope Francis is visiting, Philadelphia is seeing the highest increase in demand year over year at 165 percent for the week of his visit. Philadelphia is seeing the lowest international demand of the three markets, meaning the vast majority of visitors are domestic.
Since Washington, D.C., has the most limited public appearance, with tickets required even for an appearance at the front of the capitol, demand is up but consistent with the rest of the month. Baltimore, the halfway point in between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., has seen no spike in demand, dispelling rumors that visitors would have to spill over into a secondary market.
Expedia market managers caution hotel partners not to underestimate the last minute traveler, who may be booking within three days of the event. Locals may decide to make the trip, or those who planned a day trip may stay overnight. They suggest to ease up on length of stay restrictions, as individuals booking at this point are likely to seek a maximum of a two-night stay.
To ensure optimal customer experience, they suggest educating staff on the itinerary and email guests ahead of time. To view planning materials, click here.