Multimodal Access to Tourist Attractions
In accordance with the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST) of 2015, DVRPC has been evaluating multimodal access to tourist destinations in Greater Philadelphia. The tourism and hospitality industry represents a growing part of the region's economy. Each dollar spent by travelers generates additional expenditures in indirect spending and is indirectly responsible for the creation of numerous additional jobs. Published in 2017, DVRPC's Hospitality & Tourism Data Snapshot [3.82 MB pdf] illustrates the economic impact of the tourism industry. The region's tourist attractions are generally well served by the existing transportation network, and numerous improvements in recent years have enhanced the ability of tourists to access these destinations.
Reasons for traveling can be for leisure, visiting friends or family, or job-related. To keep visitors returning to the region, it is important to make sure that tourist attractions are easily accessible through a variety of transportation modes. DVRPC published an initial report on the importance of tourism and accessibility in 1997, How Do We Get There? [20.1 MB pdf].
Philadelphia and nearby destinations such as the Brandywine Valley, Valley Forge, and the New Jersey wine trails are popular destinations for American families and international travelers. Historic sites such as Independence Mall and the Liberty Bell attract millions of visitors every year. Tourism has a tremendous tax, economic and employment impact on the recreation, entertainment, accommodations, food services, and transportation sectors.
Regional Impact of Tourism
$11.2 billionDirect Sales
$1.15 billionTax Revenue
Source: Visit Philly Visit New Jersey, 2018
There are many agencies and stakeholders promoting Greater Philadelphia as a great place to visit. DVRPC's focus in the tourism space is ensuring multimodal accessibility to tourist attractions to ensure a positive experience for the visitor. Approximately 58% of the region's economic impact of tourism occurs in the City of Philadelphia, followed by Bucks and Montgomery counties but how are visitors getting to these attractions outside Center City? Are they accessible via transit or trail? In 2018, DVRPC compiled information about how visitors were accessing the region's 278 tourist attractions. Published in 2019, Evaluating Access to Tourist Attractions in Greater Philadelphia [4.1 MB pdf] includes a survey conducted to regional tourist attractions about accessibility, as well as an analysis of how different attractions promote multimodal transportation options. Below are highlights from the survey.
- 38% of attractions indicated transportation accessibility is the greatest problem facing their attraction.
- 20% of attractions indicated that the greatest problem facing their attraction was transit or non-motorized transportation-related.
- 64% of the attractions offer bike parking.
- 68% of attractions include transit directions on their website.
- 24% of attractions include bicycling directions on their website.
- 38% of attractions include walking directions on their website.
The Circuit Trails Connectivity
- In Progress
Circuit Trail Type
Visitor Attraction Connectivity
Tourist Attractions Ranked by 2017 Visitors
Independence National Historical Park
Valley Forge National Historical Park
King of Prussia, PA
Kennett Square, PA
The Franklin Institute
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Christmas Village in Philadelphia
Elmwood Park Zoo
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site Inc.
McGillin's Olde Ale House
Museum of the American Revolution
National Constitution Center
Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Once Upon A Nation/Historic Philadelphia Inc.
The Barnes Foundation
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
Independence Seaport Museum
National Museum of American Jewish History
Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial
African American Museum of Philadelphia
Woodmere Art Museum
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent
National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
|1Philadelphia Business Journal, 2018 https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/subscriber-only/2018/05/25/tourist-attractions.html|