1. Why is there a new PHLCVB membership model? Through a series of focus groups, we learned how to best adjust our membership model to better meet the needs of our tourism partners. By changing to a new partnership model, the PHLCVB is also addressing the changing environment of tourism to maximize member growth opportunities and increase overall retention.
2. Who is responsible for determining the new partnership model? Before the PHLCVB made the decision to change to a new partnership model, a consulting agency was hired to research other models within Convention and Visitor Bureaus around the country. Extensive surveys were conducted with partners to inform the decision making. Several partnership focus groups, representing many sectors of our tourism industry, was created for feedback, suggestions, and approval of the new structure. Moving forward, to keep the model current and innovative, surveys will be delivered annually to assess the structure and its effectiveness to our partners.
3. Why are we being referred to as “partners” and not “members”? The PHLCVB views our members as partners in growing Philadelphia’s tourism industry. We all work together in marketing and promoting the destination in order to drive economic and job growth across the region. The PHLCVB cannot do this work alone and the new partnership model better reflects the way we all work together while also creating new opportunities for our partners to connect to the target audiences they are most interested in reaching – meeting planners, convention attendees, travel and tour operators, or overseas visitors.
4. How does this impact my dues? To simplify our program structure a flat fee pricing model (with the exception of hotels) has been developed. The new program is easy to understand and is based on the way that your organization or company engages with the PHLCVB, rather than the size of your business or how many locations you have. The partnership level your organization selects will determine if dues will increase, decrease or stay the same.
Why are my dues going up? For partners who opt into one of the paid levels there will be added partner benefits including a new online portal to access benefits, watch educational workshops and tutorials, and participate in a new online community forum of PHLCVB partners. Some levels will also offer access to a new job hub where partners can post career opportunities. Information about these new benefits will be forthcoming in the new year.
When will my dues be impacted? The transition to the new model and dues structure will take effect January 1, 2021. Moving forward, all partners will renew on January 1st of each year.
If I previously paid my membership dues, but now am in the free ‘Discover’ category, will I get a refund? No, unfortunately we are unable to offer refunds.
5. When was the last time dues changed? The last dues increase was on July 1, 2015 when non-hotel partners dues increased by 10%; hotel member dues increased by $4 per room.
6. What new PHLCVB Partnership benefits have been added?
Host PHL Tier and up:
a. Online partner portal
b. Job Hub
c. Online renewal and payment process
d. Video and Content Library (trainings, educational workshops, webinars, archived newsletter articles)
e. Partner-to-Partner Discounts
7. Are any former benefits being removed from the new model?
a. Destination Planning Guide (DPG) print listings
b. Official Visitor’s Guide (OVG) print listings (online listings will remain)
c. VIP Pass Program
d. PHLCVB Partnership Program Plaques (digital badges only)
8. Why was a new membership model and pricing structure created during the COVID-19 pandemic? As our industry faced many challenges, our membership program needed to evolve. The travel and tourism industry will forever be changed, and it is our goal to support our partners with the tools they need to succeed and be an active partner in Philadelphia’s tourism recovery and growth. We also created a no-cost partnership level to support a broader range of tourism related businesses.
9. How do I know which partnership tier my business falls into? When transitioning into the new model, our team worked hard to recommend the partnership level that most closely aligned with a partner’s previous category and the pricing level that most closely matched their previous dues. For potential new partners, a breakdown of category details can be found here (add link to web page). If you would like to be placed into a different tier or would like guidance on which tier is right for your business, please reach out to Darryl Irizarry (Darryl@DiscoverPHL.com).
10. If I’m an attraction and I choose to be in the free Discover category, can I also include my venue in that listing or do I have to be in a different partnership level? Yes, you would need to select a paid partnership level to list your venue and be included in selling opportunities by the PHLCVB.
11. How can I be covered by the Discover PHL Blog or in your social media? Am I guaranteed coverage by joining as a partner? While coverage cannot be guaranteed, all partners have the opportunity to submit content for consideration to the PHLCVB Communications Team at Communications@DiscoverPHL.com.
12. I want to receive benefits in the paid partnership level but can’t afford it this year. Can you waive my fees for this year or give me a discount due to the pandemic? If a partner cannot pay this year, and does not qualify for the ‘Discover PHL’ level, they will not be a member in 2021. We are not able to waive fees at this time. Once the pandemic hit, and to best support our partners, we did not send invoices over the last 8 months of the year to alleviate the financial burden we all faced due to COVID-19.
13. The Official Visitors Guide used to be included in the PHLCVB membership package and now it is not. How can I get included in PHLCVB publications like this for either editorial coverage or advertising? The structure of the Official Visitors Guide is currently under review and PHLCVB partners will notified soon about how to get involved.