Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Mon August 01 2016

Did the RNC and DNC Conventions Lead to a Tourism Boost?

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | August 01, 2016

Did the RNC and DNC Conventions Lead to a Tourism Boost?

PHOTO: Cleveland, host city for the Republican National Convention (courtesy Thinkstock)

Will campaign politics overshadow the draw of convention cities? Tens of thousands of people descended onto Cleveland and Philadelphia for their party’s respective political campaigns and each city was thrust into the spotlight. Tourism boards were banking on a tourism boost similar to that of the political boost candidates see after their convention but will this come to fruition with such a divided electorate? 

"Hosting a political convention is a major jewel in a city’s tourism model," Robert Ambrose, instructor at the Center for Hospitality & Sport Management at Drexel University said to Pacific Business News. "All segments of hospitality benefit from the offerings presented in lodging, culinary and retail [and] all forms of public transportation see an immediate uptick in business."

Tourism boards were taking advantage of the cities being highlighted as travel hotspots and meetings and conventions destinations. 

READ MORE: Best Philadelphia Day Trips After Leaving the Democratic National Convention  

"The event is a brand management tool where the brand is the destination," said Wesley S. Roehl, professor of tourism management at Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism & Hospitality Management. "The idea here is that not all destinations have high levels of top-of-mind awareness or are associated with positive images."

But will controversies overshadow the potential of each city as a tourist destination? It’s hard to tell as publicity - even when bad — tends to pay off. To read more about the effect of the political climate on convention cities, click here

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