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 billion

Direct Sales

169 thousand


$1.15 billion

Tax Revenue

Source: Visit Philly Visit New Jersey, 2018

Multimodal Access

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

Explore The Circuit Trail Connectivity in the map below. Select an option from the dropdown menu to update the Circuit Trails on the map.

    Circuit Trail Type

  • Existing
  • In Progress
  • Pipeline
  • Planned

Visitor Attraction Connectivity

Explore Visitor Attraction Connectivity in the map below. Select an option from the dropdown menu to update the Visitor Attractions on the map.

Tourist Attractions Ranked by 2017 Visitors

Rank Attraction 2017 Visitors1
1 Independence National Historical Park
Philadelphia, PA
2 SugarHouse Casino
Philadelphia, PA
3 Valley Forge National Historical Park
King of Prussia, PA
4 Peddler's Village
Lahaska, PA
5 Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square, PA
6 Philadelphia Zoo
Philadelphia, PA
7 Franklin Square
Philadelphia, PA
8 The Franklin Institute
Philadelphia, PA
9 Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, PA
10 Christmas Village in Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
11 Elmwood Park Zoo
Norristown, PA
12 Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site Inc.
Philadelphia, PA
13 McGillin's Olde Ale House
Philadelphia, PA
14 Museum of the American Revolution
Philadelphia, PA
15 National Constitution Center
Philadelphia, PA
16 Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA
17 Once Upon A Nation/Historic Philadelphia Inc.
Philadelphia, PA
18 The Barnes Foundation
Philadelphia, PA
19 Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
20 Independence Seaport Museum
Philadelphia, PA
21 National Museum of American Jewish History
Philadelphia, PA
22 Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial
Camden, NJ
23 African American Museum of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
24 Woodmere Art Museum
Philadelphia, PA
25 Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
Elverson, PA
26 Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent
Philadelphia, PA
27 National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Coatesville, PA
28 Founding Footsteps
Philadelphia, PA
1Philadelphia Business Journal, 2018