The Economic Impact of Greater Philadelphia Gardens

Econsult Solutions, Inc. (ESI) was retained by Greater Philadelphia Gardens (“GPG”), a consortium of more than 30 public gardens, arboreta, historical landscapes and supporting organizations all located within a 30-mile radius of Philadelphia, to assess the economic impact of the organization on the Greater Philadelphia region.

In our study, we found that the collective economic footprint GPG has as employers and purchasers of goods and services is sizable and yields significant spillover economic activity. The public gardens have a pristine reputation amongst tourists and increase visitor attraction and spending from outside the region. The presence of these gardens throughout the local communities increases property values for surrounding the real estate markets.

The study also determined the total impact of the operations and visitation to GPG member institutions within the 11-county Philadelphia region is estimated at $256 million on an annual basis. The 30 gardens employ over 1,520 employees resulting in $79 million in total earnings.

Furthermore, the total economic impact of GPG member’s capital investment over the past three years within the 11-county Philadelphia region is estimated at $232 million. These investments support more than 1,400 jobs across the region and result in $96 million in total earnings.

Of the 30 gardens not all are the same and thus have different types of economic impact from regional and state benefit standpoints. The study found that there are destination attraction, local attraction, component of institutions, and industry advocate gardens. For example, destination attraction gardens bring in new visitor spending from outside the region which have a different economic profile than local attractions that rely on regional visitation and institutions that operate a discrete garden are different from those in which the garden is a larger component of a larger institution.

Our in-depth research showed that 29% of the 2.5 million annual visitors come from outside of the Philadelphia region, while 71% are from within the Philadelphia region. 43% of non-local visitors came to the garden(s) on a day trip while 32% visited the area for 2-3 days. The average amount of time was 3.4 days. This resulted in economic spillover into other tourism industries within the Philadelphia region such as hotels, restaurants, Air B&Bs, etc.

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