Cities stopped charging for parking at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when there weren’t enough cars to justify it and businesses were struggling to survive. Now, at least one city is using free parking–with a catch–to try and get shoppers, diners, and tourists to come back en masse.
Visit Philly, the tourism bureau of Philadelphia, Pa., is offering visitors to the Old City free parking on Saturdays if they spend at least $8 on the attractions of the Independence Visitors Center during their stay.
Visit Philly says visitor spending has been cut about in half by pandemic restrictions; now that they’re being lifted, it feels like the perfect time to encourage tourists to venture back downtown, and parking is a good incentive. The effort is part of a larger marketing campaign, planned to run through the end of May. Read the whole story here and let us know from your perspective in the industry: Good use of “free parking” or no?