Philadelphia tourism official and LGBTQ advocate Jeff Guaracino, whose creative advertising campaign helped attract groups of visitors to the city, has died at the age of 48.
Guaracino, chief executive officer of Visit Philadelphia, helped come up with a series of catchy, bold travel slogans such as “Philly is more enjoyable when you sleep over.”
He died Tuesday of cancer, the agency said in a press release.
Guaracino is the author of two books on gay tourism marketing. In a 2018 interview with Philadelphia magazine, he say that a 2003 campaign targeting the gay community – with the tagline “Look at your history and your nightlife as gay” – was a risk, but a maths.
“Philadelphia has been very gay-friendly,” he said, “Philadelphia has had a reputation since its inception that all are welcome.”
Mayor Jim Kenney, in a statement Wednesday, said Guaracino had left an “indelible mark” on Philadelphia.
“A fierce champion and promoter of his hometown, Jeff is also a proud advocate for the LGBTQ community. With his signature energy, charismatic charm and timeless wit, he helped make Philadelphia the welcoming city and proud destination it is today,” said Kenney.
Guaracino has led the travel agency since 2018, having previously worked on its communications team and led Wawa Welcome America Inc., the company that runs the city’s 4th of July celebration. He also led the Atlantic Cities Coalition after Superstorm Sandy hit the New Jersey coast in 2012.
https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/business/visit-philadelphia-ceo-dies-after-battle-with-cancer/3091599/ Visiting Philadelphia CEO Jeff Guaracino, dies aged 48 – NBC10 Philadelphia