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Welcome to Philly, You Who Are Neither Robots Nor Pilgrims

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We decapitated a hitchhiking robot, and threw ourselves into a tizzy as "news" leaked about pope fences, pope maps, and the myriad ways Philadelphians were about to become a police state when more than a million pilgrims hit the streets of Philly come September's papal visit. But, it turns out, if you are neither a robot nor a Popefan, Philadelphia is pleased as punch to welcome you to town.

According to a recent study via private air charter company Stratos Jets, which assessed the "positive or negative sentiment in geotagged tweets featuring the word "tourist," then used those scores to rank the hospitality of different cities and regions," Philadelphia is among the friendliest cities to tourists.

Philadelphia ranks as a top tourist-loving city — the third-friendliest, in fact — following Chicago and Atlanta. Cities that expressed the most ire towards tourists? Arlington, Texas, the Big Apple, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Of course, reports Citylab, "tweets are an imperfect measure of a city's openness to tourism...Still, the raw vitriol spewed by a city's active social media users might be a good predictor of the number of eye rolls, foot taps, and throat clearings you're likely to elicit by fumbling for a transit pass or blocking the sidewalk in a new city."

They're also a great indicator of just how much schadenfreude/self-pity to expect when things don't quite go according to plan. (See: the total hot mess that was the world's largest rubber duck).


· Talking #Tourists: How Cities, States, and Regions Tweet About Tourists [Stratos Jet Charters]
· Which Cities Hate Tourists the Most? [Citylab]
· Hitchhiking robot dead as cross-country trip cut short by vandals [The Guardian]
· Mayor Nutter: The First Rule of Pope Map is... [Curbed Philly]
· Pope visit: Quit hitting the panic button, Philadelphia, and let's make people feel welcome [PBJ]