What used to be a slow time of year for tourism in Philadelphia has picked up speed.

Meryl Levitz, CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation, says the week between Christmas and New Years is not the sleepy time of the past.

"It's becoming increasingly a great family reunion time," Levitz said. "More and more people are getting married at this time. And the fact that we have two free fireworks shows on New Years Eve and then the Mummers Parade the next day makes a really good background for so many people."

Levitz said more than 40 hotels that are offering special room rates.

"More and more people are putting more into the holiday time because they are seeing the rising demand," Levitz said. "You see more supply, more demand, more supply, more demand and it's turned into a holiday time here."

The downside for the hospitality business: Winter visitors travel shorter distances to get to Philadelphia than summer tourists, and they don't stay as long.