As a result of efforts by the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), the city drew 673,000 overseas visitors in 2013, a 13 percent increase over the previous year.
According to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, the increase in visitation also moved Philadelphia up a slot on the list of Top 20 U.S. Cities for Overseas Visitation, climbing from 14 to 13.
“This increase in overseas visitation is the direct result of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (PHLCVB) international consumer marketing and public relations campaign,” said Jack Ferguson, president and CEO, PHLCVB. “Since the launch of international marketing efforts in 2002, we’ve seen Philadelphia move from 21st to 13th place in ranking of overseas visitation.
Western Europe, Asia and South America are three key world regions driving overseas visits to the U.S. Subsequently, Philadelphia saw substantial increases in arrivals from these regions in 2013.
Additionally, Philadelphia International Airport registered an increase in the share of overseas passengers entering the U.S.. The PHLCVB will leverage this momentum and continue to focus marketing efforts on these regions while promoting the city as an international hub.
Globally, the PHLCVB currently employs five international representation firms. The teams are an extension of the PHLCVB in their specific markets, including the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Germany and India. Along with a newly launched global website, the PHLCVB also offers fully translated websites and international visitor guides in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and simplified Chinese.
Global sales mission and tradeshow attendance are key in promoting the City of Philadelphia as a world-class destination. In 2013, the PHLCVB led five international sales missions and attended more than 10 international tradeshows and travel conventions.
In Nov. 2013, in a joint trade mission to the U.K., Mayor Michael A. Nutter joined PHLCVB and key partners, including Philadelphia International Airport, on a multi-city mission to promote Philadelphia as a global destination for travel, commerce and trade.
While in London, Mayor Nutter led a consortium of Philadelphia area travel partners at World Travel Market, a leading international travel industry event that annually draws more than 47,000 travel professionals and journalists from across the globe.
“Philadelphia is lucky to have such strong leadership from Mayor Nutter who sees the economic impact of
international business, including the business of travel,” said Ferguson.
In addition to international marketing, the PHLCVB’s global public relations efforts work to create brand awareness of Philadelphia across the globe. The PHLCVB hosts international press tours to the City to generate positive press coverage of an authentic Philadelphia experience.
For 2014, the PHLCVB has ramped up efforts to promote Philadelphia as a global tourism, meeting and convention, education and business hub. In February, the PHLCVB unveiled a new joint attraction campaign “PHL: Here for the Making” to position the city as a destination where people from all backgrounds can pursue their own goals and dreams – from the making of a memorable trip, successful convention, innovative business venture or even a new career.
Strategic partners in the new campaign include the City of Philadelphia, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Select Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, the African American Chamber of Commerce and Campus Philly.
For more information on the global efforts of the PHLCVB or Philadelphia as a global travel destination, visit www.discoverPHL.com. For complete details on the joint marketing campaign, visit www.makeitPHL.com.