Philadelphia Climbs To 13th Most Visited City In The U.S. By Overseas Travelers In 2013

Published on : Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PHLCVB-300x202As a result of efforts by the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB – the official tourist promotion agency of Philadelphia globally) the City drew 673,000 overseas visitors in 2013, marking a 13% 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 14th to 13th on this list.

“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 & 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. Our plans are to continue this momentum with new and innovative sales and marketing initiatives, including a focus on emerging target markets.”

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. In this same year, Philadelphia International Airport registered an increase in the share of overseas passengers entering the U.S. through Philadelphia (according to OTTI). The PHLCVB will leverage this momentum and continue to focus marketing efforts on these regions while promoting the City as an international hub conveniently located on the East Coast of the U.S. and ideally situated between New York City and Washington, D.C. 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.

The PHLCVB also travels directly to international events to tell the Philadelphia story. 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 (France, Germany, India, Brazil and Chile) and attended more than 10 international tradeshows and travel conventions.

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. In 2013, over 70 international journalists covering more than eight countries (including France, Italy, Australia, the U.K., Germany, Russia, China and Spain) visited Philadelphia to cover the City as a travel destination. So far this year, the PHLCVB has hosted 38 journalists from six countries (including India, Italy, Qatar, France, Germany, U.K. and the Netherlands) on similar trips.

In 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” positioning the City as a destination where people from all backgrounds can pursue their own goals and dreams – from the making of a memorable trip, a successful convention, an 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.

Taking the “PHL: Here for the Making” message global, the PHLCVB has embarked on several new international outreach missions in 2014.

Ferguson and Executive Director of Tourism, Brian Said recently accompanied The Philadelphia Orchestra on their 2014 tour of Asia and China residency to promote Philadelphia as a global destination to audiences in China, Japan and Taiwan. Over the course of three weeks, the delegation traveled to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tokyo and Taipei to perform for local audiences, meet with tourism officials and share the Philadelphia experience with international audiences. Ferguson and Said met with more than 60 travel trade professionals and international members of the media to further share the message of Philadelphia as a city that is “here for the making” of world-class cultural adventures.


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