PHL ACHIEVES GREATEST INCREASE IN U.S. INTERNATIONAL VISITATION – 11TH MOST-VISITED CITY
PHILADELPHIA - (Business Wire) The United States Department of Commerce Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) announced on Monday at the U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow Conference that Philadelphia hosted a record-breaking 710,000 international visitors in 2008, an increase of more than 150,000 from the previous year. The 29% increase is the largest by any city in the top 20 most visited cities in the United States.
The 29% increase also means Philadelphia moved from 12th to 11th place in the top 20 destinations. The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB), which led the 2008 consumer and trade marketing and sales efforts, is responsible on behalf of the Philadelphia region to promote visitation by international visitors.
"One of our key goals for Philadelphia is to become a Top 10 destination for international visitors and this news gets us just one step away," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. "This increase clearly shows that the PCVB marketing efforts on behalf of Philadelphia and continued growth in international flights are having a great return on investment."
“We were very excited last year when we surpassed the half-million mark with a 27% increase from 2006 to 2007. We never imagined we could do it again this year when international visitation is still down from its high water mark of visitation to the U.S. in 2000,” said Fritz Smith, vice president of tourism for the PCVB. “This increase is evidence the PCVB’s targeted international marketing, combined with strong flight growth to Philadelphia International Airport via US Airways, and dollar value created by the current exchange rate, has paid off in attracting record numbers of international visitors here.”
For Philadelphia, this news reflects the continuation of an upward trend in visitation that began in 2002 as a result of accelerated international marketing activity, even as the United States as a whole began to experience a decline in visitation in the post 9/11 environment. The PCVB’s 2008 campaign was partially funded by grants from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia International Airport.
About Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
OTTI, which is housed in the International Trade Administration, Manufacturing and Service Bureau, Services Division, is charged on a federal level to expand travel and tourism business opportunities for employment and economic growth. OTTI’s responsibility to perform critical tourism functions such as collecting and publishing comprehensive international travel and tourism statistics and other marketing information.
About the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB), a private non-profit membership corporation, is the official Tourism Promotion Agency for the City of Philadelphia, The PCVB competes with its counterparts worldwide for convention and tourism business. The organization has departments dedicated to the multicultural, sports, and life sciences markets.
EDITOR’S NOTE: OTTI will release more comprehensive results of each top 20 cities statistics within the next 30 days. These results will include the breakdown of which countries the 710,000 international visitors to Philadelphia traveled from in 2008
Source - Business Wire