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Philadelphia climbs to the 13th on the list of top 20 U.S Cities for overseas travellers in 2013

As a result of efforts by the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) Philadelphia 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 (OTTI). This 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.”

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, www.discoverPHL.com, the PHLCVB also offers fully translated websites and international visitor guides in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and simplified Chinese.

The PHLCVB 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.

A notable example of such efforts is the November 2013 joint trade mission to the U.K. Here, 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. To maximise the impact of Philadelphia’s presence in London, the PHLCVB partnered with Brand USA to wrap taxicabs that will be travelling through the streets of London from November 2014 – January 2015. Philadelphia messaging and images appear on the exteriors of the cabs as well as on the interior headrests and taxi receipts.

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

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