Philadelphia South Street Bridge K Huff for PHLCVB

UK is the largest inbound market for Philadelphia

In 2018, 697,000 overseas visitors came to the Greater Philadelphia region, of which 112,000 are from the UK, according to a new report from the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) and Tourism Economics.

While the city marked a 7.5% year-on-year increase in overseas visitors, Brits visitation increased by 3.1% YoY.

Overseas visitors also contributed $723 million in direct visitor spending, generating $1.2 billion in economic impact, the report said.

Julie Coker Graham, president and CEO of PHLCVB, said: “Hospitality is one of the largest and fastest-growing employment sectors in Philadelphia because we continue to see visitation rise across all sectors. Overseas visitors are incredibly important as they account for 57% of all international visitation and 79% of all international visitor spending.

“Every day our team is focused on telling Philadelphia’s story globally. In 2018 our team hosted 96 influential global media and 334 travel trade professionals in-market. By doing so, we’re able to reinforce positive perceptions of the city and encourage and inspire future visitation.”

The bureau also works with local industry partners like the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, Visit Philadelphia and the Philadelphia International Airport. The destination’s collective message is: the American experience should begin in the city where the country was founded.

In 2018, nine of Philadelphia’s ‘top 10’ overseas markets grew year-on-year (YOY). Its top five markets include the United Kingdom, China, Germany, India, and France, respectively.

The PHLCVB, the official tourism promotion agency for the City of Philadelphia globally, operates representation offices in seven locations around the world and actively stimulates interest in Philadelphia across 23 global markets. In conjunction with, and under the direction of a global tourism team based in Philadelphia, these international offices work to amplify Philadelphia’s message as a premier U.S. destination.

Rochelle Cameron, CEO of PHL International Airport, said: “In 2018, we launched three new overseas routes, including additional service from Ireland, which saw visitation increase to Philadelphia by over 40%.

“Also in 2018, we had 4.2 million international passengers touch down on our runways, a 6% increase from 2017 and a 17.1% increase since 2004. It’s a trend made possible through the hard work of our staff and partners across the entire industry.”

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