Published on : Thursday, October 3, 2019
That’s the outline of a new report from the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) and Tourism Economics. Last year, 697,000 international visitors — a 7.5% year-on-year (YoY) rise — came to the Greater Philadelphia region, earmarking the fourth consecutive year of growth. Also, in direct visitor spending, overseas visitors contributed $723 million, generating $1.2 billion in economic impact, both modern-day records.
“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,” said PHLCVB President and CEO Julie Coker Graham.
“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.”
Also, the PHLCVB works together with local industry partners like the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, Visit Philadelphia and the Philadelphia International Airport. The collective message of the destination is resonating: the American experience should start in the city where the country was founded. Nine of Philadelphia’s ‘top 10’ overseas markets in 2018 grew year-on-year (YOY). The top five markets of Philadelphia are the United Kingdom, China, Germany, India, and France, respectively. Some of the notable highlights include:
To Philadelphia, the United Kingdom delivered the highest number of overseas visitors at 112,000 (a 3.1% YoY increase).
• China headed all markets with $136 million visitor spending (15.6% YoY increase) in general, represented by 82,000 visitors, a 20% increase from 2017.
• Ireland witnessed spectacular gains as additional airline service from American Airlines and Aer Lingus helped boost travel to Philadelphia by 42%.
• Renewed strength from Germany (+3.1%), India (+8.3%), Italy (+4%), Spain (+10%), and sustained increases from South Korea (+8%) and the Netherlands (+7.1%) showcases the city’s appeal in a variety of diverse markets.