Philadelphia Hosts Record Number of International Visitors

Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, has welcomed more than 550,000 international visitors in the past 12 months, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB) recently announced. That's a 27 percent increase over the previous 12 months, it reports, and an all-time high for the city.

The numbers—for which PCVB partially credits the declining U.S. dollar—are part of PCVB's FY2008 Annual Report and Business Plan, which was released last month to more than 400 PCVB members. In it, PCVB officials report a strong year of meeting and convention sales while presenting an aggressive outlook for future years.

"Our sales and marketing efforts generated more than 768,000 meetings and convention hotel room nights for future years, valued at $1.2 billion in economic impact for the region," PCVB President Tom Muldoon said in a statement.

In the last year alone, PCVB staff went on 1,000 sales calls, generated 1,000 news stories about Philadelphia, sent members more than 1,600 business leads and represented Philadelphia at 400 industry tradeshows and events. It plans to continue its growth efforts in FY2009 by perpetuating its focus on international tourism and by pursuing new convention and athletic event opportunities, the largest of which is its bid for the 2016 Olympics.

For expanded meetings business, major PCVB targets include the life sciences industry, multicultural organizations, local and regional businesses, as well as groups that are based throughout the Northeast corridor.