A recent report on 2015 visitor figures in Philadelphia has unveiled the UK as the source of the city’s biggest overseas tourism support with 109,900 UK visitors travelling to Philadelphia in 2015, an increase on the previous year by 4.5%. This total makes up a significant portion of the 638,000 total overseas visitors that arrived in the first World Heritage City in the US for a holiday in 2015.
Since 2014, the total number of foreign visitors to Philadelphia has grown by 3.2%, generating $982 million in economic impact for the region in 2015, versus $966 million in 2014.
“Overseas visitors continue to be a vital part of Philadelphia’s travel and tourism industry,” said Julie Coker Graham, president & CEO, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We look forward to continued success in driving overseas visitation, capitalising on the interest generated by our targeted sales and marketing efforts.”
Visitors to Philadelphia from overseas in 2015 were most interested in spending their leisure time shopping, sightseeing or visiting the city’s art galleries and museums, as well as seeing national parks and monuments and historical locations. As a result, the top spending categories for overseas visitors (excluding food, lodging and transportation) were shopping, gifts and other purchases, with an average of $434 per visitor per trip, followed by entertainment and recreation, with an average of $200 per visitor per trip.
“As a longtime Philadelphian, it is exciting to see increased interest from overseas visitors to our city,” said City of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “As the first World Heritage City in the United States, we are proud to have visitors from across the globe experience our rich history, cultural attractions and diverse neighbourhoods. We appreciate the valuable work the PHLCVB does to attract overseas visitors to Philadelphia.”
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Looking ahead, Icelandair announced last week the launch of a non-stop service from Reykjavik to Philadelphia that will begin in May 2017. Icelandair offers great connections to multiple cities in the UK and Europe, providing more options for travellers looking to visit Philadelphia. The PHLCVB team has worked successfully with the Nordic market for the last few years by building awareness through trade and press opportunities, and will actively support the new partnership between the Philadelphia International Airport and Icelandair.