Philadelphia Sees 3 Percent Rise in International Travel

A lot of overseas travel comes from emerging markets in the Asia Pacific region, like China and India.

Airport workers

Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia International Airport.

Philadelphia saw a 3.2 percent rise in overseas visitors between 2014 and 2015, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau announced this week.

The bureau’s research focused on overnight visitation in Philadelphia, much of which coming from the Philadelphia International Airport as well as from visitors who entered the country from another port and chose to stay overnight in Philadelphia.

The U.K., which experienced a 4.5 percent increase in travelers to Philadelphia over last year, remains the city’s largest market for international travel. Other dominant markets include Germany, China, India and France.

Emerging markets— countries in the Asia Pacific region, like China, Australia and India — are coming into play more than ever this year: They saw the most year-over-year growth, according to the PHLCVB.

While there’s no direct flight from the Asia Pacific to Philadelphia, travel from the area has greatly increased, with travel from China growing by 15.7 percent over 2014, from Australia by 11.8 percent, and from India by 5.6 percent, according to the PHLCVB.

“Overseas visitors continue to be a vital part of Philadelphia’s travel and tourism industry,” PHLCVB president and CEO Julie Coker Graham said in a press release. “We look forward to continued success in driving overseas visitation, capitalizing on the interest generated by our targeted sales and marketing efforts.”

In 2015, the city’s 638,300 international visitors were estimated to have generated approximately $982 million in economic impact for the region. In 2014, international visitors were thought to have generated about $966 million.

According to the PHLCVB, international visitors spend more on shopping and gifts than any other category except food, transportation and lodging . Each visitor spends roughly $434 on shopping and gifts per trip. Entertainment and recreation is the second-biggest spending category, ringing in with an average of about $200 per visitor per trip.

“As a longtime Philadelphian, it is exciting to see increased interest from overseas visitors to our city,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. “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 neighborhoods. We appreciate the valuable work the PHLCVB does to attract overseas visitors to Philadelphia.”

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