The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau Promotes Philadelphia to the U.K. Market

The Philadelphia Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (PCVB), a membership-based organization, which serves as the official state-designated tourism promotion agency for the city, has, in recent years, devoted substantial resources to attracting international travelers. A dramatic expansion of Trans-Atlantic flights and a favorable exchange rate have made America accessible, as well as a great value.

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce show that the U.K. is historically the #1 source of overseas visitors to the region. In 2008, a record 151,000 British travelers visited – nearly double the number from a decade ago.

The PCVB deploys a number of innovative sales and marketing techniques to attract visitors from the U.K. including:

  • A dedicated representation firm based in the U.K. that provides sales and marketing support for the PCVB in that market, including educational sessions for tour operators and travel agents and media relations.
  • Participation in “World Travel Market,” the U.K.’s largest tourism-oriented trade show, held every November in London.
  • Special promotions and trip giveaways in consumer and trade media outlets.
  • Consumer and trade advertising including print and electronic media, billboards, posters, bus wraps, and ads on monitors in train stations.
  •, a Web site devoted to promoting Philadelphia as a shopping destination, with price comparisons and links to tour operator packages.
  • Press trips that result in travel articles about Philadelphia in major publications and electronic media. (In 2008, press trips resulted in more than 60 articles, with a total circulation of more than 12 million and a media value of more than $1.4 million).
  • Social media marketing, including a Philadelphia microsite on, a social networking and travel site, newsletter copy to their 1 million-plus subscribers, Web banners throughout the site, and a contest to win a trip to Philadelphia (and blog about it!)

The PCVB counts on its airline partners who provide service to Philadelphia from the U.K., as well as other businesses in the tour and travel industry including hotels, restaurants, transportation, and attractions, to help promote Philadelphia as a destination and serve these visitors when they arrive. British Airways and U.S. Airways are especially critical to the success of these efforts.

The PCVB encourages BABC members to be “ambassadors” for the Philadelphia region and tout its tremendous assets. Encourage your contacts in the U.K. to think first of Philadelphia when considering a destination for a meeting, incentive trip, or even a “long weekend.”

The PCVB’s Web site,, is a great resource for information, including country-specific U.K. pages at, (or by clicking on the British Flag on the PCVB’s home page).

The PCVB can also provide informational materials, including International Visitors Guides in Anglicized English with itinerary suggestions and information specific to the U.K. market; promotional DVD’s; photos; and more.

For more information, contact Fritz Smith, vice president, PCVB, at 215/636-3330 or

Leave a Reply

↑ back to top

The BABCPHL recognizes our Club Level Members:

  • Almac
  • American Airlines
  • Baker Tilly
  • Citrin Cooperman
  • Duane Morris
  • EisnerAmper LLP
  • Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Forensic Resolutions
  • Johnson, Kendall & Johnson, Inc.
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Olympus
  • Penn Medicine