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Human Interest Feature: Philadelphia – A World Class City

By: Casey Herm, Junior, Temple University, and BABC Coordinator

As the first capital of the United States and the birthplace of independence, Philadelphia is a must see location for tourists and American history buffs alike. In more recent years, the City of Brotherly Love has also become an international destination. Philadelphia, the 5th largest city in the United States, has become the 13th most internationally visited city in America. This is not hard to believe when the City has the 6th largest mass transit system in the US, over 1,000 round-trip flights daily out of Philadelphia International Airport and an astounding 16,726 hotel rooms across 69 different properties. Philadelphia’s allure to tourists is undeniable with the many museums, exhibitions, shopping and dining options. The City is also a hub for business travel. With major conventions such as BIO2015, The World Meeting of Families, and the upcoming Democratic National Convention (DNC) in July 2016, mass amounts of travelers from far and wide will be experiencing a taste of Philly. The international presence in the region is perfectly timed with the British American Business Council (BABC) of Greater Philadelphia’s 25th Anniversary. In all areas, business, leisure, and politics, Philadelphia is ever present on the world stage.

One of the largest international conventions to hit Philadelphia thus far has been BIO2015. This convention focused on BIO programs and initiatives that have a common vision, to “better the world through biotechnology innovation.” Philadelphia was a prime location for the BIO convention since 80 percent of the United States’ pharmaceutical industry is headquartered in the tristate area of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The convention held June 15 – 18, 2015, drew nearly 20,000 guests from more than 65 countries. The United Kingdom was one of the top 15 international delegations among India and China. The BABC of Greater Philadelphia was happy to strengthen relations with the UK pharmaceutical community at a BIO Reception and Dinner with AstraZeneca and UK Trade and Investment. This summer, Philadelphia also hosted the 106th annual NAACP Convention. The City of Brotherly Love was the perfect location for the conference whose theme was “Pursuing Liberty in the Face of Injustice.”

The numerous conventions held this past summer were just the beginning of various major events to hit Philadelphia. In a few short weeks international travelers from far and wide will be making their way to the City for the much talked about World Meeting of Families and proceeding Papal visit. This event, which only takes place once every three years, brought 350,000 people to the Festival of the Families and an estimated one million people to the Papal Mass during the 2012 World Meeting. Philadelphia will now be listed among the largest cities in the world such as Milan, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro as being one of the few thus far selected to hold such a momentous occasion. Shortly following the visit of the Pope is the arrival of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. On October 26th His Holiness will be receiving the 2015 Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center, after which he will give two public forums: “Cherishing Others: Eight Verses for Training the Mind” at Lasalle University on October 26th, and “Finding Happiness in Troubled Times: Educating the Heart in the 21st Century” at Temple University on October 27th. The winter months in the City will be spent gearing up for the DNC, which will be held the week of July 25, 2016. The DNC will bring many to the City including President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and frontrunners for the nomination, delegates, family, and media.

The international presence in Philadelphia does not stop with conventions. Philadelphia is thriving with museums, restaurants, shopping and entertainment for all. British culture will be featured in Philadelphia when the work of world renowned British author Lewis Carroll is highlighted in the must see exhibition this fall, “Down the Rabbit Hole” at the Rosenbach, which celebrates 150 years of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This exhibition runs from October 14 – March 27 and features interactive events such as “Croquet in Wonderland” in Dilworth Park, human chess, and reading groups, as well as a three-part exhibit. The Rosenbach will also temporarily house the original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland manuscript from October 14 – 18, which temporarily left its permanent home at the British Library in London to be on display at The Morgan in New York City and The Rosenbach in Philadelphia.

British presence in the tristate area does not stop short with temporary exhibits. Restaurants such at The Dandelion and The Victoria Freehouse in Center City Philadelphia, The British Chip Shop in Haddonfield, New Jersey and Stoney’s British Pub in Wilmington, Delaware feature menus and atmospheres that would make any Brit feel at home.

The recognition of Philadelphia as an international destination is due in large part to the Honorable Mayor Michael A. Nutter. Under Mayor Nutter’s wing the international business community has thrived. Greater Philadelphia is the 5th largest labor force among the nation’s largest metropolitan areas with over 766 foreign-owned companies from 39 countries that have an office or facility in the region. Elected in 2007, Mayor Nutter remained strong in leading the City of Philadelphia through the trying times of the economic crisis. While Mayor Nutter’s tenure concludes at the end of this calendar year, and he will be departing as Mayor, the influence he has had on the City will remain as the region continues to thrive. The BABC of Greater Philadelphia will Salute Mayor Nutter at the Annual Holiday Luncheon on December 10th to recognize everything he has done to make Philadelphia a world class City. Click here to register.

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The BABCPHL recognizes our Club Level Members:

  • Almac
  • American Airlines
  • Cigna
  • Cigna
  • Deloitte
  • Duane Morris
  • EisnerAmper LLP
  • Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Fisher Phillips
  • HSBC
  • International Products Corporation
  • Johnson, Kendall & Johnson, Inc.
  • KPMG
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Welsh Government