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Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau Delivers Healthy Return-on-Investment
in the Past 12 Months, Books 768,000 Hotel Room Nights for Future Years


PHILADELPHIA - July 24, 2008 - The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB) released its Annual Report and Business Plan today to 400 members, reflecting accomplishments in FY2008 (including the largest percentage increase of international visitors for any major U.S. city at 27 percent and $1.2 billion in future conventions), and unveiled targeted strategies during challenging economic times to draw: more short-term meetings and events that fill hotels; long-term conventions into the Pennsylvania Convention Center expansion; and even more international visitors to Philadelphia. 

ANNUAL REPORT 

The PCVB delivered a healthy return-on-investment for Philadelphia in the past 12 months, giving a boost to the region’s economy. 

“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,” said PCVB President Tom Muldoon. “Internationally, we took advantage of a weakened dollar and, through targeted marketing efforts, reached an all-time high of 550,000 visitors in 2007; the highest increase of major cities in the nation at 27 percent.” 

Of the 768,000 room nights, 533,000 are related to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, of which 330,000 are in need of an expanded Convention Center. 

In addition to robust convention and international results noted above, the Philadelphia Sports Congress, a division of the PCVB, continued to build on the Philadelphia 2016 Olympic bid and position Philadelphia as an international and Olympic sports destination city. The Sports Congress, with many regional partners, hosted the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Table Tennis and Gymnastics, generating more than $20 million in economic impact for Philadelphia. 

In Center City, group tour room nights increased by 14 percent from year to year. The PCVB also went on 1,000 sales calls, generated 1,000 stories on Philadelphia, sent members more than 1,600 business leads, and represented Philadelphia at 400 industry tradeshows and events. 

BUSINESS PLAN 

“As you will see in this year’s Business Plan, the PCVB has five key priorities to grow Philadelphia’s bustling hospitality industry and position Philadelphia in a global marketplace,” said Muldoon. “We want to grow Conventions, International and Group Tourism, Life Sciences Meetings, Multicultural Visitation, and National and International Sporting Events.” 

The PCVB has aggressive goals for the coming year, including supporting the new Hospitality Industry Promotional tax. Enabling legislation passed in the State earlier this month, and it will now be considered by Philadelphia City Council. A portion of the generated funds would be used by the PCVB for robust marketing of the Pennsylvania Convention Center expansion. 

An immediate goal for the PCVB, in partnership with the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, is to extend its Bring It Home! campaign to encourage regional businesses to hold meetings and conventions in their own backyard instead of going elsewhere. The PCVB will also have a sharpened focus on the Northeast corridor feeder market, including direct sales calls and missions with member hotels and Macy’s department store. This is in addition to continuing to book conventions into the expanding Pennsylvania Convention Center with a new sales and marketing campaign launching in collaboration with the Convention Center Authority. 

In the group travel market, the PCVB will focus its efforts on voluntourism, the growing trend of volunteering in a destination when groups travel. 

The PCVB’s Greater Philadelphia Life Sciences Congress will work with its powerhouse board to brand Philadelphia as “America’s Life Sciences meetings destination,” building on Philadelphia’s largest market segment (50% of all conventions held in Philadelphia). 

For the PCVB’s Multicultural Affairs Congress (MAC), the focus will be on promoting and attracting more multicultural conventions and visitors, as well as building on the family reunion segment. MAC will launch www.phillyfamilyreunion.com, the first family reunion Web site for any destination that encourages families to share their ideas with one another. 

The Philadelphia Sports Congress is gearing up to welcome home the 81st Army/Navy Game, December 6, as well as bidding on additional Olympic Trials events for 2010. 

The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB), www.PhiladelphiaUSA.travel, a private non-profit membership corporation, is the official Tourism Promotion Agency for the City of Philadelphia, and the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The PCVB competes with its counterparts worldwide for conventions and tourism business. The organization has departments dedicated to the multicultural, sports, and life sciences markets. 

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Contact:
 
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB)
Liz Sullivan, 215-636-3412
lizs@pcvb.org 
 
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Also See: Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau Details the Largest Booked Meetings and Conventions Occurring at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in 2007 / January 2007
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