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Philadelphia Ranking As Destination For Foreign Visitors Slips

(Tourists outside the Liberty Bell pavilion on Independence Mall.  File photo by Ed Fischer)

(Tourists outside the Liberty Bell pavilion on Independence Mall. File photo by Ed Fischer)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Philadelphia attracted more foreign visitors last year but still fell in a national ranking of urban destinations.

The latest federal ranking of foreign visits to America’s cities shows some slippage for Philadelphia, down from 11th place to 13th in 2010.

But Jack Ferguson, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the raw number was up 7 percent, to about 633,000 people.

“The ranking can change up or down a little bit because a different city might have more business travelers that come in to it, say, than Philadelphia does,” Ferguson explains. “And business travel has come back, but the visitations we are very, very pleased with.”

Ferguson says attracting foreign tourists is different from domestic because it’s often a big decision on a costly trip when someone is bringing the family over from Europe.

No daytrips from Stuttgart, but Ferguson hopes with more promotional money to get Philly into the top 10.

“So you really have to have a message that pulls them in to why Philadelphia is such a good destination, and certainly when you look at our cultural venues and you look at our historic significance and the role that we played in the whole history of the United States, it pulls people to say, ‘I want to go there.’ “

…even as a side trip from tourism’s 800-pound gorilla, New York.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060