Are there any branding experiences you had at Visit Philadelphia that could translate to success with the CPCVB?
Visit Philadelphia is a hot bed of innovation in the destination marketing industry with a talented staff to challenge you. The important takeaways I learned there include winning over the local population as they’re our best ambassadors, creating content, finding your brand message and reinforcing that brand on all channels consistently, and keeping it simple. We went from Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing to Visit Philadelphia. The former is a mouthful to say and people’s eyes glaze over. Change the name to fit the mission—what we want people to do—makes a lot of sense.
What makes Pennsylvania an international tourism destination?
You have two significant gateway cities with airports that people from overseas can get to, including a lot of direct flights. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are both great cities with the amenities of big cities, great restaurants, walkability, history, art and cultural institutions, and professional and collegiate sports. In the rest of the state, including State College, Bellefonte and Centre County as a whole, you have beautiful outdoor scenery and recreational opportunity—great fishing, hiking and biking trails. No sales tax on clothing, which is a big deal. Our Eastern Seaboard location also makes it easy combine Pennsylvania with popular destinations like New York City and D.C. What international travelers get in the interior of Pennsylvania is authentic ‘small-town’ America with welcoming folks, charming bed and breakfasts, antique shops, and great local restaurants. It’s a very authentic American experience.