Founded in 2010, the Global Philadelphia Association boasts over 150 members and a board of directors comprised of more than 30 of Philadelphia's most internationally-minded representatives and organizations, including World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia President Linda Mysliwy Conlin. GPA's mission is to assist--and encourage greater interaction among--the many organizations and people who are engaged in international activity within the Greater Philadelphia region; promote the development of an international consciousness within the region; and enhance the region's global profile.
Toast to World Heritage PHL
My congratulations to Mayor Nutter and John Smith and his leadership team from the Global Philadelphia Association on Philadelphia becoming the Nation’s First World Heritage City. As a global business organization, we understand how this recognition also opens doors to building important commercial ties with countries around the world.
Linda Mysliwy Conlin
President, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia
World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia celebrated with the GPA and the City of Philadelphia delegation at the Toast to World Heritage PHL ceremony, held at the Independence Visitor Center on November 11, 2015.
"Today marks the start of a new and exciting chapter in the history of Philadelphia, which is proud to become the first World Heritage City in the United States," said Mayor Nutter. "As a World Heritage City, Philadelphia is being officially recognized on the global stage for its wealth of contributions to the world as the epicenter of American democracy and for its enduring commitment to preserving the unique historical and cultural assets in our diverse community. As we celebrate this milestone, the next step is to focus on the future and how we can optimize this World Heritage City recognition to attract more people to visit, invest, work, study and live in Philadelphia."
Every World Heritage City must have a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) site, recognized for its outstanding, universal value. Philadelphia is the home of Independence Hall, where America's Founding Fathers forged democratic ideals into the Declaration of Independence and changed the course of history to give birth to a nation in 1776. It is also where the United States Constitution was written and signed. Independence Hall became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.
"I am thrilled to welcome Philadelphia into the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Over the last two years, Philadelphia has made an excellent case and is very deserving of becoming the first U.S. City to become a full member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities," said Denis Ricard, Secretary General of the Organization of World Heritage Cities.
This prized status recognizes Philadelphia’s unique history and will unlock opportunities for the entire region, both domestically and internationally. "This opens new doors of opportunity for Philadelphia while raising awareness of the City's importance in today's highly competitive global arena," said John F. Smith III, board chair of the GPA.
GPA commissioned Econsult Solutions, Inc. to determine the economic impact of Philadelphia becoming a World Heritage City. According to the report, the World Heritage City designation could increase foreign visitation by 10 percent to 15 percent--an increase of 60,000 to 100,000 more visitors annually from the current 600,000 to 800,000--generating about $150 million per year in expanded economic activity. It has also been estimated that domestic tourism could increase by 1 percent to 2 percent, generating an additional $100 to $200 million in economic impact.
Join the celebration and discussion on social media with #PhillyLovesWHC
World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia looks forward to continued partnership with GPA in building upon the WHC distinction and OWHC membership to forge the next era of culture, commerce, and global community.