Tax-Free Philly

PHILADELPHIA, PA …January 24, 2012…With the U.S. still a great value for international travelers, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB) has created a new website to showcase the value of tax-free shopping on shoes and clothing in the Philadelphia region. The entire site,, officially launched today and features travel deals and shopping details translated and specifically for Philadelphia’s top visiting international travelers – U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil and the Netherlands.

“Everyone is looking for a bargain these days,” said Jack Ferguson, president and CEO, PCVB. “Our website is a great added feature to promote Philadelphia as a premier shopping destination to international travelers by showing visitors how much they can save. Plus, it’s easy for them to compare different tour operator packages all in one place and then book their trip.”

All versions of the consumer website contain news and facts about shopping in the Philadelphia region as well as up-to-date travel packages. These packages, which consumers can click and purchase directly from the site, list hotel and airline deals from each country’s major tour operators. In addition to the continuously updated packages, every month on, new “hot deals” are listed showing everything from cost comparisons on name brand items, which are often significantly lower in Philadelphia, to enter-to-win shopping vouchers. Visitors to the site can also use the interactive map to plot out where they will shop from the list of 200+ boutiques, specialty-items, brand name and department stores listed on the site.  

As an extra bonus, the site is supported by three Shopping Ambassadors who are currently living in Philadelphia, but are originally from outside of the United States. Elena- from the U.K., Audrey- from France, and Jessica- from Brazil, are getting the scoop on the shopping deals and retail-happenings throughout the Philadelphia region and blogging, tweeting, posting on Facebook, and creating and posting videos on their own unique YouTube channels. All information posted is in their native language.

“The Shopping Ambassadors are the authentic voice that we know consumers want advice from,” said Kathleen Titus, executive director of tourism, PCVB. “Users are going to love shopping through all of the tour operator packages available on our site. No more visiting every tour operator’s page to find the best deal for them – just shop, click and purchase. Then they can follow their shopping ambassador’s posts to know where the deals and activities will be before they arrive in Philadelphia!”

The website also links to the PCVB’s international language-specific pages at, which features information about dining, attractions, accommodations, nightlife, and more. The PCVB’s international websites (U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Brazil) have more original translated content than any other destination in the U.S.

To drive people to, the PCVB is advertising in targeted international consumer and trade publications and is promoting the site through its tour operator clients, magazine promotions, and public relations. Since 2001, the PCVB has successfully marketed and sold Philadelphia to potential international travelers resulting in moving our City to the 13th-most visited American city in 2010, up from 21st in 2000.

The first contest on the site is from Philadelphia Premium Outlets. Anyone outside of the U.S. can enter-to-win a $500 Shopping Spree for use in any of the 170 stores located within the outlet. The winner will be selected at random the first week of February 2012. At that time a new major shopping contest will be announced.


The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB), 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 convention and tourism business. The organization has departments dedicated to the multicultural, sports, and life sciences markets.

Reporter’s Note: All three shopping ambassadors are available for interviews, including broadcast.



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