ESI was commissioned by Global Philadelphia to determine the economic Impact of Philadelphia becoming a World Heritage City. If marketed properly, the World Heritage City designation could increase foreign visitation by 10 percent to 15 percent – meaning 60,000 to 100,000 more visitors annually from the current 600,000 to 800,000. These visitors would generate approximately $150 million per year in expanded economic activity.
In an article that mentioned ESI, the Philadelphia Business Journal described World Heritage as a recognized global brand, known for its track record of increasing leisure and business travel to a particular city. The title of World Heritage City makes Philadelphia 1 of 269 cities world wide, and the first and only city in the U.S. with this honor.