City Focus – Philadelphia
Ranked as one of the ‘top 10 coolest US cities to visit in 2018’ by Forbes, Philadelphia continues to excite all those who visit
Gaining up to 10 industry awards in 2017-18, Philadelphia reigns supreme as one of the most popular historic destinations to visit in the US. The birthplace of Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, the vibrant city welcomed over 43mn people in 2017, with 38mn visiting solely for leisure purposes.
Housing a diverse 1.6mn population, composed of 643,763 black residents (41%), 543,137 white residents (35%), as well as Hispanic (14%) and Asian residents (7%), over 319,000 citizens within Philadelphia speak a second language.
Previously renowned for its textiles and ironworks, as well as its shipbuilding, locomotives and strength within the oil, glass, coal and steel sectors, the city has sought to modernize and attract new and upcoming talent in a number of new industries. Witnessing eight years of consistent visitation growth, fully supporting its food and beverage, lodgings, transport, recreational and retail facilities, visitor spend within Greater Philadelphia rose to US$7.1bn in 2017, a 4% rise from $6.8bn in 2016.
Designed by Sir William Penn, central Philadelphia remains famous for its historic sites which celebrate its rich culture and history.
Home to a number of important buildings, such as world-renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, Independence Hall, increasing numbers visit Independence National Historical Park each year to see where the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were both established. Welcoming over 5mn visitors in 2016, The Liberty Bell Center is also an iconic symbol.
Indeed, liberty, freedom, choice and independence are all of significant importance within Philadelphia. Whilst it remains the home to a large African American and Puerto Rican community, as well as European immigrants who settled in the city in the 19th century, it is renowned for its key role within the abolition of slavery and the increased demands for social and economic rights for all citizens. The city’s colonial past is still heavily reflected in its architecture, as well as its artistic flair and, of course, its famous culinary delights, all of which local citizens are immensely proud. From a Philadelphia cheese steak to oyster crackers and desserts, famous indoor market Reading Terminal, the city’s oldest farmers market, provides an array of local dishes which all depict its colorful background.
A construction boom in the 1990s and 2000s led the city’s popularity to steadily rise for both corporate and leisure travellers. Since the late 1990s, Philadelphia has witnessed a 74% increase in total available hotel room nights, with over 1.1mn leisure hotel room nights booked in 2017.
Whilst local buses connect visitors to nearby suburbs, the Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) high-speed rail links the city with wider Pennsylvania and travels underground to reach Camden County and New Jersey. Popular with corporate travellers, for those who are conscious of their carbon footprint, the Delaware River Trail is also utilized by cyclists, and connects to the city’s main waterfront. Additionally, pedestrian walkways also cater towards high volumes of traffic.
The city remains keen to reflect its cultural importance through its lively entertainment scene, topped off with stunning sunsets and communal spaces. Utilized by many of the city’s residents and situated close to Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Race Street Pier is perfect for those who want a scenic spot to relax and hosts a number of local activities. Additionally, famous green spaces, such as Fairmount Park which spans 2,050 acres, and The Navy Yard remain iconic spots.
Responsible for bringing meetings, conventions and overseas visitors to Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Pennsylvania Convention Century Authority (PCCA), and the Regional Visitors Bureau all work to boost corporate figures to the city, hosting over 200 events each year.
For those who wish to study in the city, Philadelphia and its surrounding areas boast some of the most prestigious educational establishments in the US. Popular majors in nursing, finance and marketing continue to dominate, and the University of Pennsylvania remains the largest in the city with over 8,500 graduates per year. However, Temple University and Drexel University are not far behind. Furthermore, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts also remains the oldest art school in the US and receives a high number of applicants each year.
As Philadelphia continues to employ over 678,000 citizens, the local economy is flourishing. Whilst the median household income in the city is relatively stable at $41,449, male workers earn up to $65,993 on average, in comparison to $48,584 for female workers, with an average commute time of 32 minutes.
A recent report has also highlighted that although the most common roles lie within administration, the city employs high numbers within healthcare, health IT and social assistance roles, as well as educational, firefighting, legal and retail services, which all offer high salaries.
Surrounded by world-renowned businesses
Situated in Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania, leading pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen gained $153bn in revenue in 2017, and is set to move to a new headquarters in Conshohocken, Montgomery County, to cater towards its ongoing expansion.
Supporting over a thousand residents, the move will provide a significant boost to the local economy and support local healthcare providers and educational establishments in retaining its position as one of the top employers in Philadelphia.
Listed as a Fortune 500 company, Aramark gained $14bn revenue in 2017 and remains headquartered at the Aramark Tower in Philadelphia. The business has recently announced its decision to sell its Healthcare Technologies (HCT) business for $300mn to TRIMEDX, enabling it to focus solely on its core food, facilities and uniforms businesses.
Campbell Soup Company
Crossing the Benjamin Franklin Bridge from Philadelphia to the company’s historic headquarters in Camden, the Campbell Soup Company has announced that it is set to close its last Canadian factory at the start of the year, bringing its manufacturing completely back into the US. The company remains iconic in the city, and employs up to a thousand workers.
One of the largest telecommunications conglomerates and indeed mist influential companies in the world, Comcast makes its home in Philadelphia. Operating a plethora of digital channels, it operates a number of offices in the US, and has become the main anchor tenant in the city’s the Comcast Center. The company’s subsidiary, Comcast Sports Ventures (Comcast Spectacor) has also recently reached an agreement to introduce 100% renewable energy to Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, home to the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers.
Quaker Chemical Corporation
Maintaining Philadelphia’s position as a leader in a number of process fluids, chemical specialties and technical expertise, Quaker Chemical Corporation has cemented its presence in over 20 countries and 35 locations, with a strong foothold within China, India and Brazil. Located in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, the company supports customers to gain production efficiency, improve product quality and lower ongoing costs through bespoke solutions.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”