Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHL CVB) President & CEO Julie Coker Graham has announced the appointment of Svetlana Yazovskikh to the position of executive director of tourism.
Svetlana has worked at the PHLCVB since 2008, most recently as the senior international tourism manager where she oversaw sales and market activities for the PHLCVB’s key overseas visitor markets. In her new role she will lead the tourism team in raising Philadelphia’s profile as a global destination for overseas international leisure travel as well as domestic group travel, and will report directly to Coker Graham.
“I am extremely pleased that Svetlana has accepted our offer to lead the PHLCVB’s tourism team. Her commitment to Philadelphia and our customers is unmatched”, said Coker Graham. “As we look to attract even more international visitors, her expertise will be critical in growing Philadelphia’s presence on the world stage.”
Svetlana began her career as a media relations consultant and joined the PHLCVB in 2008 as the international tourism manager, where she managed sales and marketing initiatives for the organization’s most mature markets. She has partnered with other east coast destinations, led international sales missions, worked with local tourism partners and attended hundreds of tourism industry tradeshows over the course of her career, in support of growing overseas international visitation to Philadelphia.
“I am honored to be assuming this position at such an exciting time for our city. Philadelphia has hosted two global events - a Papal visit and the DNC - that drew media from all around the world, we were designated a World Heritage City and most recently we were named one of the Best Places to Travel in 2017 by Travel + Leisure”; said Yazovskikh. “I look forward to leveraging all of this positive acclaim for our city to bring even more visitors to Philadelphia in the coming years.” In addition to overseeing the tourism team, Svetlana will direct the activity of seven representation offices the PHLCVB contracts in China, Denmark, India, Italy, France, Germany and the UK that cover 15 markets. She will also manage the PHLCVB’s strategic partnerships and cooperative programs with organizations like Brand USA, Expedia and ESPN International, which allow the organization to expand its global marketing reach. Another partner she will support is the Philadelphia International Airport, on initiatives to attract even more travelers to Philadelphia.
“We congratulate Svetlana on her new role with the PHLCVB and are excited to work with her on our shared goals of bringing more international visitors to Philadelphia”; said Airport CEO Chellie Cameron. “With the launch of Icelandair service direct from Reykjavik to PHL in May there is great opportunity to make Philadelphia a top gateway for travel from Scandinavia and more than 25 European cities, and we will be working hand-in- hand with Svetlana to spread that message.”
In 2015, 638,300 overseas visitors traveled to Philadelphia, with the top five source markets being the U.K., Germany, China, India and France. Philadelphia’s emerging markets of China, Australia, and India saw the most year over year growth and contributed to a significant increase in visitation from the Asia Pacific region. These overseas visitors generated $982 million in economic impact for the region.