PA Tourism supporters filled the Capitol on Tuesday, March 15 to recognize the importance of Pennsylvania’s second largest industry. The event came one week after Governor Corbett unveiled his 2011-2012 Budget, which includes a 70% reduction in state funding for tourism marketing and promotion.

During the rally, speakers shared their personal stories about the impact of Pennsylvania tourism on their businesses and careers, including Nancy Noll, owner of The Queen, a Victorian Bed and Breakfast in Bellefonte, Artie Tafoya, Director of Operations at Appalachian Brewing Co. in Harrisburg, Donna Harris, a Travel & Lodging instructor at Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School, and Dwayne Jones, Banquet Manager at the Hilton, Harrisburg.

PA Tourism Day also featured a variety of costumed characters from attractions throughout the state including Mr. Hershey’s Bar, Miss Reese’s and the Hershey’s Kiss from the Sweetest Place On Earth, Kosmo from Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, Buddy Bear from DelGrosso’s Amusement Park, Elmo and Cookie Monster from Sesame Place, Rascal from the Harrisburg Senators, Screwball from the Reading Phillies and Steamer from the Altoona Curve, in addition to Civil War interpreters from Gettysburg. About a half dozen artists representing the Village Artisans Gallery in Boiling Springs demonstrated their craft and displayed their works of art in the Capitol’s East Rotunda.

Tourism Day was part of a three-day industry summit held at the Hilton Harrisburg. Prior to the rally and exposition at the Capitol, hundreds of industry professionals paraded from The Hilton, led by the Cedar Cliff High School Color Guard. The PA Tourism Summit kicked off on Monday, March 14 with an opening address by First Lady Susan Corbett, who referred to herself as Pennsylvania’s “First Tourist.”

Pennsylvania tourism accounts for more than 400,000 jobs or nearly seven percent of all individuals employed in the state. In 2009 the industry generated $32.9 billion in economic impact to Pennsylvania, which equates to $3.4 billion in state and local tax revenues.

Click here for a Gallery of Photos from the event.

Click here for a Local News Coverage (video) of the event

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White House Touts Tourism

October 6, 2010 | Category: Tourism | Leave a Comment

Larry Summers – President’s Export Council from U.S. Travel on Vimeo.

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The state’s harsh financial climate has killed the Pure Michigan advertising campaign for the fall and makes prospects bleak for whether the successful tourist promotion will return.

The office behind the Pure Michigan commercials, including the popular summer ad featuring the voice of Michiganian actor Tim Allen, was cut to $17 million this year from $28 million in 2009, forcing it to freeze the fall promotion despite a robust summer tourism season…

From The Detroit News:

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In April, a “Pennsylvania Roundtable” was assembled, comprising leadership of the Pennsylvania Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (PACVB), Pennsylvania Tourism and Lodging Association (PTLA) and Pennsylvania Restaurant Association (PRA). On September 14th, Rob Fulton representing the Pennsylvania Roundtable, along with Deputy Secretary Mickey Rowley and Chris Barrett with the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau. Click to download the testimony from Rob Fulton, Mickey Rowley or Chris Barrett.


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PA Tourism = 495,000 Jobs

July 21, 2010 | Category: Tourism | Leave a Comment

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Faces & Places of Tourism

June 23, 2010 | Category: Tourism | Leave a Comment

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From the Central Penn Business Journal
by CPBJ Staff

The tourism industry, like most other industries in Central Pennsylvania, has suffered in the recession’s icy grip. But as the thaw toward recovery continues, a new threat has emerged: cuts in state tourism funding.
In preparing his final fiscal budget proposal, Gov. Ed Rendell is calling for state tourism promotion funding cuts to a level that’s 65 percent lower than 2008-09.

The tourism industry ranks second in the commonwealth, and Pennsylvania is the fourth-most visited state in the country, according to state industry tourism representatives. The industry generates more than $10 billion in wages and benefits each year and benefits 400,000 employees.

To say it’s not a valuable component of our economy would be a mistake.

There’s no doubt that in tough economic times, everyone must make sacrifices. PA Tourism, which comprises 49 tourism promotion agencies representing all 67 counties of the commonwealth, is asking the governor to restore tourism funding to $24 million for the next fiscal year. The number represents a 20 percent reduction from 2008-09 but is considerably higher than the $11.25 million on Rendell’s drawing board.

The group’s request might seem excessive, especially considering the scores of critical programs vying for the same state dollars. But consider this: Every dollar pumped into tourism yields at least $25 in tax revenue from visitor spending, according to PA Tourism, and that yield helps pay for education and social programs.

State funding helps tourism officials promote and market the region and develop and improve venues. Therefore, it’s important to continue attracting visitors to this region and to the venues among the Dutch Country Roads’ lifeblood — Hersheypark, Lancaster’s Sight & Sound Theatres and Dutch Wonderland, minor league ballparks, wineries, outdoor recreational facilities, the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and many of the smaller attractions scattered between Lebanon and Gettysburg and Lancaster and western Cumberland County.

As the budget negotiations continue, we encourage our legislators to think hard about changing state pensions, benefits and retirement ages to create a more affordable government rather than skinning the backs of industries — such as tourism — that ultimately fund important programs.

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From the Altoona Mirror

Local tourism officials gathered Tuesday at Lakemont Park as part of a Travel Rally Day.

The event, held in conjunction with the 27th annual National Travel and Tourism Week, was designed to create an appreciation for travel and tourism’s impact on the economy and the workers whose jobs depend on travel.

Hosted by the Alleghenies Tourism Council, the local rally, which organizers hope will be an annual event, was one of numerous held nationwide.

Tourism is the second-largest industry in Pennsylvania behind agriculture but has recently been hit with funding cuts.

For example, Pennsylvania tourism funding fell from $32 million in 2009 to $14.2 million in the 2010 budget, according to the Pennsylvania Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

“Since 2008, Pennsylvania’s tourism funding has been reduced by 65 percent. That is a false solution to the budget shortfall. Tourism means business in Pennsylvania,” said Rob Fulton, PACVB president. “In 2007, travelers spent $28 billion in Pennsylvania, that means dollars coming into our economy.”

Those involved with tourism locally said tourism funding needs to be increased, not decreased.

Read the entire article here >

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LOGAN TOWNSHIP, BLAIR COUNTY – Tuesday was not the best opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors of Pennsylvania, but some lawmakers and folks in our area want to make sure tourism stays a state priority.

Local politicians, business leaders and tourism groups held an outside rally because of National Travel Rally Day.  Since tourism is the second leading industry in Pennsylvania, folks had a lot to say about it.

When you think of local tourist attractions, do you ever think barbecue?

“People think barbecue is more or less slapping some sauce on something, but there is a lot more to it, and we’re hoping to get the word out,” Brian Nevel of Huntingdon County said.

Nevel makes custom grills out of Huntingdon County.  He uses local fairs, festivals and tourist attractions to promote the business, but the economy is making those events take a hit.

Read the entire article here >

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From the Williamsport Sun-Gazette

BRADFORD – Some of the people who work closest with the Pennsylvania Wilds initiative vouched Thursday for the positive benefit the program has had on the 12-county tourism region it serves.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary John Quigley said more Growing Greener money is needed to keep improvements coming.

The state already has invested $126 million the last 8 years to improve park and forest infrastructure through the Growing Greener II program.

An additional $22 million has benefited recreation through DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program, according to Quigley.

A wide scope of amenities have flourished through the two programs, including campsites, trails, parks, rivers and other offerings enjoyed by visitors.

“Growing Greener II expires at the end of this year and there’s no replacement,” Quigley said. “We need a Growing Greener III.”

Read the entire article here >

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From the Uniontown Herald-Standard

Members of the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau staff recently traveled to Harrisburg to impress upon state officials the importance of the tourism industry in this region.

Marketing manager Kristin Ecker, and Christina Dorko, marketing and public relations assistant, represented the bureau at a rally and expo in Harrisburg on Thursday to support Pennsylvania Tourism Day, an event held every spring.

“It was to stress the importance and raise awareness of tourism and the economic impact it has on the state,” said Ecker.

“It’s a great way to get everyone excited and to reinforce why tourism is important to the economy of Pennsylvania,” said Dorko.

The rally included speakers who talked about the broad impact of tourism on the economy.

Read the entire article here >

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