Bucks County Commisioners Vote to Increase Funding for Tourism Promotion and Marketing
Thursday, April 17, 2008 7:08 PM
to the Bucks County Conference and Visitors Bureau
Bensalem, Pa (April 17, 2008) – On Wednesday, April 16, Bucks County Commissioners voted to grant the Bucks County Conference and Visitors Bureau (BCCVB) an extra 1% in hotel taxes to be used towards their expanding marketing efforts and to provide grants for tourism related non-profits. This increase in funding, which goes into affect on May 1, will provide the BCCVB with an extra $800,000 per year to be split equally between marketing efforts and the grant program.
Up until this vote, the BCCVB had been receiving 2% of the hotel tax with the remaining 1% staying with the commissioners to be used for open space preservation. In November of 2007 the commissioners passed a bond issue, reserving $87 million for open spaces over a 10 year period, freeing up the extra 1% hotel tax for the BCCVB.
The BCCVB is currently in the formative stages of creating guidelines for the grant application process which is tentatively set to open on October 1. With this extra 1%, the BCCVB can now provide non-profit tourism related organizations with a marketing budget to build their visibility. Those benefiting from these extra resources will be organizations like the Bucks County Wine Trail or the mule barge in New Hope that was forced to close this year due to lack of funds.
“Not only will the extra half percent for the BCCVB help immensely with our marketing efforts but we will strive to encourage grant applicants to partner with our efforts as much as possible,” said Bill Haas, President of the BCCVB who is the owner of Pen Ryn and Belle Voir Mansions and the exclusive caterer for Sandcastle Winery.
“This extra funding will help us to increase our current advertising efforts particularly in the New York metropolitan area,” said Jerry Lepping, Executive Director of the BCCVB. “It will also allow us to provide much needed financial backing to many small non-profit organizations within the county that otherwise wouldn’t have the resources otherwise.”
The Bucks County Conference & Visitors Bureau, Inc (BCCVB) is the official tourist promotion agency for Bucks County. The mission of the BCCVB is to increase visitation in Bucks County by effectively marketing its heritage and its diverse sites and attractions. . For more information on BCCVB activities call 1-800-836-BUCKS, visit www.VisitBucksCounty.com or stop by the Bucks County Visitor Center located at 3207 Street Road in Bensalem (adjacent to the entrance to Philadelphia Park Racetrack). The Visitor Center is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. It is easily accessible from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Route 1 and Interstate 95.