National Travel and Tourism Week Rally Shows Why “Travel Matters” to Bucks County, PA!
Bucks County Conference & Visitors Bureau Brings Together Hospitality Employees Impacted by a Decrease in Tourism Business
(Bucks County, PA) Highlighted by the tagline “Travel Matters,” the Bucks County Conference & Visitors Bureau (BCCVB) will kick off National Travel and Tourism Week with a rally at Sesame Place in Langhorne on Tuesday, May 12th at 10am to show firsthand how travel benefits Bucks County. BCCVB and the industry’s workers are uniting to raise awareness that “Travel Matters”!
Bucks County Commissioners and Congressional Rep. Patrick Murphy are scheduled to speak and show their full support to a crowd full of travel industry employees from throughout Bucks County. The rally will take place with the County’s newest and largest attraction, The Count’s Splash Castle at Sesame Place, as its backdrop.
“Travel and tourism plays a major role in Bucks County’s economy, as it is the 2nd largest industry in the state.” said Jerry Lepping, Executive Director of the Bucks County Conference & Visitors Bureau. “Our community relies on travel for tax revenue and jobs and the benefits these bring to our economy. With the May 12th event we hope to raise awareness and showcase why travel matters to Bucks County.”
With business, meetings and event travel facing steep declines across America, nationwide events throughout National Travel and Tourism Week, which begins May 11th, will emphasize the economic benefits travel and tourism brings to local workers and communities and demonstrate the importance of travel. This event is part of a larger effort led by the U.S. Travel Association with rallies in dozens of cities nationwide.
In Bucks County, the travel industry directly employs approximately 17,000 people and contributes over $1.2 billion to the economy. Travel industry employees include everyone from hotel employees and restaurant workers to transportation workers and meetings planners who serve visitors to Bucks County. In 2007, the Bucks County tourism industry contributed $304 million to state, federal and local tax revenue. Over the past few months, Bucks County has reported a decrease of about 10% in hotel occupancy, however, Bucks County is cautiously optimistic that a strong summer season will prevail with a main goal to maintain levels that we have in previous years.
Travel and tourism is one of America’s largest industries, with $740 billion in direct travel expenditures by domestic and international travelers. The industry also represents one of America’s largest employers with 7.7 million direct travel-generated jobs and $189 billion in travel-generated payroll. However, according to U.S. Labor Department data, the U.S. Travel Association reported a loss of nearly 200,000 travel related jobs in 2008 and predicts a loss of an additional 247,000 travel-generated jobs in 2009.
“Locally, travel funds some of our most essential public services like education and law enforcement,” said Bucks County Commissioner Charlie Martin “It’s important for people to understand the key role travel can play in helping to solve our economic challenges on both the local and national level.”
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Michelle Greco, Public Relations Manager
Bucks County Conference & Visitors Bureau
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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.