New initiative aims to bring more meetings, groups and sports tournaments to Bucks County

Bucks County, PA - Visit Bucks County (VBC), the official tourism promotion agency, recently launched a new initiative, Bring Home the Business, to encourage locals to help the tourism office bring more meetings, group tours and sports tournaments to the area. The primary goal of the program is to educate Bucks County residents and the business community about the economic impact these types of events have on the area's economy.

Through Bring Home the Business, locals can get involved by helping the tourism office's sales team identify and connect with appropriate organizations, as well as tournament and meeting organizers. From there, Visit Bucks County does the heavy lifting to put in a bid for potential business opportunities.

"Nearly everyone in the area is connected to a professional association, sport or social club that needs venues for meetings, tournaments or group outings," said Jerry Lepping, executive director for Visit Bucks County. "Visitor spending in Bucks County generates more than $877 million in economic impact and supports more than 11,600 jobs. We want to inspire passionate locals to help us bring these events, large or small, home so Bucks County can continue to thrive."

On a national level, the U.S. Travel Association recently launched a new "Meetings Mean Business" campaign to highlight the impact of meeting and events on destinations around the country. According to a recent PwC study, the meetings industry contributed more than $280 billion to the economy in 2012.

Once a meeting, conference, group or sport tournament has made the decision to host their event in Bucks County, the tourism office's sales team provides complimentary services to ensure a seamless planning process, including:

• Recommending venues and services needed for the event

• Assisting with coordinating hotel room blocks

• Serving as liaison with local municipalities

• Providing welcome packets and Destination Maps

• Announcing and welcoming groups through public relations and social media efforts

The tourism office recognizes those who help bring meetings, events and sports tournaments to the area through a special "Destinations Champions" page on VisitBucksCounty.com.

"Although many counties throughout the state had contacted me to host the Pennsylvania Prothonotaries' and Clerks of Courts' Association (PAPCCA) Annual Conference, my own County of Bucks was indeed my first priority," said Mary Smithson, a Washington Crossing resident and the driving force behind bringing this 150-person meeting to Bucks County in 2015. "Next July will prove beyond a doubt that Bucks County is a place which not only ensures artistic culture, but is also rich in history and beautiful scenery." Smithson's story, along with several other Destination Champions, are featured on Visit Bucks County's website.

For more information about Bring Home the Business, please check out VisitBucksCounty.com/BringHomeBusiness.

*Interviews with Visit Bucks County spokespeople and Destination Champions available upon request.

Contact: Jessica Lawlor
Communications Manager
Visit Bucks County
215 639 0300 x 227
jessical@visitbuckscounty.com

About Visit Bucks County

Visit Bucks County (VBC) is the official tourism promotion agency for Bucks County. The tourism office, with more than 450 tourism/hospitality partners throughout Bucks County, promotes all there is to see and do to potential visitors and residents. In addition to consumer travel, Visit Bucks County targets sports tournaments, motorcoach groups, meetings, special events and weddings. For more information on VBC activities call
1-800-836-BUCKS, visit VisitBucksCounty.Com or stop by the Bucks County Visitor Center located at 3207 Street Road in Bensalem (adjacent to the entrance to PARX Casino). 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.