Visit Bucks County Wins First-Ever Travel + Leisure® Social Media in Travel + Tourism Award (SMITTYS)
Tourism Office’s 2011 UNFORGETAWAYSSM Social Media Campaign Named ‘Best Single Social Media Promotion’ for U.S. Tourism Boards/CVBS

(Bucks County, PA) Visit Bucks County, the official tourism promotion agency for Bucks County, was honored by Travel + Leisure® yesterday in New York City in their first-ever Social Media in Travel + Tourism Awards (SMITTYS). According to a press release distributed by Travel + Leisure on Wednesday, “Visit Bucks County came out on top as the U.S. tourism board with the best single social-media promotion for its social media scavenger hunt.”

Travel + Leisure implemented the SMITTY Awards this year to highlight the companies in the travel and tourism industry that are innovating with social media. The SMITTY Awards winners were selected by a distinguished panel of social media and travel industry experts, including Jonathan Crowley, director of business development for Foursquare and Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel. The panel of judges reviewed hundreds of submissions across three categories, ultimately selecting 28 winners.

“We’re thrilled to have won a Travel + Leisure Social Media in Travel + Tourism award,” said Paul Bencivengo, director of marketing and communications for Visit Bucks County. “It’s an honor to be included in the company of national and international tourism brands such as Walt Disney Company, VisitSweden, Expedia, Jet Blue, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and more. Building on the success of our 2011 social game, we are excited to announce a new and improved 2012 UNFORGETAWAYS campaign, running now until Labor Day.”

Visit Bucks County’s 2011 UNFORGETAWAYS  social gaming campaign utilized Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Foodspotting, Google Places and TripAdvisor to encourage locals and visitors to interact with the tourism office and Bucks County attractions on these platforms. For more details on the UNFORGETAWAYS  social gaming campaign, please click here.

"Pinterest, Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, Instagram, and a myriad of other social media sites have become powerful tools for sharing and recording our travels," said Nancy Novogrod, editor in chief of Travel + Leisure. “The winners of the first-ever SMITTYS are companies that are using social media creatively to enhance the travel experience for their customers and clients.”

Visit Bucks County and the other SMITTY Awards winners will be featured in the Travel + Leisure July 2012 Strategies section “How Social Media Will Change the Way You Travel,” available on newsstands June 22 and in the July digital editions on iPad®, NOOK Color™, and Kindle Fire™.  The winners and their campaigns can currently be seen on Travel + Leisure’s website here.

(Photo Attached): Visit Bucks County and their agency of record, Oxford Communications accepted a
Travel + Leisure Social Media in Travel + Tourism award for their 2011 UNFORGETAWAYSSM  social gaming campaign on June 7 in New York City. From L-R: Christopher Stemborowski, Oxford Communications; Paul Bencivengo, Visit Bucks County; Adam Ruth, Oxford Communications; Westley Hackmann, Oxford Communications, Christopher Manthey, Oxford Communications.

Paul Bencivengo, director of marketing of Visit Bucks County, Nancy Novogrod, editor in chief of Travel + Leisure, Caroline Bean, social media director of Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) and Linda Huss, writer and press room manager of GPTMC at Travel + Leisure’s Social Media in Travel + Tourism awards on June 7 in New York City.

Contact: Michelle Greco Falcone                Jessica Lawlor
               Communications Manager            Communications Coordinator
               Visit Bucks County                       Visit Bucks County
                215 639 0300 x 231                   215 639 0300 x 227

About Visit Bucks County
Visit Bucks County (VBC) is the official tourist promotion agency for Bucks County. The mission of the VBC is to increase visitation in Bucks County by effectively marketing its heritage and its diverse sites and attractions. For more information on VBC activities call 1-800-836-BUCKS, visit or stop by the Bucks County Visitor Center located at 3207 Street Road in Bensalem (adjacent to the entrance to the 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.