VISIT BUCKS COUNTY: TOURISM DRIVES LOCAL ECONOMY
Visitor Spending Generates $814 Million in Local Economic Impact, Supports 11,000 Jobs
BUCKS COUNTY, PA – With tourism ranked as Pennsylvania’s second largest industry and an $814 million economic driver for Bucks County, Visit Bucks County, the official tourist promotion agency for Bucks County, Pa., says its efforts have a direct impact on the entire county’s revenue.
With a team of nine full-time staff and nearly 20 part-time Visitor Information Specialists, Visit Bucks County works to increase visitation in the county by effectively marketing its heritage and its diverse shops, restaurants, lodging and attractions. Visit Bucks County Executive Director Jerry Lepping points to statistics from the Tourism Economics Report, an analysis of the effect visitor spending has on employment, saying the organization’s hard work pays off.
“Visitor spending in Bucks County generates $814 million in local economic impact and an additional $111 million in federal, state and local taxes,” said Lepping. “It also supports more than 11,000 jobs annually, translating to 5 percent of all jobs in the county. Needless to say, our efforts truly make a difference.”
Travel and tourism isn’t just a key economic driver for the county but the entire country as well. According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel and tourism generated $1.8 trillion in economic impact, directly created $118 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments and supported 14 million jobs across the United States in 2010. In fact, each household would pay $1,000 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by the travel and tourism industry.
Unfortunately, Visit Bucks County reports that due to state budget cuts, funding this fiscal period was cut to zero when just five years ago the tourism agency for Bucks County received nearly $300,000 from the state of Pennsylvania. Lepping says the funding cut affects not only Visit Bucks County but the bed and breakfasts, restaurants, wineries and other businesses across the county as well.
“Visit Bucks County works to promote the area and increase visitation through strategic sales and marketing campaigns targeting consumers as well as tour, meeting and tournament sport facilitators,” said Lepping. “The positive traffic and sales our partners have experienced during the past few years are a true testament to the value our organization brings to the area.”
Sesame Place President, Bob Caruso, says the family theme park has benefitted greatly from its partnership with Visit Bucks County and has seen positive results. “As a member of the Visit Bucks County Board of Directors, I have seen firsthand how public and private partnerships have benefited tourism in Bucks County,” said Caruso. “By bringing together lodging facilities, restaurants, museums and attractions like Sesame Place, we have been able to reach key markets such as New York City, raising awareness of Bucks County as a vacation destination and driving visitation.”
In addition to public relations and marketing support, Visit Bucks County’s partners receive an array of benefits including a listing in the Official Bucks County Destination Guide, listing on VisitBucksCounty.com, brochure distribution and referrals from four Bucks County Visitor Centers, meeting, event and group tour leads, promotion through Visit Bucks County’s numerous social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Flickr, Foodspotting and YouTube, and much more.
Visit Bucks County will be presenting the State of the Tourism Industry and 2012 initiatives at the Tourism Office’s Annual Meeting on Friday October 21, 2011 at PARX East in Bensalem.
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 www.VisitBucksCounty.com 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.
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Contact: Michelle Greco Falcone
Visit Bucks County