HomeBensalem TimesWolf announces investment to boost tourism industry

Wolf announces investment to boost tourism industry

The commonwealth will receive a $17 million grant

Source: Office of Gov. Tom Wolf

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that the commonwealth will receive a $17 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration to buoy the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors as part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the commonwealth to make transformative investments that will have a lasting impact on the travel and tourism industry now and for decades to come,” said Wolf. “We know through research that inviting those to travel to and around Pennsylvania through tourism marketing and advertising in the short term will be the shot in the arm this industry so desperately needs.”

After consulting with tourism partners across the state and colleagues around the nation, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office at the Department of Community and Economic Development will invest the $17,086,197 in the following ways:

– $10 million to increase the PA Tourism Cooperative Marketing Advertising Program in 2022 and 2023 to create advertising opportunities for destination marketing organizations and industry associations by matching or possibly doubling their investment
– Invest $6.8 million in new initiatives that will promote diversity, equity and inclusion in marketing, messaging and product development to capture greater market share, and in the approach to how travelers are welcomed to the commonwealth
– $250,000 will support the Outdoor Recreation Concierge Program via the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to train frontline workers and volunteers aimed at promoting the outdoor experiences of a region, with an emphasis on underutilized, hidden natural gems

“While the advertising investment will produce results in real time, boosting our tourism economy, creating jobs and generating millions of additional tax dollars, we intend for our DEI efforts to be transformative for generations to come,” said Carrie Fischer Lepore, deputy secretary, Office of Marketing, Tourism and Film at DCED. “Drawing new visitors to Pennsylvania and ensuring they feel welcome and that they belong will not just grow the tourism economy, but influence people’s perception of Pennsylvania as a destination to visit, a place to grow a business, a community to call home, and a state to feel proud of.”

Lepore outlined the DEI investment:

– $1 million to create a groundbreaking industry training program for frontline workers and tourism industry leadership that ensures every traveler, regardless of race, gender, age, ability and background, feels welcome, respected and included when visiting Pennsylvania
– $500,000 to develop a new statewide tourism product to provide more diverse and inclusive experiences to travelers
– $1.5 million for tourism partner product development grants
– $3.8 million to develop new marketing campaigns to reach a more diverse and inclusive travel consumer; this would be done through contracting with agencies owned or led by those from various diverse communities

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