HomeBensalem TimesLocal hospitality employees honored by Visit Bucks County

Local hospitality employees honored by Visit Bucks County

Alicia Singh, of Holiday Inn Express Bensalem, is the Hospitality Leadership Award recipient

Well-deserved: Alicia Singh (center) is the Hospitality Leadership Award recipient. She’s pictured with (from L) Commissioners Robert Harvie and Diane Ellis-Marseglia, Visit Bucks County board of directors chair Doug Miller, and VBC president and COO Paul Bencivengo. Submitted Photo

From historic parks and theaters to wide-ranging food and drink options, Bucks County has something for everyone. This is why, in 2023, it drew 8.2 million visitors (a 2.5 percent increase from the year prior), who generated $1.2 billion in economic impact (a 2.2 percent increase). 

Vital in making the county a hot-spot destination are the employees who comprise the hospitality workforce, which last year totaled 28,675 jobs. These individuals serve as the face of Bucks, whether they’re checking a first-time family into a hotel or providing a sightseeing tour. Ultimately, they have the power to make a visitor’s trip a positive, memorable experience, one that they’ll want to recreate in the future. 

To recognize the hospitality workforce’s efforts, Visit Bucks County hosted last month a National Travel & Tourism Week award celebration at The Inn at Fox Briar Farm in Doylestown. Honorees were nominated by their peers in the local hospitality industry, with employees and organizations presented accolades by VBC in five categories. 

The 2024 honorees are:

  • Hospitality Leadership Award: Alicia Singh, Holiday Inn Express Bensalem: This award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to the tourism and hospitality industry, ultimately increasing visitation to Bucks County
  • Guest Service Excellence Award: Dennis Brislin, Sesame Place: This award goes to a frontline staff member with a positive attitude who is willing to go the extra mile to help visitors and interact with customers on a daily basis
  • Tourism Innovation Award: Christopher Marano, Bucks County Joyrides: This award honors a business/organization that implements new and creative ways to bring visitors to Bucks County
  • Rising Star Award: Ahmani Taylor, Hilton of Warrington: This award is presented to a young professional aspiring to a long career in the tourism and hospitality industry
  • Visit Bucks County Award: Justin Seery, Peddler’s Village; Jennifer Martin, Washington Crossing Historic Park; and Ryan Seiz and Tim Tabor, Warwick Farm Brewing: These awards honor individuals who are dedicated to promoting tourism and hospitality in Bucks County

Each year, the U.S. Travel Association spearheads National Travel & Tourism Week to raise awareness of the benefits of travel to wellbeing and the economy. During the awards ceremony, Commissioners Diane Ellis-Marseglia and Robert Harvie presented VBC with a proclamation recognizing May 19-25 as National Travel & Tourism Week throughout Bucks County.

“We thank the Visit Bucks County staff and board of directors and all of you for the hard work to market and support the industry,” said Marseglia.

Addressing the crowd: Paul Bencivengo, Visit Bucks County president and COO, speaks to attendees at the National Travel & Tourism award celebration. Submitted Photo

On hand to share impressive tourism statistics was VBC president and COO Paul Bencivengo. In addition to the above-mentioned numbers from 2023, he announced continued growth into 2024. In the first quarter, Bucks County has achieved an average increase of 3.5 percent in lodging occupancy as compared to the same period last year. This significant upward trend in lodging occupancy is happening as lodging room rates have softened, making it more affordable to stay overnight in the county.

He also shared that VisitBucksCounty.com saw record traffic last year, with more than 5 million pageviews to the site and more than 406 million impressions across digital and social media channels.

“We attribute this record engagement to our focus on quality content creation. Our short-term video content performs extremely well across all demographics,” Bencivengo explained. “Visit Bucks County also has brand campaigns currently in-market with static and digital billboards in New York and northern New Jersey markets. Broadcast and streaming commercials will also enter the market this month and will run through July attracting visitors to the area.” 

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com

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