FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
York County Convention & Visitors Bureau
717-852-9675, ext. 103 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Destination Marketing Director
York County Convention & Visitors Bureau
717-852-9675, ext. 109 or email@example.com
YORK, PA - Visitor spending in York County surged to a high of $943.7 million in 2015, placing the Factory Tour Capital of the World® in the top 10 of all Pennsylvania counties, according to new figures released by the state tourism office in June.
Traveler spending increased by more than $20 million from 2014 to 2015, marking the sixth straight year that York County's tourism industry has enjoyed growth, according to data from the Tourism Economics report, titled "The Economic Impact of Travel in Pennsylvania." Since 2005, visitor spending has grown by 31 percent in York County, solidifying the industry's rebound from the Great Recession.
York County ranks No. 10 statewide in visitor spending, and the report found that the local tourism industry supports more than 7,700 jobs and generates almost $93 million in state and local tax revenue - both up from 2014.
"The new data confirms what we already knew: Tourism is an important economic driver for hotels, restaurants and small businesses all across York County," said Anne Druck, President of the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau. "When visitors come to York for factory tours, sporting events or to enjoy a day in the vineyard, they spend money that is reinvested into our community. Whether it's a restaurant adding more staff for a busy weekend or a municipality using tax revenue to maintain streets, parks and vital services, the impact of tourism can be seen all around us."
York County is part of the Dutch Country Roads Region, Pennsylvania's No. 2 tourist region. Visitors spent a record-high $8.2 billion in the region in 2015, trailing only Philadelphia and its Countryside. Of the nine counties comprising the Dutch Country Roads Region, York County ranked third in visitor spending, behind just Dauphin and Lancaster counties.
"Tourism is a competitive industry, and York County continues to prove its mettle against other marquee destinations in Pennsylvania," said Liz Winand, the immediate past chair of the York County CVB's Board of Directors. "Our continued growth is a testament to a strong network of attractions, the support of our local elected officials and a dedicated staff at the York County CVB. None of this would be possible without all our stakeholders working together to build a place that people want to visit again and again."
Out of six travel categories examined by Tourism Economics, York County visitors spent the most on transportation at $288.1 million. Food and beverages followed at $217.6 million. Retail spending registered at $170.2 million, recreation at $162.5 million and lodging at $105.4 million.
Following industry trends, the York County CVB has already tapped in the thriving craft beverage industry through the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail and Susquehanna Ale Trail and is launching the Keystone Craft Spirits Trail.
The York County CVB's Sport York business-to-business brand also continues to attract lucrative events that will inject upward of $25 million into the local economy this fiscal year alone. The Keystone State Games will return to York County for the third consecutive summer in July, bringing thousands of youth athletes and their families to town.
Traveler spending for 2016 will not be available until sometime next year, but York County enjoyed strong local lodging numbers last year and is poised for further growth after an excellent start to 2017.
"In fact, when taking into account traveler activity combined with government spending and capital investment in support of tourism, York County's total travel demand was more than $995 million in 2015," said Mark Sindicich, owner of Victor's Italian Restaurant in York and the current YCCVB Board Chair. "As visitor spending increases year after year, we're anticipating reaching the $1 billion mark in the very near future."
Last year, the county increased its hotel room tax rate in order to invest in the local tourism industry, including through a brand-new grant program designed to attract more visitors and enhance their experience while they're in town. The York County Tourism Grant Committee awarded more than $800,000 in grants in the inaugural round of funding this spring, and those projects will pay off over the coming months and years.
The York County Convention & Visitors Bureau's Mission is to maximize tourism expenditures and their economic impact in York County, PA, through comprehensive tourism sales and marketing programs. The York County CVB's Vision is for a York County where tourism is recognized for the value of its economic impact and its role in raising the profile of York County as a sought-after destination. For more information on the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau, call 1-888-858-9675 or visit www.yorkpa.org.