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 - A newly released report indicates that visitor spending is increasing in York County, and our tourism industry will continue to grow after the York County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday voted to further invest in local tourism efforts that benefit the entire community.
The York County Convention & Visitors Bureau thanks the Commissioners for raising York County's hotel room tax from 3 percent to 5 percent. The change aligns York County with several neighboring counties whose rates were already set at 5 percent, giving them a competitive advantage in terms of attracting lucrative visitor spending to their communities.
Even while waiting for the increase, York County's tourism industry has already registered impressive growth.
Visitors spent $923.1 million in York County in 2014, up from $907.5 million the previous year, according to the annual Economic Impact of Pennsylvania's Travel and Tourism Industry report. It marked the fifth consecutive year that tourism spending increased in the Factory Tour Capital of the World.
York County ranked third in visitor spending among the nine counties in the Dutch Country Roads Region, one of the top tourism locations in Pennsylvania. With a 1.72-percent increase, York County exceeded the regional average, as well as the state's overall rate of growth.
The local tourism industry also employed 7,637 people, up from 7,525 in 2013, and generated more than $90 million in state and local taxes in York County in 2014, according to the report.
To view the full report, please visit www.visitpa.com.
"This report confirms what we've known all along: York County is a wonderful place to visit, thanks to its engaging factory tours, diverse athletic facilities, thriving downtowns and getaways such as the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail," said Anne Druck, President of the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Now, with the support of the York County Board of Commissioners, we can invest even more in our tourist attractions to compete for lucrative visitor spending. We thank our local officials, as well as state lawmakers and Governor Tom Wolf, for their support in helping us to level the playing field of local tourism funding."
York County was allowed to raise the room tax after state lawmakers - with a powerful push from the York County delegation - passed legislation that gave 57 counties the option to increase their rate to fund tourism ventures.
The new rate is expected to generate more than $1 million of additional annual revenue in York County. Most of the increased funding will go toward a grant program supporting local tourism partners.
Those benefiting from dedicated funding will include the York Expo Center, the Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area, the York County Heritage Trust, the York County Rail Trail Authority and the Ma & Pa Railroad Preservation Society. The balance will be available via grants awarded by a Grant Committee comprised of local tourism stakeholders. The York County CVB will provide industry expertise and administrative support to the Committee.
"Today's vote is the culmination of years of hard work from York County's tourism community, as well as our elected officials, who fought hard to see the hotel room tax legislation become law," Druck said. "We appreciate the Commissioners' quick action, and we look forward to this investment paying dividends for everyone who lives, works and plays in York County."
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.