YORK, PA - More than eight years after beginning a quest for equitable tourism funding, the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau and York County Commissioners agreed this week to a memorandum of understanding that will govern how revenue from the local hotel room tax is spent in the mission to draw more visitors to the Factory Tour Capital of the World.

The agreements caps a year in which state lawmakers passed a law allowing 57 counties - including York County - to raise their hotel room tax rates to increase investment in their local tourism industries.

In May, York County Commissioners became the first in the state to take advantage of the new law, unanimously passing an ordinance raising the local room tax rate from 3 to 5 percent. The new rate went into effect July 1 and is expected to generate an additional $1.3 million.

While continuing to fund the York County CVB, the increased room tax revenue also will finance a new matching tourism grant program open to private for-profit organizations, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies. York County is the first in Pennsylvania to invest nearly half of its room tax proceeds in a tourism grant program. 

The York County Tourism Grant Program offers financial support to initiatives deemed capable of generating broad and substantial benefit to York County tourism. The York County Tourism Grant Committee will be accepting proposals for projects aimed at expanding and/or improving tourism promotion and development in York County.

For more information about the grant program, please click here.

Under the MOU, the York County CVB will also continue to distribute portions of the room tax revenue to several legacy tourism partners. 

The memorandum of understanding runs for six years.

"This is an exciting time for the York County tourism industry, which has registered an impressive eight consecutive years of growth and now looks poised for even more success," said Anne Druck, President of the York County CVB. "Visitors already spend more than $923 million here annually, and the new grant program will only enhance our already outstanding experience and maximize the economic impact of a tourism industry that's fast approaching the $1 billion mark."  

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.