Pennsylvania Governor grants 5.4 million dollars to keep 600,000 tourism jobs alive


HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania – To sustain the more than 600,000 tourism jobs in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced US$5.4 million in grants to help local and regional organizations market tourism attractions across the State of Independence.

“Supporting tourism marketing is vital to small and family businesses across the commonwealth,” Governor Rendell said. “Many of these businesses count on the promotions that are made possible by local marketing agencies.”

Pennsylvania ranks as the fifth most-visited state, attracting more than 140 million visitors a year, while booking 25 million hotel rooms. Tourism injects US$28 billion into the state’s economy and provides a cumulative paycheck of $18 billion for hardworking Pennsylvanians.

Under Act 50 of 2008, recognized tourism promotion agencies are awarded funding based on a formula that weighs the agency’s eligible expenses, hotel room revenues, and an evaluation of the proposed use for the funding.

The law also provides funding for regional marketing partnership organizations in two categories: place- and experience-based. Place-based organizations work to promote a specific region of the state, while experience-based organizations promote a unique experience or activity.

“In addition to the traditional place-based marketing, we are providing funding directly to the state’s ‘enthusiast-based’ industries. These organizations work to promote the golf and snowmobiling opportunities, as well as showcase our heritage areas, artisans, and wine trails,” said Mickey Rowley, deputy secretary for tourism.

The US$5.4 million is to be used to create or expand new and innovative programs that complement the state’s tourism promotion efforts, which may include advertising campaigns, public relations strategies, online marketing efforts, and web site development.

The Pennsylvania Tourism Office, under the state Department of Community and Economic Development, is dedicated to inspiring travel to the State of Independence.