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Visit Bucks County launching mobile visitor center, closing brick and mortar center

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Visit Bucks County (VBC) is increasing its visitor services presence at festivals and events this summer and fall and will launch a mobile Visitor Center in 2023.

The branded vehicle will crisscross the county, and the region, “generating excitement for all there is to eat, drink, see and do in Bucks County,” the tourism agency said.

In early 2023, the Bucks County Visitor Center building will close and VBC will continue to focus its efforts on meeting visitors where they are – online (before, during and after their visit) and in-person while they are exploring Bucks County.

VBC will continue to answer phone calls, online chats and emails seven days a week.

Paul Bencivengo, president/COO of Visit Bucks County, said foot traffic to the Visitor Center has been declining over the years. “The consumer is much savvier and comes to the destination much more educated,” he said.

More than 1.5 million people visit the county tourism website annually, he said. They also use livechat and email to reach VBC.

The branded mobile visitor center vehicle, most likely a van, for which VBC is currently shopping, will be “welcoming and very identifiable that its Bucks County. It would almost be like a moving billboard,” Bencivengo said.

“We’re going from static to dynamic,” he added. “We’re really excited about it. It’s a new opportunity.”

VBC isn’t waiting for the vehicle to meet visitors at festivals and events. “We’ve already started to ramp up our presence at events outside and inside Bucks County,” Bencivengo said.

Bucks County Destination Ambassadors can be found at many events handing out guides, answering questions, promoting contests and distributing free Bucks County swag.

Bencivengo, said ambassadors also have been gathering visitors’ contact information so VBC can market directly to them. Ambassadors also have been providing visitors with information on what they can do if they choose to extend their stay following an event, and they are encouraging return visits, he said.

VBC is seeking more outgoing ambassadors and also plans to offer customized visitor service training to front-line staff in the tourism and hospitality workforce, Bencivengo said.

“We’re going to work closely with all our tourism partners to ensure we’re educating them ...,” he said. That education will include both in-person and virtual options, he added.

The tourism agency also will continue to supply partners with Destination Guides and What’s Up This Weekend. These are two popular pieces that travelers will pick up, in print or electronically, while visiting the area.

Bencivengo said VBC produces 80,000 guides each year for distribution at attractions, hotels, and welcome centers across the turnpike.

In addition, online marketing will continue, on the VBC website, on social media and on popular channels such as TikTok and YouTube, as will television commercials, aired both locally and beyond.

jarthur@buckscountyherald.com


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