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Visit Bucks County recognizes hospitality staff, awards spring grants


As part of Visit Bucks County (VBC’s) weeklong celebration of National Travel & Tourism Week, the tourism office hosted a breakfast May 7, with the Bucks County Commissioners and many tourism industry partners at Rose Bank Winery.

VBC President and COO Jerry Lepping opened the program by sharing key tourism statistics. As reported by the U.S. Travel Association, travel generated $2.5 trillion for the U.S. economy and supported 15.7 million jobs in 2018 with one out of every 10 national jobs being dependent on tourism.

“Nearly $1 billion in economic impact is generated from 8 million annual visitors to Bucks County” said Lepping. “Local retail like the antique shops that line Bristol Borough’s Mill Street and major attractions such as Sesame Place strengthen every facet of our community.”

Commissioner Robert G. Loughery shared a new Tourism and Hospitality Product Development Assessment initiative that is being conducted in partnership with the Bucks County Industrial Development Authority, the Bucks County Workforce Development Board and Visit Bucks County. The assessment will provide future recommendations for development that will enhance Bucks County’s tourism product and generate greater economic impact and job growth.

“Tourism is an important part of our local economy,” said Loughery, “The county is proud of the 28,000 hospitality employees welcoming visitors and locals alike. Great service is a critical component to ensure repeat business to our area restaurants, lodging properties and attractions.”

The tourism office also recognized individuals and organizations for the National Travel & Tourism Week Awards. Honorees were nominated by their peers in the local hospitality industry.

The 2019 Visit Bucks County Travel & Tourism Week Award honorees are:

•Community Service Award: Experience Yardley;

•Guest Service Excellence Award: Jessica Siedler, general manager of Homewood Suites Doylestown;

•Hospitality Leadership Award: Shante Annigew, director of sales, Candlewood Suites Bensalem-Philadelphia (photo not available);

•Rising Star Award: Nicole Joie, PR and Marketing coordinator of Bucks County Historical Society; and

•Dedicated Partner Award: New Hope Celebrates.

Visit Bucks County closed the breakfast by distributing $181,000 in tourism grants. The tourism grant program was instituted in 2008 to assist in the development and enhancement of not-for-profit tourism product and marketing in Bucks County. The grant is supported from a portion earned from the Bucks County lodging tax and given out bi-annually. In total, Visit Bucks County has distributed more than $4 million in tourism grant funds since initiated.

The spring 2019 grant recipients are as follows: ActorsNET of Bucks County; The African American Museum of Bucks County; Artists of Yardley; Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County; Bucks County Children’s Museum; Bucks County Choral Society; Bucks County Tour of Honor; Bucks County Wine Trail; Cantus Novus; Concordia Chamber Players; County Theater; Delaware Canal 21; Doylestown Business & Community Alliance; Experience Yardley; Friends of Washington Crossing Park; Haycock Historical Society; Heritage Conservancy; Historic Fallsington; James A. Michener Art Museum; Johnsville Centrifuge & Science Museum; Mercer Museum; Middletown Grange Fair; New Hope Arts; New Hope Celebrates; Newtown Historic Association; Newtown Theatre; Pearl S. Buck International; Pennsbury Society’ Quakertown Alive!; Quakertown Historical Society; Raising the Bar; TMA Bucks Foundation; Trinity Union Reformed Church; and Warrington Cares.

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