Visit Bucks County shared record-breaking economic impact statistics its annual meeting Oct. 10 at The Warrington.
“It’s an exciting time at Visit Bucks County, with an innovative team implementing cutting-edge strategies that bring tourists to the region to experience the county’s remarkable history, culinary scene and unique attractions,” said Bill Haas, board chairperson of Visit Bucks County.
The Visit Bucks County Awards were given for the 10th consecutive year to leaders who have influenced and supported the local tourism and hospitality industry.
The 2019 recipients are:
– Glenn Blakely and Ray Kasper, Friends of Washington Crossing Park, for their leadership in restoring the mill in the park.
– The Fauré Family, Golden Pheasant Inn & Restaurant, which was founded by the late Michel and Barbara Fauré and operated most recently by their daughters.
– Adele Gamble, Ghost Tours of New Hope, for leading the tours founded by Adi-Kent Thomas Jeffrey.
– The Snipes Family, Snipes Farm and Education Center in Falls Township for its community support, including food donations.
Jerry Lepping, former board chair and VBC resident and COO, was recognized for his years of service to the hospitality industry.
According to ESI, visitor spending in 2018 resulted in a record-breaking $1.1 billion in economic impact to the local Bucks County economy.
Leisure and hospitality employment was 28,700, a 2.9 percent increase over 2017. Additionally, 8.15 million total visitors explored Bucks County’s countryside. For the 2019 summer season, hotel occupancy was up 3.5 percent and room night demand was up 7 percent from 2018.
This year, VBC developed new ways for tourists to explore Bucks County through the launch of mobile Ale Trail and Sweet Spots Trail passports.
“Whether it’s families heading to Sesame Place and Shady Brook Farm or couples booking a weekend getaway, tourists are seeking unique experiences when making travel decisions,” said Paul Bencivengo, president and COO. “We are thrilled to work with so many creative, culinary and beverage partners in Bucks County to market our longstanding Wine Trail, as well as the new Ale Trail and Sweet Spots Trail passports.”
The passports encourage visitors to extend their stay by touring the area’s breweries, creameries, bakeries, chocolatiers and coffee roasters spanning Upper, Central and Lower Bucks County. Trail goers can check-in at 5 or more locations via a mobile passport to earn their prize of a limited edition Ale Trail T-shirt or Sweet Spots Trail Bucky plush stuffed animal.
With more travelers using YouTube to plan vacations, VBC released season two of its YouTube video series, Check In. In each video, Bucks County innkeepers give visitors an inside look into the character, details and décor that make each property unique.