The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board is feeling optimistic about tourism for 2022. After meeting with the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners last week for its annual presentation, the board showed that tourism is on the rise, writes Gregory Purcell for WFMZ.
“We expect 2022 to return to the 2019 level of consumer travel,” said Jake Markezin, Vice President of Operations. “Hotel room revenue is projected to reach record levels.”
According to Markezin, numerous surveys have shown that people are ready to travel again. To help aid the resurgence, several initiatives are being launched.
Consumer marketing campaigns will be launched in New York, New Jersey, and Virginia to draw in tourists. In addition to utilizing traditional media like TV ads, the board will also utilize newer media formats like streaming podcasts and digital re-targeting.
The Tourism Board has also launched a new website that achieved a 21% increase in page visits in its first month, said Associate Vice President of Marketing Justine Garbarino.
Lisa Karl, the Vice President of Sale and Strategic Partnerships, told the commissioners that over $100 million in capital improvements and two new hotels have been added to the county. In addition, another $250,000 was spent on a marketing campaign directed at bringing meetings to Montgomery County.
Rachel Riley, Associate Vice President of Communications, described the organization’s plans for a 2nd Crave Montco Month in July, a Monty the Mascot refresh, the recent launch of the Member Minute e-newsletter, the creation of the first DMO TikTok channel in the region, town outreach, and a year-round donation link for the Freedom from Hunger Food Drive.
Riley also made a plea to the Commissioners on behalf of arts and culture organizations that have seen declining revenue, and are only surviving on grants and loans.
“These groups are resilient, sure, and they’re persevering, but how long can we expect them to carry this burden alone?” said Riley. “It’s a real concern. This community is vital. We need cultural organizations now more than ever. We’ve got to up the ante, and continue to invest in the arts to raise awareness, and drive more foot traffic to Montco’s 200 venues.”
The Commission Chair Valerie Arkoosh, MD, reported during the meeting that the county is still experiencing a high number of COVID infections and hospitalizations, leading to a new testing site lease agreement in Landsdale.
Read more about Montgomery County’s tourism expectations for 2022 at WFMZ.