VFTCB CEO Optimistic About Future of Tourism in Montgomery County


Mike Bowman speaking at a luncheon.
Image via Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board.
Mike Bowman, Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board president & CEO speaks during the tourism agency’s annual luncheon Oct. 26

Mike Bowman, president and CEO of Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board, recently spoke to Donna Rovins for The Reporter about the future of tourism in Montgomery County.

Bowman said that 2023 was a good year and he is hopeful that 2024 visitor spending will finally surpass pre-pandemic levels.

It was very close in 2023. At the end of the fiscal year which ended September 30, the county’s hospitality industry was at 98.9% of pre-pandemic levels with visitor spending at $1.6 billion.

The Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board is a private, nonprofit membership-based sales and marketing organization that promotes Montgomery County and its member hotels, restaurants, and attractions.

Bowman said that COVID-19 had an immediate impact on the hospitality industry in Montgomery County and it has been a slow recovery since then.

“We were coming off a great 2019. We were having a great first quarter (of 2020). We went from 60% occupancy to 2% overnight. We hit bottom quick,” he said.

He is optimistic about the future though.

“We got into 2022 and got a surge that carried us forward. Then we started seeing families getting together again, and the weekends started to click. I’m very encouraged.”

Read more about how youth sports and weekend leisure have been making a comeback in The Reporter.


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