Harrisburg, PA – Local tourism officials today issued a comprehensive report on the economic impact of the Top 25 Events held in Dauphin County in 2015 that are associated with the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB). The report, which includes both new business secured for 2015 and the annual or long-term clients who the bureau is responsible for initially recruiting and/or retaining, was released following an official proclamation by Dauphin County Commissioners naming this week as National Tourism Week in Dauphin County during the second day of the PA Travel & Tourism Statewide Summit held annually at the Hilton Harrisburg,
The report which evaluated only the Top 25 events associated with the official Destination Marketing Organization for Dauphin and Perry counties revealed that the bureau’s sales efforts and client services will be responsible for drawing over 1 million visitors to the region and contributing approximately $275 million into the local economy in 2015.
In addition to general attendance and economic impact numbers, the report includes additional data on the number of jobs each event supports, thanks to the newest industry standard Event Impact Calculator program the bureau began using in 2014. The program, developed by Destination Marketing Association International and Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, allows HHRVB to use localized tax rates and ten additional personalized data sources to calculate a variety of statistical information beyond the overall direct and indirect economic impact of a particular client event or show.
According to HHRVB president Mary Smith, in addition to the bureau generating the traditional reports on the direct and indirect spending by vendors and attendees, the new program now allows the bureau to accurately calculate the number of jobs supported by each event and project the federal, state and local taxes for that particular event.
“Tourism is a major economic engine, but the industry so often goes unnoticed because it is hiding in plain sight, especially in this region,” said Smith. “Tourism’s influence on an economy can be complex. This new calculator is simply helping us to develop a more multidimensional picture of tourism at the local level, which makes it more tangible.”
The Pennsylvania Farm Show, celebrating 100-years in 2016, claimed the top ranking in both the Attendance and Economic Impact categories, followed by the Great American Outdoor Show. Other events that appeared within the Top 10 ranks in both categories included: the PA Christmas & Gift Show; Pennsylvania Horse World Expo; Mecum Auto Auctions; FIRE EXPO; Keystone International Livestock Expo; and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.
The bureau will continue to roll out announcements this week in celebration of the 32nd Annual National Travel & Tourism Week that began on May 2 and ends May 10, 2015. National Travel & Tourism Week, led by the U.S. Travel Association, serves to educate local residents, political leaders, and community stakeholders on the importance of sustaining and supporting a local tourism industry. Upcoming announcements & special events for the week include the launch of the region’s new official travel & tourism web site and on Thursday the bureau will debut the new promotional destination video featuring all new images and spectacular aerial footage.