Reinvented organization earns prestigious status shared by few worldwide.

Harrisburg, PA (Mar. 30, 2010) – Mary Smith, President of the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB) today announced the organization has been awarded accreditation from the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP), an international accreditation program for destination marketing organizations (DMOs) developed by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI). 

In earning the DMAP accreditation HHRVB had to demonstrate a significant measure of excellence within the global DMO community. The application process took nearly a year to complete, and only 106 other DMOs are currently accredited worldwide.

“Receiving DMAP status is a prestigious achievement for an organization that has been rebuilding since the bureau’s rebirth in 2006,” said Smith.  “Accreditation demonstrates this young organization’s commitment to providing outstanding services and adhering to industry standards for our clients, our community partners, and our peers.”

“By fulfilling the high standards required for DMAP accreditation, the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau has demonstrated a commitment to quality services and organizational protocol,” said Diana Lawson, FCDME, DMAP Board Chair.  “The bureau conformed to 16 standards from governance to sales and innovation.  Their accreditation puts them in an elite group of travel and tourism destination marketing organizations in the world.”

DMAP accreditation standards cover a wide variety of topics including governance, finance, management, human resources, technology, visitor services, group services, communications, membership, brand management, destination development, research/market intelligence, innovation, stakeholder relations, and sales.

For sales specifically, HHRVB’s application demonstrated how their 2009 sales efforts directly generated $16.5 million in the local economy solely from 41,000 room-nights sold in connection to 66 regional meetings, tradeshows, conventions, conferences, group tours, sporting events, and special engagements the bureau secured that year.

HHRVB is the official non-profit partnership-based DMO serving Dauphin and Perry Counties within Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country Roads Region, the Commonwealth’s most visited multi-county region.  HHRVB is committed to actively marketing the region locally, domestically, and internationally to leisure and business travelers, event organizers, and group tour leaders in order to stimulate the local economy and support tourism-related jobs. 

The Hershey Harrisburg Region is the fifth leading tourism destination within the Commonwealth with $1.5 billion in annual tourist spending according to the latest Pennsylvania Tourism Office report. The tourism industry in this region employees 32,400 local residents and contributes approximately $374 million in federal, state, and local taxes.

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