HHRVB reported an impressive year of results for the fiscal year and the best year for the local tourism industry since 2008. Accomplishments include 122 new events secured worth over $102 million to the regional economy; spikes in website traffic and travel planner requests; 14,000 new followers on social media and increased interest from travel media. See charts outlining region's recovery in 3 major travel indicators from 2008 to 2014.

HHRVB reports year of positive results for regional tourism efforts 
during 2014 Annual Partnership Meeting

2014 reported as best year for Tourism Industry in Hershey Harrisburg Region since 2008. 

Harrisburg, PA – The Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB) today reported an impressive list of achievements to Partners and local tourism stakeholders at the Annual Partnership Meeting and traditional Toy Drive for the Children’s Cancer Foundation at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey. 

HHRVB Board Chairman Todd Kohr presented highlights from the Partnership-based organization’s year including securing 122 new meetings, events, and conventions for future business worth over $102 million for the region; and marketing and communications efforts spiking traffic to the region’s tourism website VisitHersheyHarrisburg.org and increasing Travel Planner requests by 23 percent. The bureau also reported social media channels acquired approximately 14,000 new followers and 31 travel writers and bloggers were hosted on familiarization tours of the region resulting in a 28 percent increase in print and online stories.

Bureau President Mary Smith presented a status of the organization’s Business Plan achievements including the completion of a comprehensive Destination Brand Assessment and Brand Audit; and she outlined the strategy behind some significant changes including an internal restructuring that has positioned the bureau for future growth.

The morning included guest speakers from Brand USA outlining international tourism development efforts and a cooperative project with HHRVB; and representatives from HHRVB’s new media agency MayoSeitz presenting current consumer research and media trends. 

Marketing Director Jason Brown unveiled the new Travel Planner and previewed the bureau’s plans for a new website in 2015.  

The day concluded with a look ahead by Partnership Director Justin Martsolf who highlighted major events that will impact the region and provide opportunities for Partners to promote themselves in 2015. Events included the 99th Annual PA Farm Show in January; the 2nd Annual Great American Outdoor Show in February; Mecum Auto Auctions returning in July; and the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia that is expecting 2 million people in September.

HHRVB also announced it successfully renewed its Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) with Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI). This internationally recognized accreditation is currently held by only 180 Destination Marketing Organizations worldwide and demonstrates that HHRVB meets or exceeds the highest industry standards in destination sales and marketing. 

Bureau leadership was also excited to announce that 2014 was the best year for tourism in the Hershey Harrisburg Region since the Great Recession began in 2008. The charts on the next page reveal the positive trends that have been reported in the region for all of the major lodging indicators. (Red dots signify the worst year in each category.)