Tourism is a major revenue source for the Pennsylvania economy. The Governor’s Tourism Partnership is a successful public-private partnership established to create a strategic marketing and branding plan to promote and grow the state’s tourism industry. DCED, the Pennsylvania Association of Travel and Tourism and Team Pennsylvania worked together from March 2013 through March 2016 to craft a new brand for Pennsylvania’s tourism industry.
The tourism industry in Pennsylvania is a $38 billion industry. Over 450,000 jobs are supported by tourism in the Commonwealth. The first act of the Tourism Partnership was to piece together a steering committee that would help grow the partnership and represent the best interests of Pennsylvania’s tourism industry. Below are the 16 members of the Steering Committee, created with input from DCED, Pennsylvania Association of Travel & Tourism (PATT), Team PA and tourism industry representatives:
- Nick DeBenedictis
- Liz Diesel, Glades Pike Winery
- Kim Schaller, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts
- Joe Massaro, Hilton Harrisburg
- Marnie Conley, Longwood Garden
- Ted Leonard, PA AAA Federation
- Robert Nutting, Pittsburgh Pirates
- William Demchak, PNC Bank
- Brandon Igdalsky, Pocono Raceway
- Patrick Ryan, Sands Casino Resort
- Paul Nelson, Waldameer Park
- Karen Winner Sed, Winner International
- Greg Booth, Zippo Case
- Alan Walker
- Ellen Ferretti
- George Greig
Tourism has historically been housed by the Office of Travel, Tourism & Film (OTTF) located within DCED. With the Tourism Partnership in place, both public and private sector representatives would collaborate to develop long-term tourism plans and identify sustainable funding sources to support the priorities outlined in that plan. During the early stages of this project, the steering committee was tasked with developing an organizational plan, bylaws and development plan. Additionally, the committee also served as ambassadors for tourism and its vital role in Pennsylvania’s economic development. Initial funding for these efforts was provided by DCED and Team PA served as the incubator for subsequent private sector donations.
The results of the hard work and dedication of the Tourism Partnership can be seen at visitpa.com.