2017-04-22 / Front Page

Potter/Tioga Visitors Association a ‘go’


Potter/Tioga Visitors Association is the working title of a new tourist promotion agency that will launch on July 1. Public meetings and workshops are planned for May 8 at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum to prepare area businesses and other interested parties for the new marketing opportunities. Here, Lori Copp, executive director of the Tioga County Visitors Bureau, displays a prominent advertisement in a popular travel magazine jointly promoting the Cherry Springs State Park Dark Sky Preserve and the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. 
Andy Lychalk Jr. photo Potter/Tioga Visitors Association is the working title of a new tourist promotion agency that will launch on July 1. Public meetings and workshops are planned for May 8 at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum to prepare area businesses and other interested parties for the new marketing opportunities. Here, Lori Copp, executive director of the Tioga County Visitors Bureau, displays a prominent advertisement in a popular travel magazine jointly promoting the Cherry Springs State Park Dark Sky Preserve and the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Andy Lychalk Jr. photo A new marketing organization to support and build the region’s second-leading industry will be launched on July 1.

After more than a year of public meetings and negotiations, the Potter/Tioga Visitors Assn. will become a reality. It will, in effect, create a new region for a multi-faceted tourist promotion strategy, focusing on the unique attractions of the two counties.

Popular destinations such as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, Cherry Springs State Park and many others will be jointly marketed through strategic advertising, informational booths at outdoor shows and other venues, and multiple other activities. Potter and Tioga counties are already linked by three other regional tourist promotion and economic development organizations, the Pennsylvania Wilds, the Pa. Route 6 Heritage Region, and the Pa. Lumber Heritage Region.

A public meeting and workshop on the new organization will be held in daytime and evening sessions on May 8 at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum.

These are critical times for the tourism industry, which still has as its foundation the opportunities for outdoor recreation – including the staples of hunting and fishing – that abound in both counties. With manufacturing and other major contributors to the economy struggling, many leaders view effective tourism marketing as a promising antidote.

Roots of the merger trace to conversations between leaders of the Potter County Visitors Association (PCVA) and the Tioga County Visitors Bureau, which have operated independently for decades.

Officers of each organization approached their boards of county commissioners seeking approval of the plan. Counties have the option of collecting a tax on overnight stays from lodging facilities and allotting the revenue to designated tourist promotion agencies.

PCVA and TCVB based the merger on the expectation of the “room tax” increasing from the current 3 percent to 5 percent, an action that commissioners from both counties are now pursuing.

The merger also required approval from townships or boroughs representing at least 50 percent of each county’s population. That hurdle that has since been crossed.

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