Polly Bond, Tour America, was the winner of a great prize at a well-attended dinner for the travel trade in Halo@TheMorrison in Dublin hosted by a strong eight-person delegation representing Pennsylvania Tourism, in conjunction with American Airlines.
The delegation (above) comprised Marc Kaminetsky, Brandywine Valley & Valley Forge; Svetlana Yazovskikh, Philadelphia CVB; Mara Sultan, Discover Lancaster; Greg Edevane, Brandywine Valley & Valley Forge; Ann Pilcher, Pocono Mountains CVB; Michael Chapaloney, Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development; Greg Evans, Philadelphia CVB; and Audrey Bialas, Visit Hershey & Harrisburg.
Polly’s prize? No less than two Business Class return tickets from Dublin to Philadelphia on American Airlines; two nights at the Marriott Downtown Philadelphia plus attraction tickets; one night at the Sheraton Grand Valley in the Countryside of Philadelphia; one night at the Lancaster Arts Hotel in Lancaster County with a premium tour package for the Amish Farm and House; one night at the Hershey Lodge in the Harrisburg Hershey region plus attraction tickets; and a Pocono Mountains Experience package staying at the Camelback Resort; as well as shopping vouchers and other goodies!
The delegation came together to promote the whole state of Pennsylvania and to emphasise to Irish travel agents just how accessible the region is and how varied are its many attractions. Philadelphia can be accessed on non-stop flights from Dublin with American Airlines or is just 1h30m by Amtrak rail from New York City and 2h0m from Washington DC.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (www.visitpa.com)
This spring Pennsylvania launched a new slogan and challenge to travellers, ‘Pennsylvania. Pursue Your Happiness’, which captures the spirit of the Keystone State, echoing the call to ‘Life, liberty and the pusuit of happiness’ from the Declaration of Independence penned in Pennsylvania in 1776.
Pennsylvania claims an unparalleled mix of outdoor, historic and urban assets and the website offers more than 60 customised road trips featuring everything from outdoor adventures and brewery and wine trails to farmers markets and child-friendly itineraries.
Contact: Michael Chapaloney, Executive Director of Tourism, T: 001 717 720 7327, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (www.discoverphl.com)
Philadelphia is the birthplace of American democracy (and hosts the Presidential Democratic National Convention in July), and is the USA’s first World Heritage City, home to Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The ‘museum mile’ from City Hall to the Philadelphia Museum of Art includes the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Franklin Institute, Barnes Foundation, and Rodin Museum. A new Museum of the American Revolution will open in late 2017.
Tax-free shopping venues (on clothes and shoes) include Macy’s, Century 21, Liberty Place, Rittenhouse Row, the Old City District, and South Street Headhouse District.
Rocky fans can take a tour and run up those famous steps, while from Philadelphia it is just 1h30m by New Jersey Transit to Atlantic City.
Contacts: Greg Evans, Account Director UK & Ireland, T: 0044 776 834 1790, E: email@example.com; and Svetlana Yazovskikh, Senior International Tourism Sales Manager, T: 001 215 636 3402, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Countryside of Philadelphia (www.countrysidephl.com)
Just 48km from Philadelphia, in Countryside of Philadelphia, are Brandywine Valley in Chester County and Valley Forge in Montgomery County. Brandywine offers the beautiful Longwood Gardens, museums made famous by the DuPont and Wyeth families, wine trails, and the largest electronic retailer in the world, QVC, while Valley Forge offers “the best shopping on the east coast” and a new indoor skydiving centre.
The US National Park Service is celebrating 100 years in 2016 and two venues offer free admission: Valley Forge National Historical Park and Hopewell Furnace.
With seven department stores and more than 400 boutiques, shops and restaurants, the King of Prussia Mall is the largest retail mall in the USA – and is adding 50 more stores by August 2016, while the nearby Philadelphia Premium Outlets offers over 150 stores in its open-air shopping haven.
Contacts: Greg Edevane, Director of Sales, Brandywine Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, T: 001 484 840 7216, E: email@example.com; and Marc Kaminetsky, Director of Convention & Tourism Sales, Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board, T: 001 610 834 7972, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Discover Lancaster (www.discoverlancaster.com)
As home to the USA’s original and largest Amish community, Lancaster County, 1h30m drive from Philadelphia, has several interpretive attractions to explore, as well as horse and buggy rides and personlised touring options.
The Strasburg Rail Road and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania reveal the history of railroading, Wheatland Mansion is the home of US President James Buchanan, and family attractions include Dutch Wonderland amusement park, Turkey Hill Experience, and Cherry Crest Adventure Farm.
An abundance of outdoor activities include ziplining at Refreshing Mountain, kayaking or paddle boarding down the Susquehanna River, and horseback riding at Ironstone Ranch.
Contact: Mara Sultan, Convention & International Sales Manager, T: 001 717 391 6006, E: email@example.com
Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (www.visithersheyharrisburg.org)
Explore the many wonders of chocolate at Hershey’s Chocolate World, a 1h45m ride from Philadelphia, as well as Hersheypark, Hershey Gardens, and the Smithsonian-affiliated American Automobile Club of America Museum.
The State Capitol in Harrisburg offers stunning architecture and priceless artwork, along with free tours, and the National Civil War Museum.
Contact: Audrey Bialas, Director of Sales, T: 001 717 231 2993, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pocono Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau (www.poconomountains.com)
A two-hour drive from Philadelphia, but just 1h30m from New York City, the Pocono Mountains are an endless outdoor playground where steep mountains with cloud-covered peaks are great for hiking, skiing, biking, fishing and canoeing.
Other attractions include three gigantic waterparks, year-round cultural tours, and brand-name shopping.
Contact: Ann Pilcher, Tourism Sales Manager, T: 001 570 421 5791, E: email@example.com