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State tourism ‘brand’ launched

An initiative to bolster Pennsylvania’s tourism industry has led to a new slogan.

Governor Josh Shapiro, joined by Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis and Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Rick Siger, unveiled Pennsylvania’s new state tourism brand, “The Great American Getaway,” at PNC Field in Lackawanna County recently.

“Here in Pennsylvania, we have it all – from top tier sports and events, award-winning restaurants, incredible hikes and state parks, and the most important historic sites in the country that tell the story of our shared history,” Shapiro said. “More people deserve the chance to come here and experience the magic of Pennsylvania for themselves.”

Shapiro emphasized the state’s strategic location, noting that “72 million people live within a four-hour drive of Pennsylvania – and once you’re here, you’ll find there’s something for every member of the family.”

The new brand launch is part of a broader effort to make tourism a central component of Pennsylvania’s economic development strategy.

“I like the new slogan,” Kathy Henderson, director of the Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Corporation, said. “I think it’s bringing us more up to date with other states that have ‘catchy’ slogans like Pure Michigan.”

The governor’s proposed budget includes an $18 million increase for tourism and business marketing, which is expected to help grow small businesses, support local communities, and create job opportunities for Pennsylvanians.

Henderson, however, said it’s too early to predict how Carbon County could benefit from the increase.

Following the announcement, the Shapiro family embarked on a weeklong RV tour across 14 counties to promote the new brand. The tour aims to showcase Pennsylvania’s diverse attractions, from urban spaces and outdoor adventures to small towns, culinary experiences, and historical sites.

In 2022, the tourism industry generated $76.7 billion in economic impact, supported 486,871 jobs, and contributed $4.7 billion in state and local taxes. Visitor spending, which includes overnight stays, increased by $4.8 billion, resulting in $28 billion in total spending.

“Tourism is a powerful engine that drives our state’s economy and benefits our communities, small businesses, and hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth every day,” Siger said.

He highlighted the importance of the governor’s investment in boosting tourism promotion and the industry, especially ahead of the busy summer travel season.

The new tourism campaign, “Your Great American Getaway Starts Here,” will run from late May through August, targeting regional markets such as New York City, Washington DC, Cleveland, and Toronto. The campaign includes a mix of high-impact outdoor ads, multiscreen video, and targeted digital media to drive traffic to the rebranded visitPA.com, where travelers can find weekend road trip itineraries.

Abbi Jacobson, a Pennsylvania native and star of Broad City, narrates the campaign’s new ad video. The campaign will also have a presence at sports games, concerts, festivals, and transit stations throughout the summer.

Henderson is optimistic about the initiative’s impact on Carbon County’s local economy, especially in terms of job creation and business growth.

“Next to healthcare, tourism is one of the biggest drivers of our economy in terms of job creation,” she said. “Counties that have a strong outdoor economy tend to draw businesses to potentially locate or expand there. In addition, easy access to outdoor recreation for employees keeps them healthier, which equates to lower healthcare costs and employees who are less stressed.”