Hotel Online  Special Report

Pennsylvania Travel and Tourism
Industry Rebounds in 2004


HARRISBURG, Pa., March 17, 2005 - The Pennsylvania Tourism Office today announced Pennsylvania tourism industry results from 2004 and released its Annual Report to an audience of travel and tourism professionals at the closing of the Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau Spring Conference in Harrisburg.

"Pennsylvania outpaced 2004 national averages in several areas," said Mickey Rowley, Deputy Secretary of Tourism in the Department of Community and Economic Development. "The regional marketing effort and state support in 2005 will bring Pennsylvania tourism to a higher level."

The growth in Pennsylvania travel was most evident in the hotel industry. Pennsylvania's hotel occupancy averaged 60.7 percent for the year - almost matching the U.S. average of 61.3 percent, and up 2.7 percent from the previous year.

Airline traffic was constant at Pennsylvania's airports through 2004.  Overall, the Commonwealth saw a six percent increase in domestic passengers, outpacing the 4.8 percent increase in domestic air travel nationwide.

International flights at Pennsylvania airports delivered 2.3 million passengers for 2004 - a 15 percent increase from the same period of 2003 and slightly outpacing the 14 percent increase internationally for the U.S.  airline industry.

"The increases in Pennsylvania domestic and international airline passengers serve as a further indicator of the rebound in the Commonwealth's travel and tourism industry in 2004," Rowley said.

Following national trends that indicated people were looking for shorter getaways and authentic experiences, the Tourism Office launched an advertising campaign last year that focused on promoting family travel to outdoor, cultural and heritage destinations through Road Trips and using the Commonwealth's new slogan, "State of Independence."  Among the most aggressive state tourism campaigns in the U.S., this campaign produced a striking, 358 million media impressions.

Additionally Pennsylvania received 69 million media impressions through public relations efforts in 2004. The Tourism Office spearheaded more than 15 press trips, one of which resulted in an elk-watching article in The Washington Post. The article was reprinted in at least 12 other publications, totaling more than 10 million media impressions. Detailed Pennsylvania feature stories also appeared in outlets such as the Boston Herald, USA Today, and Elite Traveler magazine.

"All numbers and statistics strongly point to the fact that the spring advertising and public relations campaign had a strong impact on 2004," said Rowley.

As a result of the Governor's Tourism Partnership, key state agencies and the Tourism Office are now collaborating and sharing resources to promote the Commonwealth's tourism products. PennDOT is including tourism promotions in its annual mailings and featuring on the new license plates. The Department of Agriculture has launched an agritourism initiative. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is partnering with the Tourism Office to market state museums and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is leading the Pennsylvania Wilds initiative.

"The future of Pennsylvania's tourism industry is poised for tremendous growth," Rowley added.

The Pennsylvania Tourism Office is dedicated to fulfilling the needs and aspirations of travelers by presenting them with the information and resources they need to plan and enjoy the activities, attractions and destinations that are unique to Pennsylvania. 


Pennsylvania Tourism Office
Carrie Fischer
 (717) 720-1301
Web Site:

Also See: Former Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, James A. Rowley, Named Deputy Secretary of the Tourism for State of Pennsylvania / April 2003
The State of Pennsylvania Commissioned Feasibility Study for Proposed $40 million Resort Within a State Park Comes Up Empty / June 2004

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