Discover Lehigh Valley® goes virtual with its annual meeting and shares big wins in an unusual year
LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., November 10, 2020 – Discover Lehigh Valley®, the destination marketing organization (DMO) dedicated to promoting tourism in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh and Northampton counties, today announced the region placed first in hotel occupancy rates among competing Pennsylvania DMOs according to 2019-2020 Smith Travel Research. The news was shared at Discover Lehigh Valley’s virtual annual meeting with local businesses, attractions, and key stakeholders, providing insights on how the organization’s momentum and nimble marketing strategy is helping the group to navigate and find opportunity during the pandemic.
“Along with our region’s impressive hotel occupancy rates, Discover Lehigh Valley secured $2.25 million in revenue from local hotel tax. Our annual findings show strength in Lehigh Valley tourism while supporting our industry’s spirit to gradually recover,” says Alex Michaels, president and CEO for Discover Lehigh Valley. “Despite having limited resources and navigating the challenges of this unprecedented global event, Lehigh Valley continues to thrive and move forward. I am tremendously proud of our resilient community.”
To further showcase the organization’s outstanding efforts and impressive metrics, Discover Lehigh Valley released a dynamic 2019-2020 recap video during the virtual annual meeting. Key Lehigh Valley travel and tourism annual statistics include:
- Earned 568 media placements in top outlets including Lonely Planet, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, PureWow.com, NBC10 Philadelphia, Philadelphia Inquirer and more
- Garnered over 40.8 million earned media impressions
- Secured over 1.7 million pageviews on DiscoverLehighValley.com
- Welcomed 47,000 players, wrestlers, runners, and spectators to area sporting events
- Generated $1.5 million in estimated economic impact from meetings and group travelers
While business as usual ground to a halt in spring, Discover Lehigh Valley kept its momentum and successfully launched the Certified Tourism Ambassador Program (CTA) in partnership with Northampton Community College this year to help local professionals advance their careers. Lehigh Valley joins over 33 destinations as a credited CTA program. The organization also completed the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program, which is a globally recognized accreditation process that underscores commitment to industry excellence. Discover Lehigh Valley is also a proud partner of the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley Alliance along with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation and Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. Together, the alliance is working to showcase Lehigh Valley as an attractive place to visit, work, learn, and live.
The DMO also recognized outgoing board members Robin Lycek, director of human resources operations for Versum Materials and Nathan Eckhart, chief financial officer for Martin Guitar for their service, support, and dedication.
“From the time coronavirus emerged, Discover Lehigh Valley tirelessly worked with partners to strategize about our region’s recovery. As part of that strategy, the organization launched the digital and social At Home campaign while encouraging visitor safety,” said Mike Fehnel, vice president and general manager for Dorney Park; Wildwater Kingdom and chairman of the board for Discover Lehigh Valley. “Discover Lehigh Valley has remained optimistic and undeterred, and they will need Leigh Valley’s support to help grow tourism and position the region as a premiere destination.
For more information on Discover Lehigh Valley’s Annual Meeting and to view the full annual report, visit DiscoverLehighValley.com/AnnualMeeting.
About Discover Lehigh Valley
Discover Lehigh Valley®, the official destination marketing organization of Pennsylvania’s Lehigh and Northampton counties, is dedicated to driving economic growth and strengthening local pride through tourism to the region. Just 60 minutes north of Philadelphia and 90 minutes west of New York City, Lehigh Valley is home to must-see attractions and festivals, world-class sporting events, thrilling outdoor recreation, renowned colleges and universities, and historic sites including Bethlehem, a National Historic Landmark District and nominee on the U.S. Tentative List for World Heritage Designation. Many of America’s favorite brands such as Crayola®, Peeps®, Mike & Ike®, Martin Guitars, Mack Trucks and Olympus reign from Lehigh Valley. Visit DiscoverLehighValley.com and follow @LehighValleyPa.