Discover Lehigh Valley® again goes virtual with its annual meeting and shares big wins in an unusual year
LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., November 9, 2021 – Discover Lehigh Valley®, the destination marketing organization (DMO) dedicated to promoting tourism in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh and Northampton counties, today announced several key indicators that show the region is coming back strong from the impacts felt early on with the COVID-19 pandemic. While it was a challenging year, Discover Lehigh Valley remained creative, resilient, and determined to market Lehigh Valley as a destination to visit, work, learn, and live. 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 resiliency, the DLV family is without a doubt innovative as well," says Alex Michaels, president and CEO for Discover Lehigh Valley. "We expect next year to bring about new beginnings for the travel and tourism industry, and I am confident that the tourism industry is well-positioned for years to come."
To further showcase the organization’s outstanding efforts and impressive metrics, Discover Lehigh Valley released a dynamic 2020-2021 recap video during the virtual annual meeting. Key Lehigh Valley travel and tourism annual statistics include:
- Continuing to rank #1 in hotel occupancy around the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a strong 77.6% rate in June 2021, reported by Smith Travel Research
- Increased visitation from Pennsylvania over previous years, by about 20%, according to Travel USA Visitor Profile report by Longwoods International
- 69% of visitors were very satisfied with their overall experience and safety and security received the highest marks, again by Longwoods International
- Earned 796 media placements in top outlets including Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Thrillist, Parents Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer and more
- Garnered over 1.3 billion earned media impressions
- Secured over 1.5 million pageviews on DiscoverLehighValley.com
The marketing team continually produced and distributed content to fulfill the organization's mission by promoting positive news about Lehigh Valley, supporting local businesses, boosting civic pride, and driving visitation. Targeted local billboards with Adams Outdoor kicked off the fiscal year to remind passersby of all things “Made Possible in Lehigh Valley”, like the importance of travel, shopping local, and enjoying the great outdoors of our backyards. Social media channels were used as a source to anchor happenings and inspirational trip ideas for the Mid-Atlantic market. The spring season launched a 16-week campaign to help drive day and overnight visitation— & DLV’s largest effort since COVID-19 began. Campaign messaging touted visiting and meeting safely in Lehigh Valley to experience the region’s great attractions, like its iconic historic sites, top-notch cycling venues, award-winning wineries, adventure parks and trails—all things paired with ease of access, low-key vibe, and welcoming hospitality. Attributes that make Lehigh Valley stand out from other Mid-Atlantic destinations.
Beyond the leisure marketing efforts, Discover Lehigh Valley’s sales and services team worked to stay engaged with their customers and continue educating them on the many meeting spaces, venues, and advantages to hosting events in Lehigh Valley... keeping in mind that the meeting planner journey consists of awareness, consideration, decision, and re-engagement. The team engaged with current and prospective clients through virtual itineraries, guiding planners through Lehigh Valley on how to get here, meeting hotels and venues, and attractions.
Through a partnership with Just Born and the Crayola Experience™, the sales team hosted the inaugural PEEPS® Meet Contest aimed at keeping meeting planners, sports event organizers and partners engaged, while many were at home. A Meetings Recovery Campaign was launched targeting over 7,000 unique meeting planners in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. In order to continue momentum of educating clients, a virtual familiarization tour was hosted with 56 meeting planner attendees and reached 142,500 impressions on Facebook and LinkedIn.
“I'm proud to be the chairman of the board for Discover Lehigh Valley, especially at such an exciting time of recovery and growth for our industry as we work together to re-energize travel," says Darren Betters, of the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority. "The Discover Lehigh Valley Team has demonstrated unwavering resilience over the last year, and I'm looking forward to seeing what’s to come from this always evolving, always pioneering group."
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.