Four-day event in September (18-21) will bring over 100 journalists and 50 destination-marketing organizations to Lehigh Valley for story ideas and regional travel destination news

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. (March 19, 2012) - Discover Lehigh Valley, the official destination marketing organization for Lehigh and Northampton counties in eastern Pennsylvania, has won the privilege of hosting the ninth annual Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA) Media Marketplace. The conference will be held at Historic Hotel Bethlehem from September 18-21, 2012, and brings together over 100 invited journalists and 50 destination marketing organization members from the Mid-Atlantic region to Lehigh Valley.

“Discover Lehigh Valley is thrilled to have put together a successful bid and won the opportunity to host the 2012 MATPRA Media Marketplace,” said Kim Lilly, Executive Vice President of Discover Lehigh Valley. “In addition to all the added hotel room nights, this event will bring a wave of exposure in the Mid-Atlantic region to Lehigh Valley’s attractions, restaurants and events.”

MATPRA is a grassroots group of tourism marketing and public relations professionals who work through travel journalists to promote the Mid-Atlantic region as a travel destination. The annual MATPRA Media Marketplace event highlights an area’s local hot spots as well as lesser-known treasures to a broader group of reporters and destination marketers. Press from the 2011 MATPRA Media Marketplace, held in Solomons, Md., accounted for over $194,000 worth of news coverage.

2012 MATPRA Media Marketplace attendees will have several options of what they would like to explore in Lehigh Valley. These familiarization tours are designed to give journalists and destination marketing organizations a broad showcase of attractions in Lehigh Valley. Some locations, such as The Crayola Experience and C.F. Martin & Co., are nationally renowned. Others, including Strawberry Acres and the Sigal Museum, are less familiar but equally engaging. Attendees will also explore some of the area’s best restaurants and retail locations. A complete schedule of events and tour options is available at

The Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania is located about one hour north of Philadelphia and less than two hours west of New York City. Lehigh Valley is home to the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, as well as dozens of quaint small towns and picturesque boroughs.

At the heart of the area is the Lehigh River, which cuts through Lehigh Valley’s beautiful countryside. The region is steeped in pre-Colonial, early-American and industrial history and has an impressive range of tourist attractions, including the beautiful new Sands® Casino Resort Bethlehem, an American Viticultural Area designated wine trail, world-class sporting events, hundreds of acres of parks, dozens of family destinations and much more.

Lehigh Valley is home to:

  • Musikfest, one of the largest music festivals in the nation
  • The Crayola Experience ™, the colorful home of Crayola Crayons
  • C.F. Martin Guitar Co., the largest acoustic guitar maker in the world
  • Just Born, manufacturer of PEEPS®, Mike and Ike®, Peanut Chews® and other candies
  • Dutch Springs, one of the largest freshwater scuba diving facilities in the country
  • Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, two great amusement parks in one
  • Allentown, which has more acres of park land per capita than any American city its size
  • Bethlehem, home to more history and original 18th century buildings than Colonial Williamsburg
  • Easton, one of three sites of public readings of the Declaration of Independence in 1776

About Discover Lehigh Valley

Discover Lehigh Valley is the designated destination marketing organization of Lehigh and Northampton counties. Its mission is to promote and develop Lehigh Valley as a leisure and business travel destination. Created in 1984, Discover Lehigh Valley assists in promoting regional tourism, an industry that generates $1.5 billion in annual revenue and accounts for more than 22,000 jobs in Lehigh Valley. For more information on Discover Lehigh Valley and its activities or to request a Lehigh Valley Map & Guide, call 1-800-MEET-HERE, or visit the official tourism website of Lehigh Valley at