Written by John Straitiff

As another year draws to a close, it is time to look back and reflect on 2019. The weather made the news. Heavy rains put a bit of a damper on spring and the early days of summer. Thankfully, the many beautiful days that followed during July, August, and fall made for a strong travel season.

It was a year that saw many new businesses open in the region including new lodging options. Straub Brewery now has a new Tap Room and Visitor Center. More restaurants, attractions, and events were added and small businesses expanded too.

At the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau, we did some new things as well. Our website was upgraded this year to be ADA compliant. Contests like the Great Outdoors Getaway Giveaway, Big Fish, and quarterly photo contests drove thousands of people to our website. We continue to see steady growth in the number of visitors and pageviews on More than 60,200 people follow the PA Great Outdoors Facebook page. Our widely popular weekly Treat Yourself Tuesday giveaways and daily engaging posts continue to grow the number followers to our page every week.

Home, Travel, and Outdoor trade shows in Columbus, Ohio, Chantilly, Virginia, Dover, Delaware, Toronto, Canada, and Philadelphia, Altoona, Lancaster, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania were added to a list that already included largest sports show in the world in Harrisburg and a show York, PA. The two-time Emmy Award winning PBS travel show Beyond Your Backyard with Erik the Travel Guy returned to the region in June to film a second Pennsylvania Great Outdoors episode which will air nationally in the spring of 2020.

Our new Wine-Beer-Moonshine tasting trail was also released. The Guide is an all-encompassing resource for finding and enjoying the wineries, breweries, distilleries, and wine events in our region that includes a map featuring all major routes and all stops clearly marked.

We now turn our focus towards the 2020 travel season. From everyone at the PA Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau, we wish you a safe and prosperous Happy New Year!

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