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A source of visitor information is no longer the only function of a destination marketing organization. They provide a link to visitors they serve, as well as the voice for communities, businesses, workers and residents.
The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau embraces this expanded role while remaining true to its core mission of building a strong local tourism economy by growing leisure, sports and business visitors. The way in which the HVAB and similar organizations carry out their tourism promotion purpose has changed over time.
DMU's have marketed a buffet of things to see and do to a general audience and positioned their destination as everything to everybody. This approach doesn't do much to differentiate a destination in a crowded market.
The internet and social media have changed the playing field. Information about travel choices is easier to find for visitors. Valuable tools are used by the HVAB. With so many delivery methods, it's important to ask the fundamental question, "Why should I visit?"
Establishing a destination value proposition is one way to answer that question. In October, the HVAB changed its name to HVAB.
Penn State is a huge draw for sports and entertainment tourism. There are still people who don't know Happy Valley. Many potential visitors don't know much about our historic communities, beautiful valleys, thriving craft beverage and field-to-fork dining scene.
Happy Valley is our brand and it's affordable and accessible for adults to escape the chaos of the big city and relax.
One of the most popular tourism assets is Penn's Cave and Wildlife Park.
Penn's Cave saw an increase in visitors from the New York City region after it reopened in 2020.
According to Penn's Cave & Wildlife Park Marketing Manager, many of these people had rented cabins, whole-houseAirbnb so they could get away from the city. They were more comfortable in a rural setting where they could enjoy the open spaces.
Big city visitors continue to view Happy Valley as a sanctuary.
New research tools are used by the HVAB to reach the right people. Artificial intelligence is needed to market destinations. Artificial intelligence helps identify target audiences, understand visitor behavior while in the destination, track visitor spending and assess lodging performance. These insights are shared with tourism partners by the HVAB.
The model of the visitor center has changed. Visitor centers need to be their own places. Visitors and residents will be able to buy Happy Valley souvenirs at the store. The Moshannon Valley Heritage Center in Philipsburg is a partnership between Visit Clearfield County and the Moshannon Valley Historical Society.
In today's competitive tourism promotion industry, effectiveDMOs are the ones that keep it on point in cultivating visitors and answering the all- important question of why.
The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau is headed by Smith.