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Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau Launches New Marketing Initiatives on Pennsylvania's Tourism Day


New Website and a Host of New Marketing Tools to Attract Visitors Unveiled in Commonwealth's Capital City Today

Harrisburg, PA - The Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB) today announced several new tools and initiatives designed to promote its Partners and to give visitors the most comprehensive look possible into all that the region has to offer. 


In addition to publishing the new 2011 edition of the annual Visitor's Guide, HHRVB is rolling out a new Web site design and URL at, launching a new, destination-minded branding campaign and stepping up activity in the Social Media arena.


The 2011 Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Guide debuted in February.  More than 350,000 copies of the guide are distributed annually in addition to thousands of travel consumers accessing the virtual guide on HHRVB's website. The browsable online version expands the bureau's reach to visitors across the country and around the globe. 


Visitors can now access all things Hershey Harrisburg under a new, more engaging URL of  "The new URL is literally a call to action," said Mary Smith, President of Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau.  "It is simple, but powerful because it embraces our mission of attracting visitors to the region."  


A new feature of is the site's ability to respond to visitors' individual needs with a technique known as "voicing" set to roll out in the next few months.  A visitor selects an experience such as "Family Fun" or "Couple Romantic Outing," and the entire site will convert to speak to that visitor only in the relevant terms of that choice.  Users who select "Family Fun" when searching for restaurants would see partner listings of family restaurants before they would see clubs and bars.


"This site is easy to navigate and presents the region as contemporary, vibrant and welcoming," said HHRVB Director of Marketing, Robin Scaer. "It is populated with stunning images, and we limit text copy to the necessary nuts and bolts of what a visitor needs to know."  HHRVB partnered with Spencer Advertising & Marketing in September of 2010 to develop the new Web site. 


Also new to HHRVB's online tools are micro sites - pages designed to mirror the layout of but speak to a particular audience such as groups, meeting planners, sporting event planners.  There will be also pages dedicated to special events hosted in the region like the Keystone State Games.   


HHRVB is changing more than just its online look.  Under the direction of YOUNGBLOOD Advertising, a new branding campaign is in the works to market the region as Visit Hershey Harrisburg, WorkPlay, PA.  "It's a line that resonates with people," said Scaer.  "We add the tag line of Workplay, PA in recognition of our region becoming a growing tour-de-force for corporate meetings and conferences as well as a premier destination for family vacations and youth sports events." 


The logo seen at the top of this release will soon be a thing of the past.  HHRVB will unveil a new logo this spring that shows off the Visit Hershey Harrisburg and WorkPlay, PA branding.   The new logo will be used for print materials, online, in advertising, via social media channels, and will be on display on promotional materials like signs, banners and window clings. 


HHRVB is engaging mobile consumers by offering multiple opportunities to get connected. The most recent addition is the Bureau's Foursquare Branded Page - one of only four destination pages to be launched by FourSquare nationally. Foursquare enables local businesses to interact in real-time with potential customers, generates foot-traffic by offering discounts to users, and encourages repeat business by rewarding their patrons with specials available exclusively to them. Within the first four weeks of establishing a presence on Foursquare, the bureau accumulated 1,500 friends. Today that figure is over 5,100!


"Undeniably, Smartphones have changed the way we travel," said Susan Ewing, Director of Social & Digital Media for HHRVB.  According to a recent study conducted by The Nielsen Company,  Smartphones will reach 50% of all cell phone users by the third quarter of this year.


"HHRVB recognizes the potential of mobile travel technology and continues to be on the frontline of this ever-changing game to deliver more of the same great content in a fresh, mobile-optimized experience.  Providing travelers with easy access to online communities, travel information, favorite attractions, unique dining experiences and more on their handheld device, is an immense advantage to not only our local tourism businesses, but the region," Ewing said.


Ewing is also using QR codes to create a buzz around the bureau's Social Media marketing efforts.  To non-technical audiences, a QR code is a seemingly random series of black and white squares, but most Smartphone users know that scanning the code with their phone will give them access to a web destination with specialized, often exclusive content like the opportunity to download 2011's 20 top travel apps and enter for the chance to win an iPhone 2!  HHRVB issued 1,000 guides with special QR code covers and plans to incorporate the application into future projects.


All of these changes and updates show that the bureau is growing just like the destination.  According to Scaer, "It is imperative that we present Hershey Harrisburg as a professional yet playful destination to our primary target audience in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Our cutting edge online tools, commitment to Social Media efforts and new branding campaign will allow us to present the region as the exciting and versatile destination that it is."





About the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau

The Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB) is the official non-profit partnership-based Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) serving Dauphin and Perry Counties in Pennsylvania's Dutch Country Roads Region. HHRVB is a Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) accredited organization committed to actively marketing the region locally, domestically, and internationally to leisure and business travelers, event organizers, and group tour leaders in order to stimulate the local economy and support
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