UPPER MERION – The Valley Forge Convention and Tourism Board celebrated Montgomery County tourism this week with its sixth annual Travel Rally.
The event, which took place Monday, May 9, at the Green Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, featured live music, costumed performers, hot air balloons and adoptable animals, as the agency outlined new and returning events.
The annual event took place during National Travel and Tourism Week whose theme this year was ‘The Future of Travel’. This topic is timely, as the travel and tourism industry continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mike Bowman, president and CEO of the Valley Forge Board of Tourism and Conventions, told attendees that travel has a “very bright future” in Montgomery County.
“This is because tourism has historically been a huge positive economic driver in Monteco, contributing more than $1.65 billion, and more than 25,000 jobs,” he said in a statement. We know travel will continue to make a positive impact here. Travel allows us to connect emotionally with each other, which is what we need now more than ever.”
One of the new events announced during the rally is the first-ever Montco Jazz Festival, which will be incorporated into the organization’s returning Montcou Arts Week, September 16-25. The new festival will include performances at popular Montgomery County venues.
Montgomery Arts Week was a new—and successful—event in 2021, held to help encourage support for the county’s 200 arts and culture venues, which typically represent $100 million in positive economic impact for Montgomery County.
The Montgomery Jazz Festival wasn’t the only new attraction planned in Montgomery County this year. The Tourist Board has also announced Valley Forge’s participation in The American Revolution Show, which will take place at the Washington Memorial Chapel June 18-26.
The 50-minute show features seven actors performing on a small stage — making “characters, scenery, and props with just their bodies and voices,” according to information on the tour group’s website. The performers recreated the American struggle for independence. Sponsored by the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board, shows will be free. Information about the shows will be added to the Tourism Board’s website.
Back in July it will be the month of Craif Montko. Launched last summer for the first time, the four-week campaign highlights the county’s more than 1,850 restaurants and makers of Monteco – breweries, wineries and distilleries. The show will include social media influencer acquisitions, pop-up events, and celebrity chef appearances over the course of 31 days.
Crave Montau Month and Monteco Arts Week were launched last year to promote restaurants and the arts in the county – two sectors of the tourism and travel industry that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, the Advocates Professional Golf Association Tour will return in the fall. The round of golf includes 22 premiere locations across the country including Pebble Beach, and aligns Montgomery County with other top golf destinations, according to the agency.
The 2022 summer video media campaign from the Valley Forge Council of Tourism and Convention will position Montgomery County as the “ultimate family destination,” according to the agency. The family-focused messaging will target markets in Philadelphia, Washington DC, Boston, Baltimore, Hartford and Virginia — based on consumer research and monitoring of trends, along with Valley Forge’s ongoing partnership with Zartico — a company that helps track visitor information.
Several other ongoing Valley Forge Tourism initiatives were highlighted during the Travel Rally, including:
• Make It Main Street, an initiative committed to telling the stories of local small business owners, BIPOC-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, and LGBTQ+-owned businesses, with digital marketing, television, radio and out-of-home, web content, videos, and social and public relations.
• Launching a $325,000 meeting campaign to promote Montgomery County’s position as one of the industry’s leading destinations for trade fairs and corporate gatherings.
• Embark Montco, a travel program highlighting Montgomery County’s dog-friendly destinations.
For more information on events, hotels, restaurants and venues, visit valleyforge.org.