State Makes Deeper Cut In Tourist Promotion Grant

Potter County Today

pcvaPennsylvania has made another cut in funding for county-based tourist promotion activities. The reduction, combined with lower revenue due to a loophole in the “bed tax,” has the Potter County Visitors Association (PCVA) once again adjusting its efforts to draw tourists to the area. PCVA is getting just $2,917 in state support this year, down from $4,925 in 2009, $13,355 the previous year, and $34,652 in 2007.

At the same time, another source of local tourist promotion funding has plunged due to hotels and motels in the region renting rooms to guests for long-term occupancy. Under the state’s bed tax legislation, a guest is exempt from paying the levy – which is 3% in most counties – if he books a room for 30 or more days.

PCVA Executive Director David Brooks said the organization has adapted to the tighter budget with various steps, including an increased use of internet-based tools to reduce marketing costs and help its members.

State funds have been shifting from single-county tourist promotion to regional agencies, such as the 12-county “Pennsylvania Wilds” organization. The state’s allotment includes $200,000 for the Wilds, a 12-county region that includes Potter, Elk, McKean, Tioga, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Forest, Jefferson, Lycoming and Warren counties.

Other grants included $175,000 for Pennsylvania Heritage Areas promotion efforts, administered by the Pa. Rt. 6 Marketing Partnership; $75,000 to the Pa. Golf Course Owners Assn., for promotion of  golf in Pennsylvania; and $50,000 for the Pa. State Snowmobile Assn., for promotion of snowmobiling opportunities.

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