PA Changes Up Tourism Brand With ‘Great American Getaway’ Campaign

Tourism generates over $76 billion for the state’s economy annually

Gov. Josh Shapiro on Monday unveiling the new brand. Credit: PA Internet News Service

Pennsylvania has rebranded itself as tourism season starts, moving from “Pursue Your Happiness” to “The Great American Getaway.”

The announcement was made on Monday by Gov. Josh Shapiro, Lt. Gov. Austin Davis and Rick Siger, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, at PNC Field, home to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. They were joined by tourism officials from around the state.

Tourism generates over $76 billion for the state’s economy annually and supports more than 486,000 jobs statewide, according to the Pennsylvania Office of Tourism, commonly branded as Visit PA. In Bucks County alone, tourism impacts the economy by more than $1 billion, per Visit Bucks County.

File photo.

“Here in Pennsylvania, we have it all – from top-tier sports and events, award-winning restaurants, incredible hikes and state parks, and the most important historic sites in the country that tell the story of our shared history. More people deserve the chance to come here and experience the magic of Pennsylvania for themselves,” said Shapiro. “Once you’re here, you’ll find there’s something for every member of the family.”

The Democratic governor’s proposed 2024-2025 budget includes an $18 million increase for tourism and business marketing across the state.

Officials highlighted Pennsylvania as an ideal weekend getaway destination, with nearly 72 million people living within a four-hour drive of the state.

The Philadelphia skyline in July 2020.

Pennsylvania’s location is a significant advantage for tourism because the state lies within close driving proximity to major East Coast hubs such as New York City, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. The state boasts vibrant main streets, popular restaurants and bars, renowned historical sites, outdoor recreation, and top-tier events and sports.

“Pennsylvania is home to thousands of incredible destinations. From our hospitality and entertainment sites to our state parks and outdoor recreation businesses, there are incredible tourism opportunities for travelers to pursue their passion, support good-paying jobs, and spend time with loved ones,” said Davis. “Now that the second lady and I have started a family, we can’t wait to show our daughter all that Pennsylvania has to offer and make new lifelong memories together on our own Great American Getaway.”

Following the brand launch on Monday, Gov. Shapiro and his family will embark on a week-long RV tour across 14 counties, making 50 stops to promote Pennsylvania’s diverse attractions ahead of Memorial Day Weekend.

“There truly is no better endorsement than the governor and his family traveling the state, sharing their experiences and their passion for all things Pennsylvania,” said Joe Massaro, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association.

The Pittsburgh skyline in 2021.
Credit: PA Internet News Service.

Visit PA is launching a summer marketing campaign titled “Your Great American Getaway Starts Here.”

The campaign runs from late May through August in regional markets, including New York City, Washington DC, Cleveland, Toronto, and statewide across Pennsylvania.

The campaign features a new ad video narrated by Delaware County native and “Broad City” star Abbi Jacobson.

State Rep. Donna Oberlander, Republican chairperson of the Tourism and Economic and Recreational Development Committee, praised the new brand and efforts to increase tourism.

“I am pleased to see a campaign that embraces all of what Pennsylvania has to offer, from history to outdoor recreational opportunities to our vast network of thriving small businesses. This campaign will offer something for everyone, including in-state travelers discovering hidden new gems and out-of-state travelers experiencing Pennsylvania’s uniqueness for the first time,” Oberlander said.

Siger pointed to the economic importance of tourism in his support of the campaign.

“The governor’s investment in one of our state’s most important industries and the launch of this new brand and marketing campaign will give a needed boost to tourism promotion and the industry ahead of the busy summer travel season and for years to come,” he said.

Past state tourism slogans have included: “The State of Independence,” “Memories Last a Lifetime,” “America Starts Here,” and “You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania.”

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