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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: August 31, 2020 02:56 PM
From: Representative Jack Rader, Jr.
To: All House members
Subject: Grant Program for Local Visitors Bureaus
I plan to introduce legislation to help Pennsylvania’s second-largest industry—tourism—recover from the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Due to restrictions on travel and large gatherings, the state’s $44 billion tourism industry has suffered a massive economic blow.  Many attractions had to close for months, only to be limited upon reopening to fewer customers due to the administration’s rules on gatherings.  The same draconian rules are preventing the hospitality industry from recovering.  Many restaurants and attractions may never reopen.
If our tourism industry is to recover, we have to tell potential visitors that Pennsylvania is open business.  But the agencies whose job that is—our local nonprofit destination marketing organizations—have been weakened by severely diminished revenue from the county hotel tax, which their main source of funding.  Employees have been furloughed.  Marketing campaigns were curtailed or ended.
My legislation creates a grant program for these vital agencies using $15 million in federal CARES act dollars.  This money will be used for tourist marketing so we can bring visitors and their dollars back to our communities.

Please consider signing on to this legislation.

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