Arts, history, heritage and adventure took center stage Wednesday evening at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art as the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau® premiered two new regional tourism promotional videos in conjunction with National Travel and Tourism Week.

“Debuting these videos during National Travel and Tourism Week gives us an opportunity to celebrate what travel means to the Laurel Highlands,” said Kristin Ecker, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, for the LHVB. “Online video is the future of content marketing. Travelers are a visual audience, and anytime we can provide more clarity from a visual standpoint, our potential visitors are more likely to develop a connection with the Laurel Highlands and be inspired to seek out information about the activities and attractions in the region. The footage is powerful – it perfectly conveys the beauty and excitement of the Laurel Highlands.”

After the debut, the video will be incorporated into the bureau’s website (, social media and marketing initiatives, including television ads in top markets such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus and Pittsburgh. 

“Our ultimate goal was to establish an extensive library of high-quality, emotionally powerful video that could be woven into short videos for online and social media marketing, television commercials and so much more,” added Ecker. “Each will have its own theme such as summer family fun, fall festivals and winter adventure – the possibilities are endless.” 

“As the second leading industry in Pennsylvania, travel and tourism plays a critical role in the overall economic well-being of Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties,” said Reneé Seifert, President and CEO of the LHVB. “More than nine million travelers visit the Laurel Highlands annually, spending between $100 and $400 per day and the numbers continue to climb. As tourism continues to grow, it provides income, employment opportunities and tax revenue to benefit our local community and the state of Pennsylvania.”

According to a 2013 study by Tourism Economics, travelers spend approximately $1.8 billion annually in the Laurel Highlands, which generates:

•    More than $374 million in labor income
•    A return of $120 million in state and local sales tax and $116 million in federal taxes
•    An average savings of $510 per county household from tourism-generated taxes 
•    More than 19,000 jobs in the Laurel Highlands are tourism-related, representing one in three jobs in the region  

According to the U.S. Travel association, nationally, tourism directly generated $147.9 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments in 2015. Tourism is America’s largest services export industry and is one of the country’s largest employers. It supports more than 15.1 million jobs, including 8.2 million directly in the travel industry and nearly 7 million in indirect and induced jobs. 

Media Toolbox
•    The three-minute video can be viewed online here.

•    Photos from the Tourism After Hours event can be downloaded here.

•    LHVB logo can be downloaded here.

•    Additional economic impact information can be viewed here.

About the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau®:
The Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau is the destination marketing organization dedicated to promoting Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania. Established in 1958, the LHVB implements year-round seasonal marketing campaigns throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to enhance awareness of the Laurel Highlands as a travel destination, which increases overnight stays, generates jobs and contributes to the economic growth and quality of life for the region. 
The visitors bureau and its partners influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose the Laurel Highlands through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services. Destinations within the area include three architectural masterpieces by Frank Lloyd Wright – Fallingwater ®, Kentuck Knob and Duncan House – Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, the Flight 93 National Memorial, Idlewild and Soak Zone, whitewater rafting at Ohiopyle State Park and much more. 

Located within 200 miles of the major metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland and Washington D.C., the Laurel Highlands can be easily accessed from exits 67, 75, 91 and 110 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.