CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — About 50 travel writers for sources like the Huffington Post and USA Today, plus 50 destination marketing organizations are coming to Central Pennsylvania this fall. It’s a rare opportunity to share the area’s stories with a national audience.
It’s called the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance, or MATPRA marketplace. The networking event will be held on October 4, 5, and 6.
Four counties, including Blair, Centre, Clearfield, and Huntingdon will have the opportunity to showcase their attractions.
“The main hope is that they plan longer term trips with us, so they can highlight our regions, and all the treasures of our regions on our media platforms,” said Liza Gutshall, communications manager for the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau.
“This is certainly going to enhance our exposure,” said Gutshall. “We probably only host maybe eight to ten travel writers every year, so this is an incredible opportunity to connect with a large group of travel writers at one time.”
In Centre County, they’ll experience the food and beverage industry and Happy Valley’s outdoors.
“You know it shouldn’t just be us telling a story, it’s best when we have other people experiencing first hand and then writing their perspective on it,” said Edward Stoddard, communications director for the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau.
It’s an opportunity for local businesses as well, and they’re encouraged to interact with the visitors.
“This is a big deal for Happy Valley and for Central Pennsylvania, so we hope that all businesses have welcome signs out for the MATPA attendees,” said Stoddard.
The tourism groups said they’re hopeful the writers work will attract both lifelong residents and first-time visitors to new experiences.