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The power of travel can drive recovery

National Travel and Tourism Week is celebrated locally

Photo submitted by JUNIATA RIVER VALLEY VISITORS BUREAU
Three new postcards are available locally that celebrate the area’s Amish heritage, waterways and Port Royal Speedway.

LEWISTOWN — National Travel and Tourism Week 2021, which is May 2-8, recognizes the power of travel to drive recovery and help define our country’s way forward.

According to U.S. Travel Association, the travel and tourism industry was a significant contributor to the U.S. economy and exports, and supported millions of hard-working Americans prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“By rebuilding the travel industry, small businesses can survive, communities can be revived, and hospitality employees can return to their jobs,” said Jenny Landis, executive director of the Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau. “With the right measures in place, we can get people moving again in a safe and healthy way.”

Locally, the bureau is recognizing the week-long celebration as a chance to inform local and visitors what the Juniata River Valley has to offer, while encouraging travel in a responsible manner.

Due to the popularity of the Goose Day postcard, three new postcards are now available for free that feature some beautiful images that highlight the area’s Amish population, waterways and speedway. Postcards can be found at the visitors bureau office, the Visit Big Valley information center, hotels and Port Royal Speedway.

To further promote the beauty and culture of the region, the bureau will participate in Instagram takeovers with several local businesses including Airydale Retreat and the Wilderness Lodge.

“Our past Instagram takeovers with Revival Kitchen and local fly-fisherman Nick Lyter during National Travel and Tourism Week have been very successful,” said Buffie Boyer, marketing assistant of the JRRVB. “It’s exciting to partner with local businesses who share the same love we have with the Juniata River Valley.”

Photos are also a way of giving future visitors a real glimpse of what to expect when they arrive. Travelers are always looking for an authentic experience and that includes the lodging accommodations they choose when traveling. The Juniata River Valley has many hotels, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds to choose from, plus an increasing inventory of home rentals.

“The visitors bureau sees the online home rental industry as a boost to our travel industry,” said Landis. “Not only are they offering more rooms for rent during busy Penn State weekends, they can also offer an authentic experience that show guests what our area is really like. But we caution people thinking about renting their extra rooms for money to do their homework. You are starting a business and with that comes a lot of things that aren’t readily apparent.”

Those thinking about renting a room in their home or their entire house to earn extra income, the visitors bureau created a checklist of things to know before listing the property. Since the home would now be considered a business, there are certain requirements and regulations that must be followed including zoning, occupancy permits, hotel occupancy tax, county/city room tax, insurance and parking. Contact the visitors bureau for a copy of the checklist.

The visitors bureau encourages all residents and guests to follow social distancing guidelines when visiting the area’s attractions and local businesses.

For information about things to do locally or state-wide, stop by the visitors bureau office at 1 W. Market St., Lewistown. Hours are 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Those seeking informaiton may also call (717) 248-6713 or visit www.jrvvisitors.com.

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