Annie Weeks, Director, Lancaster Office of Promotion (LOOP)
Tell us a little bit about the Lancaster City Visitor Center.
The Lancaster City Visitor Center, located centrally at 38 Penn Square, greets guests from all over the globe every day. Open seven days a week from April – December, the Visitor Center serves as a liaison between guests and Lancaster City’s attractions. The Visitor Center staff introduce Lancaster City to guests and provide helpful tips and recommendations of what to do and where to go.
So far in 2019, about 10K visitors have stopped into the Visitor Center and about 20 percent of guests have been international visitors.
During the winter months (January – March) the Visitor Center is only open three days a week (Tues., Fri. and Sat.)
How are you extending the reach of the Visitor Center?
The Lancaster Office of Promotion extends our reach through social media with a combined following of 30K people (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), our website, www.VisitLancasterCity.com, which in 2018 had 150K users and 540k page views. Our email newsletter reaches 4K people twice a month, and our printed Lancaster City Visitor Guide and Map which over 200K copies are printed and placed around PA and Maryland.
In 2018, 6 percent of VisitLancasterCity.com traffic was international users, and of domestic users, 45 percent were from outside Pennsylvania.
What are some of the ways we market Lancaster City?
Most are listed in the question above. Through Visit Lancaster City social media, website, and email newsletter. Also, with our Lancaster City Visitor Guide & Map, which is printed every year.
The Lancaster Office of Promotion also produces special events throughout the year that attract visitors and introduces the City to new audiences, such as First Fridays, the Red Rose Run, Music Fridays, the Mayor’s Tree Lighting, Celebrate Lancaster, New Year’s Eve in Lancaster City, Lancaster Shops Late, etc.
What do tourists add to the City experience?
Tourists first and foremost help generate revenue for our local businesses, which is particularly important to our retail shops, historic attractions, arts venues, and restaurants. In addition to the economic benefit, visitors help us share Lancaster’s dynamic community with others from our rich history and architecture to the welcoming character of the city.