Lycoming County strives to attract day-trippers, tourists

Members of the Lycoming/Sullivan Counties Boroughs Association were updated on the promotion of Lycoming County as tourist destination at their meeting Wednesday evening.

Jason Fink, executive vice-president of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, told the Association that the Visitors Bureau has identified regions it will target with print, television and online advertising buys for the forthcoming spring, summer and fall vacation season.

“We’ve identified a primary feeder market in Rochester,” Fink said. “Because of the good connectivity with the improved Route 15 corridor we’ve seen a lot of people from there coming down to our area.”

The Visitors Bureau plans to make television buys in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market to advertise day trip possibilities within the county.

“The quality of life we tout are the same assets we sell for Lycoming County as a destination. For people who want to fish, hike, bike, hunt, we want to get them to spend some of their hard-earned dollars,” he said. “Most of our funds are spent outside Lycoming County – we’re not as concerned with getting our logo, our name in local media, hearing it on local radio.”

Fink says that the Chamber of Commerce gives grants to some familiar events and institutions, like the Community Arts Center and the Billtown Blues Fest, and some that most might not know of yet.

“The Wildcat ComicCon last year at Penn College was in its first year and it brought in just under 1,000 people,” he said. “That caught the attention of a niche market, and as an educational institution Penn College took a sort of different approach to that sort of event – they had people there to teach how to draw comics, how to write them.”

Old Lycoming Township Supervisor John Eck updated the association on the progress of Lycoming County Area Television.

“It doesn’t look like it’s going to take a whole lot of money to keep this going,” Eck said. “We want to spin it out to other communities, like Jersey Shore, Picture Rocks, Hughesville, Muncy, that aren’t on this initially.”

Fink says his bureau hopes to have area hotels program their television sets to Lycoming County Area Television as the first station visitors see when they flip on the tube.

“We’re going to have a lot of downtime on that channel, and we want to fill it with short vignettes about what there is to do in Lycoming County,” he said. “That will also show the citizenry what there is to do outside their doorsteps, which is why we’re making a small investment in the project.”