We all know Berks Countians love food. Apparently, so do our traffic. Visitors to the county spent $207 million on food and beverages in 2017. That’s nearly 1 / 4 of all the $902 million of visitor greenbacks spent right here.
And it is growing. In 2016, traffic spent $195 million on food and liquids, consistent with Crystal Seitz, president of Pennsylvania Americana Region, which is the brand call of the area’s tourism bureau. “People are spending a long time here, and they are right here for the food,” Seitz stated. In addition, Seitz said food fairs appeal to traffic here. The Taste of Hamburg-er festival, as an instance, attracts extra than 30,000 humans. “And they come from all over the East Coast, no longer just Berks,” Seitz said.
As tourism businesses across the united states faucet into consumers’ growing hobby in all matters culinary, they’re seeking out elements that lead them to particular and proper places to visit. Interest in foods and drinks has exploded amongst vacationers within the closing 4 years, said Joel Cliff, spokesman for Discover Lancaster. “People are looking for authenticity in their travels,” he stated. “They can get a more suitable feel of a place thru meals or drink and the folks that create it. It absolutely has taken off, and we’ve tried to trip that wave.”
On the foodie path
Discover Lancaster turned slightly ahead of the curve in 2012 when it started aggregating craft breweries on its website, Cliff stated. That might eventually cause its Ale Trail, which it promotes online and in a brochure. Cliff said the path’s development and promotion are wrapped into the organization’s normal price range and plan. The tourism bureau is funded through companion business enterprise, so at first, it changed into reluctant to sell brewers that were now not partners. Cliff stated that it started to include non partner enterprise within the final two years to serve site visitors higher. Partners get greater prominence, though.
Unlike fairs, trails aren’t tied to dates, so they lack the urgency that outdoor events carry. That may be a fine in that they may be promoted over longer periods and are much less dependent on climate for fulfillment. But there are logistical concerns, Seitz said. Years in the past, Berks tried an art path; however, they ran into trouble because organizers hadn’t considered that some studios had been simplest open on weekends or at some point of limited hours. So Seitz started the bureau is working on a Brew-Ha-Ha path. With 10 craft breweries, Berks has the property for a robust trail. She expected it would take about $30,000 to $40,000 to create and marketplace a trail. However, Berks wineries have had a successful wine trail for decades and can sell events on it properly, Seitz said.
We all scream
Last 12 months, Pennsylvania started out selling an ice cream trail within the south-significant part of the kingdom. It protected stops in Berks and Lancaster counties. Michael Chapaloney, government director of tourism, said the path became created with the help of the Department of Agriculture. The first trail, highlighting dairy farms that made ice cream, gave traffic “ a true cow-to-cone enjoy,” he said. Visitors have been given “passports” to mark their visits to trail stops, and they could mail their trek documents to the nation for prizes. That first trial remaining year was a large hit, Chapaloney said. The country received almost 2,000 submissions for prizes.
This summer, the state accelerated the ice cream path to 4 throughout the nation. “The reaction final 12 months become definitely extraordinary,” Chapaloney stated. During these 12 months, he delivered creameries within the western part of the kingdom. As a result, those corporations have already got given out extra than 2 hundred passports. In addition to the Department of Agriculture, Visit Pa. Teamed with the Center for Dairy Excellence and Pa. Preferred, which helped with outreach to capacity trail stops. After the basis of the remaining year, it became a reasonably quick turnaround, Chapaloney said. They had a list of creameries in mid-May, and by using June 1, the web page and passports were ready. Establishing ice cream trails is simply one manner the country is showcasing the culinary delights of Pennsylvania. In 2018, it released “Pursue your Hoppiness,” the craft-brew riff on its signature tagline promoting the country, “Pursue your Happiness.”
Later this year, the country will launch an apple trail, which may not wind through Berks or Lancaster; however should inside the future, Chapaloney stated. It is funded through a provide from the Appalachian Regional Commission. Also in the works are trails where tourists can find out artisan bread, fermented ingredients, and charcuterie. In addition, food tourism has the capacity to touch on other attributes of Pennsylvania that appeal to visitors. These encompass records, the outdoors, and concrete culture in smaller cities consisting of Reading and Harrisburg.