Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s welcome centers play an important role in supporting the state’s important travel and tourism industry. Did you know that the Keystone Welcome Center at Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes in Erie County is in the backyard of a grape vineyard and offers a breathtaking view of Lake Erie? Or, that the Keystone Welcome Center at Delaware Water Gap in Monroe County has a unique rooftop garden where travelers can take a picnic break?
Did you know that the Keystone Welcome Center at Pine Creek Gorge in Tioga County offers a log cabin look and feel and binocular viewers to help travelers spot wildlife and take in scenic views? Or, that many of the Welcome Centers have hosted some high-profile visitors, including the likes of singer-songwriters Lady Gaga and Brett Michaels, actors Bo Derek and John Corbett, and several high-ranking political officials?
This is just a small peek inside the unique and often interesting world of Pennsylvania’s 14 PennDOT Welcome Centers, a world in which each of the centers’ employees play a vital role in contributing to one of the Keystone State’s top leading industries – travel and tourism.
To effectively provide travel and accommodation assistance, the centers are strategically located along interstate entry points bordering other states to assist travelers entering the state. Open seven days a week, including most holidays, these centers and their employees often provide a first impression of Pennsylvania for out-of-state travelers.
The tourist information counselors provide travelers with free reservation services at any statewide business that accepts reservations. Equipped with a vast knowledge of regional and statewide attractions, counselors make reservations for hotels, motels, campgrounds, and other attractions.
Through this personalized travel counseling and itineraries, tourist information counselors helped to shape the travel plans of more than 3.6 million customers in 2019, making 6,800 reservations, and generating nearly $800,000 in tourism revenue for the commonwealth.
See videos about each center at https://www.penndot.gov/PennDOTWay/Pages/Article.aspx?post=354.
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