Back to list December 13, 2016 CAEDC Announces Plans for Cumberland Valley Destination Sales CUMBERLAND VALLEY, PA (December 13, 2016) – Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) conducted a Destination Sales Analysis in 2016 with Reach Market Planning. Since 2010, CAEDC has been directly involved with 292 groups, meetings and events that resulted in 60,627 visitors, 22,810 room nights and an economic impact of over $60 million. Reach Market Planning conducted various interviews, site visits and group meetings to hear from Cumberland Valley partners that receive business from visiting groups, meetings and sporting events. Recommendations Key recommendations to grow our tourism economy included: – Focus on soft product and asset development. Soft Product Development is taking existing products (events, attractions, etc.) and linking them together to create a larger experience. Asset Development would involve the creation of new tourism-related assets like a sports complex, conference center, attraction or unique dining and shopping. These types of development will increase future visitation and overnight stays. – Focus on selling the destination to Small Meetings and Conferences and Youth Sports. – Focus on downtown revitalization efforts. Examples could include unique dining and retail destinations, walkable and bike friendly downtowns, streetscape and community design, signage and small business development. Strategic Plan (3-5 year outlook) Based on the suggested recommendations, CAEDC’s destination sales strategies for the next 3 to 5 years will include: Target small to medium size meetings, conferences and associations with attendees ranging from 300 to 500 attendees. This fits the current capacities of existing inventory of hotels and meeting venues in the region. Roll out new partner tradeshow grant to assist tourism partner efforts to attend tradeshows that will increase visitation to the area. Target youth sports market, which has the greatest potential for market growth in the Cumberland Valley. In 2017, CAEDC will conduct a Sports Market Feasibility Study to determine size and location for the multipurpose complex. Our research shows that our destination has growth potential in meetings and conferences, youth sports and leisure. As a result, CAEDC is focused on growing our tourism assets that will in turn increase our visitation to the area and overall growth of our economy. Key asset development recommendations include: a multipurpose sports and entertainment complex; conference center and additional meeting space capacity throughout the destination; full-service hotels to accommodate expected growth; targeted downtown destinations attractive to visitors; and amenities, products, and services that are attractive to visitors and enhance their experience within the destination. “This sales growth plan will increase our lodging average daily rate and occupancy rates allowing us to surpass our competitive set”, says Dawn Rickenbach, Tourism Development Manager. About CAEDC CAEDC is Cumberland County’s authorized agency charged with leveraging and promoting Cumberland Valley’s economic development and tourism assets to drive growth, create jobs and improve the quality of life. Offices are located at 53 W. South Street, Carlisle PA. For more information, visit www.cumberlandbusiness.com and www.visitcumberlandvalley.com.