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Free Roundtrip Air Offer From Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Covered bridge in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Edward Harris, president and CEO, Visit Lancaster.
Edward Harris

As the meetings industry gets back to planning in-person events, planners should put a priority on conducting site inspections in the destinations they’re considering. After all, a lot has changed in the last two years, to say the least!

To get their destination on planners’ radars, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, aka Pennsylvania Dutch Country, has partnered with Southern Airways to fly qualified planners roundtrip for free from Pittsburgh or Washington, D.C., for site inspections through April 2022.

While leisure travel helped fill tourism coffers during the pandemic—the past eight months have seen the local lodging community achieve its highest revenue numbers in four years—the central Pennsylvania destination is hungry to get its meetings business back.

“We were very fortunate to be among a handful of destinations to see a surge in leisure visitation over the last six months of the year to close out 2021,” said Edward Harris, president and CEO of Discover Lancaster. “From web traffic gains of 25% to our lodging community posting their strongest third and fourth quarter revenue totals in four years, the data indicates that visitors from Long Island, New York, down to Washington, D.C., chose Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, for their ideal retreat, family getaway or work-cation.”

According to Harris, groups (including meetings) accounted for nearly 40% of the destination’s tourism business prior to the pandemic, but now account for only about 16%.

Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square.
Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square

“Although the leisure side of our business filled in the gap created by the decline in meetings and conventions last year, we’re now deploying new strategies in 2022 to connect with meeting planners to help grow this important segment again,” Harris said. “If the pandemic has taught our industry anything, it’s that we can’t expect to succeed in the future by using the same strategies we deployed in the past. The pandemic was a game changer for our industry. As a marketing-driven organization, we spent more time listening to our visitors, became nimble in our travel-safe advertising approach, and we pushed ourselves to raise the bar with creative solutions."

Southern Airways Cessna Caravan Aircraft.
Southern Airways Cessna Caravan Aircraft

The roundtrip flight offer is valid on Southern Airways Express from Pittsburgh International Airport and Washington-Dulles, to and from Lancaster Airport (LNS). The commuter airline serves nearly 40 U.S. cities across five time zones and has interline agreements with United, American and Alaska airlines.

According to Discover Lancaster, the destination offers more than 1 million square feet of meeting space and 8,000 hotel rooms—more hotel rooms than the city of Buffalo—and ranks behind only Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and California’s Napa Valley in its number of B&Bs per square mile. 

To qualify for the roundtrip air promotion, meeting planners must submit an RFP to

Read Next: Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg, Hershey and Lancaster Serve Up Tasty and Creative Group Outlets 

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About the author
Tyler Davidson | Editor, Vice President & Chief Content Director

Tyler Davidson has covered the travel trade for nearly 30 years. In his current role with Meetings Today, Tyler leads the editorial team on its mission to provide the best meetings content in the industry.