Adams County, Pa., is on track to generate more than $50 million in hotel revenue this year, nearing the all-time high set in 2013 – the year that Gettysburg commemorated the 150th Anniversary of the Battle.
So far, through June, hotel sales – rentals by visitors staying hotels/motels, bed and breakfasts, guest houses and campground cabins/cottages in Adams County – neared $23 million, almost $1 million higher than those same months in 2016, and $1.75 million higher than 2013.
“Destination Gettysburg has worked hard to extend visitors’ stays by convincing travelers that they need more than a day, often more than two days, to fully experience Adams County,” said Norris Flowers, President of Destination Gettysburg. “These numbers are proof that our marketing is working.”
Hotel revenue is key to generating not only income for owners of accommodation properties, but overnight stays bring approximately $675,000 in lodging taxes to county and local governments annually, in addition to supporting thousands of jobs throughout Adams County.
The median length of stay by overnight visitors, according to surveys conducted by California University of Pennsylvania’s Tourism Research Center, is two nights. Of those visitors surveyed throughout 2016, nearly 65 percent were staying overnight – a large portion reported that they were staying in hotels or motels in Adams County.
The surveys also concluded that, in 2016, 13.3 percent of visitors surveyed said they stayed one night, 27.5 percent stayed two nights and 22.9 percent stayed three nights or more.
Hotel demand is considered a valuable barometer for success in the tourism industry. The more nights a guest stays in a destination, the more they’re likely to spend on meals, shopping, transportation and entertainment – which cumulatively make up $686 million in spending in Adams County, according to state economic research.
In addition to hotel sales revenue generated, the average daily rate of hotel rooms reporting data to Smith Travel Research (STR) is up 3 percent over last year at $105.52 per night. That same research concludes that demand for hotel rooms in Adams County this year is up 9 percent compared to 2016.
“While we’re excited to see these numbers, Destination Gettysburg and the tourism community of Adams County needs to continue to market this destination year-round,” said Flowers. “Our biggest times to grow visitation aren’t in July during the anniversary commemorations and the height of summer vacations – these opportunities to attract more visitors and increase spending in our community are highest during our shoulder seasons.”
These reports come on the heels of the opening of two new hotels in Adams County in 2017.
In May, a Best Western Gettysburg opened along Gettysburg’s Steinwehr Avenue – replacing a former America’s Best Value Inn motel. The new hotel features 81 rooms and overlooks the Gettysburg battlefield. A second hotel – the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Gettysburg South West – opened in August and includes 99 rooms and suites and is located adjacent to the Outlet Shoppes of Gettysburg.
“Tourism is strong in Adams County, and these two new lodging properties are proof of that,” said Flowers. “Businesses are investing in the tourism community and these additional rooms will allow for greater occupancy during our busy times of year.”
More about the tourism industry in Adams County, can be found at www.GettysburgTourismWorks.com, which includes research, profiles on employees within the tourism community, profiles of businesses that depend on tourism, as well as Destination Gettysburg’s marketing efforts to attract visitors.
Destination Gettysburg, the official destination marketing organization, markets Gettysburg – Adams County as a premier travel destination, producing a positive economic impact.