The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address in 2013 is expected not only to bring millions of visitors, but also a significant increase in benefits to the regional economy.
The Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates that 4 million people will visit Adams County in 2013, which represents an increase of 1 million over a typical year. Based on current state economic research, 2013 could bring in as much as $750 million in visitor spending and more than $135 million in tax revenue to local, state and federal governments.
“There is no doubt about it – the Adams County community stands to benefit greatly from the anniversary next year and the millions of people who will visit to commemorate this important time in American history,” said Norris Flowers, President of the Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau.
In addition to the expected increase in visitor spending and tax revenue, the CVB believes the 150th commemoration could lead to a spike in hiring, especially for the summer months when visitation will be at its highest.
“We know of several businesses in the tourism sector that anticipate an increase in staff to handle the additional visitors in 2013,” said Flowers. “Businesses likely to add staff include accommodations, restaurants, stores, attractions and tours.”
Tourism currently supports more than 7,260 jobs in Adams County, according to a state study by Tourism Economics in 2011.
Gettysburg’s 150th Commemoration is also expected to have a regional economic impact, as many visitors will be staying overnight in neighboring counties in both Southcentral Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland. The CVB is working with nearby communities to connect visitors with available lodging as rooms in Adams County fill up.
“Those communities will not only see economic benefits through lodging, but in other areas as visitors are likely to eat, shop and tour those counties as well,” said Flowers.
The Gettysburg CVB, along with other organizations in Adams County, is working hard to encourage visitation, and the economic benefits that come with it, through the entire 2013 year.
“At the forefront of our efforts over the past two years has been making this commemoration about more than just three days in July 2013,” said Flowers. “By spreading out visitation over the entire year, the community and the visitors will benefit greatly.”
Already, several businesses have opened over the past year in Gettysburg and Adams County ahead of the 150th commemoration in 2013 and in anticipation of the increased visitation.
The peak of the commemoration, “Gettysburg 150 – Reflections of History,” that runs from June 28 through July 7, will include battle re-enactments, tributes, living history encampments, special tours and programs, along with the grand opening of the Seminary Ridge Museum.
Gettysburg will also commemorate the 150th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address on Nov. 19. During that time, events will be held to observe both the Dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery and Remembrance Day, a time when Gettysburg pays tribute to the fallen soldiers.
For a full list of 150th commemorative events, visit www.gettysburgcivilwar150.com.