Travel site lauds Laurel Highlands as ’emerging destination’
It comes as no surprise to the agency promoting the region, but the Laurel Highlands’ recent TravelLemming.com award nonetheless is a thrill, say Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau staff members.
The corner of the state including Westmoreland, Somerset and Fayette counties is among the top 30 vote-getters (coming in at 27) for the travel blog’s emerging destinations for 2020.
Founder Nate Hake established the blog to promote emerging destinations around the world as a solution to overtourism, according to a release.
“This is a ‘Wow’ moment for all of us in the Laurel Highlands,” says Ann Nemanic, visitors bureau executive director. “It is easy for us to say we knew. Now the world will know about the magic a visitor can discover in the Laurel Highlands.
“Just an hour from our partner city of Pittsburgh, international visitors will have easy access to our three-county region and the opportunity to view the magnificence of our four-season landscape, enjoy our tourism assets, appreciate unsurpassed recreational opportunities, and immerse themselves in the history and culture, including seeing first-hand the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright,” she adds.
In fact, two of the master architect’s well-known local properties, Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, are among the “top attractions” that Travel Lemming notes, along with Fort Ligonier and Ohiopyle State Park.
The Pennsylvania Tourism Office/Visit PA nominated the Laurel Highlands region for the award.
“We are incredibly happy Travel Lemming has selected the Laurel Highlands as one of the top travel destinations in the world for their 2020 Emerging Destination Awards,” says Carrie Fischer Lepore, deputy secretary for marketing, tourism and film at the Department of Community and Economic Development.
In the release, Lepore notes additional reasons to visit, including the Flight 93 National Memorial, Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.
Winners were selected after voting by 30 of the most popular travel bloggers in the industry, who collectively sport more than 12 million followers on social media.
“Another overlooked destination in the Eastern U.S. that’s home to incredible architecture, nature and cultural sites that makes for the perfect escape at one of their luxury resorts and an amazing road trip,” said Megan Indoe, a judge and Bobo & ChiChi travel blogger.
“You’ll find plenty to get the adrenaline flowing in the summer, too — from whitewater rafting to rock climbing to hiking, the possibilities for adventures are endless in the Laurel Highlands,” Travel Lemming’s website states.
The Laurel Highlands is keeping some pretty heady company, with other “emerging destination” winners including Nova Scotia, Rwanda, Estonia, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Navarre Beach, Fla.
Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .