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Bureau offers new look at tourist attractions

| Sunday, March 21, 2004

A new tourism video will soon take people on a "road trip" through Fayette, Westmoreland and Somerset counties.

The Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau offered a preview of its recently released tourism video, "A Road Trip through Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands," at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in a theater full of bureau members and representatives from travel and tourist agencies.

The audience was treated to popcorn before it got a preview of the seven-minute feature -- a fast-pace tour along local roads with familiar signs of well-known destinations, all while upbeat music plays on the sound track.

The viewer of the video gets a taste of what the Laurel Highlands region has to offer, like skiing and horseback riding, historic sites like Fort Necessity, Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, and popular attractions like Nemacolin Woodlands and the Latrobe brewery.

"I wanted the video to convey how much there is to do in the Laurel Highlands and what a great time visitors would have once they got here," said Lisa Markowski, marketing director for the bureau. Markowski also served as the video's executive producer.

The inspiration for the video, according to bureau President Annie Urban, came from travel writers, tourism organizations and others who were looking for an updated video from the bureau.

The bureau's first videotape was around eight years old and was out of date.

"This is an important marketing tool," Urban said, explaining that the video will help the bureau's mission to promote tourism and tourism development in the region, which is Pennsylvania's second-largest industry.

Urban believes that the video is a "fresh marketing tool that will enhance our existing marketing campaign, thus increasing tourism and the region's economy."

The bureau hopes to have the video used for regional trade shows, public viewing at state information and welcome centers and a promotional tool for viewing on motorcoach tours throughout the region.

"This new video is great for the motorcoach market," said Linda Mauzy, group marketing manager for the bureau. She noted that the video will give passengers the chance to learn about a particular attraction just moments before seeing it firsthand. The video, which will soon be available on VHS, DVD and CD, was produced by CarneyFireman, an advertising and public-relations agency in Pittsburgh, at a cost of $30,000.

Urban said there are so many attractions in the region that the bureau couldn't include all of them in a seven-minute film.

For more information on the video, call 800-333-5661 or visit the bureau's Web site at www.laurelhighlands.org

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