In a local star-studded media event on Wednesday afternoon at the Settler’s Inn, Route 6, Hawley, the Wayne County Tourism Promotion Committee presented their latest project; an ambitious, professional-quality website designed to bring more tourism dollars into Wayne County.


In a local star-studded media event on Wednesday afternoon at the Settler’s Inn, Route 6, Hawley, the Wayne County Tourism Promotion Committee presented their latest project; an ambitious, professional-quality website designed to bring more tourism dollars into Wayne County.


“In 2005, the county enacted an ordinance to institute a room rental excise tax,” said Vicki Lamberton, Chief Clerk of the Wayne County Commissioners. “By law,  we were required to designate what is known as a TPA, or a tourism promotion association, who would manage the funds we collect. The TPA we chose was the Pocono Mountain Visitor’s Bureau, which every year returns a portion of the money to us for use in creative ways to promote Wayne County as a tourist destination. Today, you see the product of some of that creativity.”


The website, called Wayne County Tourism, can be accessed on www.visitwaynecounty.com. It was developed by Peter Pelland of Pelland Advertising, a firm which has specialized in computer advertising since the days before the internet.
“We’re a small firm, which means we can give a lot of very specific attention to the needs of our clients,” said Pelland. “In the case of this website, we wanted to make the simplest end-user experience possible, and we’ve supported that with a very detailed database.”


On the homepage of the site, there are links to some of these detailed features, such as an interactive map of all the  communities in Wayne County.


“You can click on a community and immediately have a list of all the businesses in that community that have signed up to use our site,” Pelland says. “You can also search by category, so that if, say, you know you want to stay in a Bed and Breakfast, or a campground, you can find exactly what you’re looking for.”


In addition to accommodations, support industries such as shopping, dining, attractions, and museums are represented on the site.


Another exciting feature of the website is an interactive community calendar, where both tourists and locals will be able to have their events listed.


“At the bottom of the page is a PDF form,” explained Pelland. “You fill it out and fax it to Vicki (Lamberton, fax 570-253-5432), and we’ll put the information up on the calendar. The other great thing is that you can select months, so you know what has happened in the county in the past and what will happen in the future.”


The members of the Wayne County Tourism Promotion Committee were confident the site would help generate tourism revenue, in part because of the gas crisis currently gripping American motorists.


“We’re trying to package the whole region as ‘just a tankfull away,’” explained Ann M. Pilcher, Director of Community Relations for the Pocono Mountain Visitor’s Bureau and a member of the Committee. “A lot of people are getting concerned about the rising price of gas, and you know, maybe the idea of driving to Myrtle Beach or Hershey Park isn’t a possibility. But taking the family to a nearby area, where they can still have a lot of fun and stay in some great facilities, suddenly that looks a lot more attractive.”


Future plans for the website include an expanded calendar, as well as an expanded photo gallery section.


“We’re also looking for more organic searches to place us higher on major search engines,” says Pelland. “In time, we know that will happen.”