Lancaster County expects tourism boost during papal visit

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Anticipation is growing for the Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia later this year.

As hype grows, Lancaster County tourism officials tell ABC 27 News they’ve already had folks ask about hotels in the area. In late September, during the papal visit, they believe the number of tourists will skyrocket.

“We have certainly been getting inquiries from groups,” said Joel Cliff of Discover Lancaster.

Cliff said at least two dozen groups will stay in Lancaster County during Pope Francis’s visit. He also said groups staying in Philadelphia will be making day trips to visit Lancaster County.

“We’re still two months out from the event itself, so I would suspect that we’ll see more and more as we get closer,” Cliff told ABC 27 News.

The Lancaster Brewing Company is one business anticipating a boost. Brewmaster Bill Moore said with hundreds planning to visit the area, the pope’s visit could pay off for years to come.

“The next thing you know, we’re getting some repeat people, plus some new customers,” he said. “It’s all because they were traveling to Philadelphia to see the Pope.”

Officials with Discover Lancaster will be in Philadelphia during the Pope’s visit. They plan to hand out vouchers to Lancaster County businesses. The coupons will be good for two years after the pope’s visit.

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