Aug. 11, 2023

BETHLEHEM – With the goal of highlighting the economic engine of tourism and discussing ways the Legislature can help the travel and tourism industry prosper, Rep. Ann Flood (R-Northampton) brought the House Republican Policy Committee to the Lehigh Valley to talk with local leaders about opportunities to bring more business to the region, as well as obstacles that may be inhibiting growth in the hospitality space.

During the hearing, testifiers discussed how several local attractions such as Musikfest, Dorney Park and Iron Pigs baseball games bring millions of people into the region each year. Testifiers also gave suggestions on how we can work to bring more visitors to the region each year. 

“Outdoor enthusiasts and tourists often find themselves visiting the Lehigh Valley and its parks, scenic trails and beautiful riverside areas,” said Alex Michaels, CEO of Discover Lehigh Valley. “We would love the support from the state on infrastructure and keeping our roads clean, along with an investment in transportation, such as trolley systems, so it will be easier for visitors to explore our region.”
“We are job creators,” said Kassie Hilgert, President and CEO of ArtsQuest “This is an industry that is recruiting people and we need to have cultural amenities in our state that make us competitive in recruiting and retaining employees to keep people here to start families and businesses.”

“We are blessed to live in such a diverse region filled with so many things to do,” said Flood. “People come from all over Pennsylvania and even neighboring states to take in a fun evening at the Iron Pigs baseball game, enjoy the thrill and rides at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, and then you can hop over to the Lehigh Valley Zoo and see their new Habitat Madagascar exhibit.”

“From Bethlehem’s North Side Historic District to our museums and amusement parks, there’s no shortage of family-fun events to participate in statewide,” said Rep. Josh Kail (R-Beaver/Washington), chairman of the Republican Policy Committee “Today’s hearing highlighted the strength of tourism and hospitality as an economic driver for Pennsylvania and how we as legislators can remove obstacles to opportunity to support this industry for generations to come. Thank you to Rep. Flood for hosting this forum, as well as the testifiers for providing insightful information.”   

The testimony gathered during the hearing will be considered by lawmakers as they develop related legislation.

To watch the hearing in its entirety, visit
To stay up to date with local and Harrisburg happenings, Flood can be found on Facebook at or on her website at

Representative Ann Flood
138th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jordan Walters
717-260-6528 /