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Good summer for tourism in the Poconos

Summer is a very popular season for the Poconos and this year, was much different than the last.

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — It's hard to believe, but another summer is pretty much in the books. In the Poconos, there was lots to see and do, even with the pandemic still a factor.

"We are grateful. We had an incredibly strong season despite the upsurge in the delta variant. We are fortunate that our product is so outdoor-oriented. People wanted to still experience it. We had an incredibly strong summer season," said Chris Barrett, president and CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.

Hiking, biking, camping, swimming, kayaking, and outdoor water parks are just some of the opportunities throughout Monroe, Carbon, Wayne, and Pike Counties.

Barrett also touts the Pocono Promise as a big reason many people chose to stay in the Poconos.

"Pocono promise, that was a program born from our folks. Our operators really care about their own team members and guests. They wanted to meet and exceed every CDC guideline related to the pandemic that they can. We were hopeful that that did that. It also gave our people hope that there was some light at the end of the tunnel. So looking full circle, it really kind of accomplished what we wanted it to. We have plans for it moving ahead in the future."

"Even though Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, the tourism season doesn't stop there. Fall is quickly approaching."

Fall foliage is always the big draw. The Poconos fall foliage forecast will begin for the season on Thursday.

"When you look at the Poconos, we have the northernmost point, and the southernmost point and leaves could be turning in the south before they turn in the north, so it really extends the season. It's a great time, and the fall is looking to hopefully be a little cooler, a little more moderate, and hopefully, folks can get out and enjoy it."

Barrett says the only industry that needs a bit of improvement looking ahead is the labor industry. The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau will continue to try to get people hired throughout the region.