LAUREL HIGHLANDS, Pa. (Sept. 12, 2018) – After more than a year of planning, the Laurel Highlands tourism industry is nearly ready to welcome the region’s largest travel media event.

The Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau (LHVB), the official destination marketing organization for Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, in partnership with Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, will welcome the 15th annual Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA) Media Marketplace, Sept. 25-27. The conference will bring together approximately130 travel journalists and travel public relations representatives from the Mid-Atlantic region.

MATPRA is a cohesive unit of regional tourism partners encompassing Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The alliance works together serve travel journalists in order to promote the Mid-Atlantic region as a travel destination. Invited journalists guests write for a number of publications and outlets, in a variety of capacities.

“Not only is MATPRA an enormous opportunity for the Laurel Highlands, but it is equally as large an undertaking in pre-planning and coordination,” said Ann Nemanic, Executive Director of the LHVB. “We appreciate the collaborative partnership with the Joe and Maggie Hardy, the management team and associates at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and all our supporting tourism partners and fellow destination marketing organizations.” 

Guests of the 2018 MATPRA Media Marketplace will spend three days and two nights touring and exploring the Laurel Highlands. On day two, the guests will be split into six tour groups, based on their tour preference. Customized tour options include whitewater rafting, biking on the Great Allegheny Passage, touring Fallingwater, Kentuck Knob and Polymath Park, experiencing the Flight 93 National Memorial and new Tower of Voices, discovering the Westmoreland Museum of American Art and the Fred Rogers Trail and exploring Idlewild & Soak Zone, Ligonier and Fort Ligonier. On day three, guests will enjoy a variety of activities at the incomparable Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, including ziplining, golf, sporting clays, art class and more.

“We know today’s visitors want an experience,” added Nemanic. “There is no better way for a journalist to write about our region and our tourism assets than by a complete immersion themselves. During their time here they will see, touch, taste and feel the Laurel Highlands. This is why hosting MATPRA is important. We are honored to welcome this exceptional group of storytellers to the Laurel Highlands.”

About Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands

A magnificent mountainous region, the Laurel Highlands spans 3,000 square miles in southwestern Pennsylvania. Located an hour east of Pittsburgh, the beautiful four-season destination offers some of the most spectacular natural scenery, outstanding outdoor recreation, historic sites and attractions, family activities and world-class resorts. Notable destinations within the region include three architectural masterpieces by Frank Lloyd Wright – Fallingwater®, Kentuck Knob and Duncan House – Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Flight 93 National Memorial, Idlewild and Soak Zone, whitewater rafting at Ohiopyle State Park and more.

Located within 200 miles of the major metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland and Washington D.C., the Laurel Highlands can be easily accessed from exits 67, 75, 91 and 110 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Visitors to the Laurel Highlands can find information online at, calling 800.333.5661, and Established in 1958, the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. Check out the 2018 Laurel Highlands Destination Guide!