(Undated) -- Two midstate counties could gain a special designation in the hopes of boosting tourism and cultural and environmental preservation.
Under a bill from Pennsylvania US Senator Bob Casey, York and Lancater counties would make up the "Susquehanna Gateway National Heritage Area."
Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau spokesman Joel Cliff says the designation could be a boon for tourism by harnessing the marketing power of the National Parks Service.
"Continually spreading the word to a larger audience is something that would certainly be a good thing in our eyes," Cliff says.
York County Convention and Visitors Bureau President Anne Druck says the Heritage Area designation could bring in more funding as the state has cut back on tourism spending in recent years.
"Just a few years ago, we were receiving almost a quarter-million dollars from the state. Now we have zero state funding," Druck says. "So, the funding that could come to our community from the national government could in some ways fill that void."
The proposed Heritage Area would bring in $10 million dollars of federal funding over 10 years.
Senator Casey has brought the bill up in each session since 2008, with little progress.
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