Visit Hershey & Harrisburg and connect tourists with black-owned businesses

(WHTM) – Visit Hershey and Harrisburg offers a new travel experience that connects tourists with black-owned businesses in the Midstate region.

Allison Rohrbaugh, Director of Communications & Content at Visit Hershey & Harrisburg, says they “try to go beyond just listing places to stay and eat, and to highlight art and events as well as galleries and museums.”

On the Visit the Hershey & Harrisburg website There is a new cultural guide that connects travelers to businesses, experiences and events, and highlights the region’s diversity and cultural history.

The dedicated section allows visitors to browse information about black-owned businesses, upcoming events, and unique stories about culture and heritage in the area.

“We know people love to support Black-owned businesses when they travel, so we’re trying to put these in a place where they’re readily available and convenient, which is great for the traveler but also important for business.” , Rohrbaugh said.

One of those businesses is Good Brotha’s Book Cafe, which Stefan Hawkins opened in 2021 when most businesses were struggling with the pandemic.

“I think we offer a lot and people need to see that, and I think we need to differentiate ourselves through our own uniqueness,” Hawkins said.

Located in the McCormick Library in downtown Harrisburg, the café serves a coffee blend called “Fifth Acres” inspired by Hawkins’ hometown and neighborhood.

Hawkins said he “wanted to pay homage to the city that raised me, to the coffee that’s produced in the city and that’s trying to give the city recognition.”

The café also exhibited black literature; Hawkins says it’s important to have that representation, “so kids growing up have to see that we have that kind of literature that you can read.”

Hawkins hopes more black-owned businesses will come to the area, saying that “there has to be a bigger push and incentive” to get more black-owned businesses in the Harrisburg Hershey area.

“We must live life to the fullest and not be pigeonholed by thinking what society wants from us.” Visit Hershey & Harrisburg and connect tourists with black-owned businesses

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