: John Golden
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Virtual Tours Bring Montgomery County, Pa. to New Heights

Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board Enhances Visitor Experience with New Site Powered by Google Technologies

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - (Oct. 20, 2015) The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) is changing the way visitors view Montgomery County attractions.

The VFTCB in southeastern Pennsylvania was looking for a new way to showcase Montgomery County attractions for a new generation of visitors who prefer to access information on the go through smart phones and tablets. With the introduction of MontCo 360, potential visitors can now explore 360-degree views of parks, museums, hotels, restaurants, malls and other unique attractions. The partnership with Google combines technologies like Street View and advanced cameras to give visitors a way to walk through interior rooms as well as outdoor landscapes. For the first time, users of the site can now be in total control of viewing where they want to go and what they want to see before they step foot in Montgomery County. The VFTCB is the first in the region to use Google's services to this extent. 

"The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words no longer applies to modern digital marketing," explained Edward Harris, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for VFTCB. "Today, people want to see and experience more when they visit a website. With, we're offering over 30 virtual tours to enable visitors to walk through and explore a handful of our most popular attractions before they arrive in person."

A nontraditional vantage point created by drones brings users above the rooftops of the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, Peter Wentz Farmstead in Worcester and the Philadelphia Premium Outlets in Limerick. The county's magnificent open spaces are also presented from great heights, with views of Green Lane Park and the Germantown Academy athletic fields.

The VFTCB's name may reflect Valley Forge, but its marketing scope covers all 487 square miles of Montgomery County, a region whose landscapes range from bustling urban centers to wide open natural vistas. As a center for history, art, culture, shopping, family-friendly activities, a vivid dining scene, an appealing brewery/winery vibe and a host of well-appointed hotels, the county was the perfect setting for an all-encompassing approach to attracting visitors.

When exploring the King of Prussia Mall on MontCo 360, visitors can step inside the tech-savvy Tesla Motors store and experience what it's like to sit in the driver's seat of one of their premium electric cars. Parents looking for a place to take their kids to unwind can click on Arnold's Family Fun Center located in Oaks, Pa., and click to walk through the massive arcade and see the bowling alley and indoor go-kart tracks. There are also plenty of hotels and restaurants to explore as well as Manatawny Still Works, a popular distillery located in Pottstown, Pa. that you can tour virtually before you arrive.

For history buffs, MontCo 360 showcases places like Valley Forge National Historical Park. Clicking your mouse or using your finger - over the screen whirls the landscape and opens the viewer to the beautiful trees, fields of waving grass, statuary and honorifics associated with a key Revolutionary War location. One of the highlights of touring the park using MontCo 360 is the opportunity to navigate the museum of Continental Army artifacts within the Visitor Center, which displays the treasures in an interactive way.

Last month the VFTCB completed the "Home Away From Rome" marketing campaign that welcomed visitors to the area from all over the world who were here to see Pope Francis. The new site will have more virtual tours added as the next big spotlight on the region approaches. "Although the 2016 Democratic National Convention is over eight months away, our team is excited to launch a tool today that will be used by delegates from 50 states and territories before and during their visit to our region," added Harris.

Montco 360 is available at the VFTCB website, here. Photography on the site is constantly being refreshed and new attractions are being uploaded.

About Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board
The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County, Pa., as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 300-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Board's award-winning website serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents, as well as hosting The Pursuit, a twice-weekly, nationally recognized blog.