LEWISBURG - The Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau (SRVVB), which is the tourism promotion agency for Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties, is pleased to unveil its 2013 Official Guide. The 80-page guide is the bureau's key promotional piece for the year. This year, 120,000 copies will be mailed and distributed to prospective tourists and visitors.

The guide is distributed at PA Welcome Centers, local universities, hotels and restaurants, county government offices and many other locations. An additional 15,000 to 20,000 guides are downloaded from VisitCentralPA.org each year.

This year, for the first time, the guide will be inserted and distributed in the weekend editions of the region's three local newspapers to help promote the members of the SRVVB and to raise awareness about all the amazing things to see and do in the Susquehanna River Valley. This additional promotion will get the 2013 guide directly into the hands of more than 39,000 residents throughout our tri-county service area, helping us to support and advocate support for our local businesses.

The guide was included in Sunday's (Jan. 7) edition of The News-Item.

As it has in previous years, the 2013 guide emphasizes the many thriving downtowns in the region. The towns are featured in two-page spreads that include a map, a list of things to do, and a brief history about the town and their offerings. The featured towns are:

- Mount Carmel and Shamokin

- Selinsgrove, Shamokin Dam and Hummels Wharf

- Lewisburg, New Berlin and Vicksburg

- Mifflinburg, Penns Creek, Middleburg, and Beaver Springs

- Milton and Watsontown

- Northumberland and Sunbury

The Visitors Bureau worked with AdOne Advertising and Design in Sunbury on the design and production the Guide. The lead designer on the project was Michael Tobin.

The guide also promotes the visitors bureau's mobile apps for iPhone and Android smartphones. The app was released in July, 2011 and has had more than 4,000 downloads to date. Readers can scan a QR code to be taken directly to the Apple App store and Google Play Market.

The inside contains an extensive calendar of events and sections on history and heritage, outdoor recreation, shopping, dining, lodging, and area resources. The SRVVB's 300 members are represented in the guide. to become a member of the visitors bureau, businesses should call Barbara Pick at 524-7234. Local businesses interested in using the guide as an HR recruitment tool are encouraged to contact Helen Richard at 570-524-7234 or info@VisitCentralPA.org.

Community members can pick up additional copies of the new guide for free at our visitors bureau, located at the intersection of Route 15 and Hafer Road, next to Country Cupboard, in Lewisburg. the visitors bureau's winter hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Guides are also available at local businesses in the Shamokin area, including Masser's Restaurant, the Wayside Inn, and the Nortumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities, located at the corner of Eighth and Arch Streets in Shamokin.

Residents and visitors can also call 1-800-525-7320 to request that a free copy be mailed to them. The guide can also be viewed, downloaded and printed from VisitCentralPA.org.

For more information about the Visitors Bureau and the tri-county region, go to VisitCentralPA.org, Facebook.com/SusquehannaRiverValley or Twitter.com/SusqRiverValley.