PR Newswire: news distribution, targeting and monitoring
Jan 23 2012

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Tourism Office today announced an exclusive deal with Foursquare that allows users to obtain the official "PA Groundhog Day 2012" badge on Feb. 2. The badge features a likeness of Punxsutawney Phil, the world-famous weather-forecasting groundhog that resides in the Pennsylvania Wilds region.

"We invite Foursquare users worldwide to earn this special badge from visitPA, which has been updated for 2012," said Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker. "This is a one-day opportunity to earn a unique virtual badge as we all learn whether we may see an early spring."

Celebrated each Feb. 2 in Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, Groundhog Day draws thousands of visitors and attracts global media coverage. According to folklore dating back to the 1800s, if Phil emerges in the early morning and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.

Foursquare is a location-based, mobile platform that makes cities easier and more interesting to explore. By checking-in via mobile device, users can post their current locations, meet up with friends and provide travel recommendations and tips.

To earn the exclusive "PA Groundhog Day 2012" badge, users can follow visitPA on Foursquare at, and "check in" to "shout" the word "groundhog" on Feb. 2. A shout is Foursquare lingo for a status update or a tweet.

"We're thrilled that visitPA has been able to enhance the experiences of so many visitors through the use of our platform," said Eric Friedman, Director of Business Development at Foursquare. "Pennsylvania's continued enthusiasm and openness to new partnership opportunities and Foursquare's ability to attract and reward people combine to make a powerful partnership."

In 2010, Pennsylvania became the first state to partner with Foursquare by populating the network with more than 200 state tourism attractions and creating custom badges. Since the launch, visitPA has amassed nearly 93,000 followers and more than 67,800 users have unlocked a PA badge providing tips and recommendations for travel locations, allowing users to earn rewards and discounts using their mobile devices.

Due to the success and popularity of last year's Groundhog Day badge, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office created a new one for 2012.

A Webcast of the Groundhog Day festivities will be available at, including links to Punxsutawney Phil-related videos on YouTube.

The Pennsylvania Tourism Office, under the state Department of Community and Economic Development, is dedicated to inspiring travel to the State of Independence. For more information, go to or our mobile site m-visitPA, become a fan at, follow us at, share photos at, friend us at, or watch us on

Media contact: Edward Jordan, 717-783-1132

Editor's Note: For additional Pennsylvania tourism story ideas, follow us at







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