New York state launches $60 million tourism campaign ... Deal of the day
We love New York City. But do we really know New York state?
But I suspect most Canadians aren’t as familiar with some of the great sights that the Empire State has to offer. Which is why New York state governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced the launch of what’s billed as “New York’s largest tourism campaign in decades,” committing some $60 million to grow tourism and create jobs.
The announcement came at the end of a massive New York State Tourism Summit, held to protect the fifth largest employment sector in the state.
“New York State has some of the most beautiful tourist attractions in the world. From the peaks of the Adirondacks to the beaches of Long Island, no matter what you’re looking for you can find it here,” Cuomo said.
Considering the state invested just $19 million in tourism last year, the $60 million figure is astonishing.
(It’s also a good idea for the Canadian government to follow should they ever wake up to the potential of tourism in a country with the variety we have. Instead, however, we have the Canadian Tourism Commission budget being gutted in a very short-sighted move by Ottawa. Shameful).
The campaign will include advertising space in New York subways and airports that promote upstate New York tourism, as well as an emphasis on new welcome centres and a focus on luring folks from Asia and South America.
Chinese and Brazilian visitors love New York City, so it makes sense to try to get them to visit great places like the Adirondacks or the Finger Lakes. But if they’re not bumping up their marketing in Canada they’re missing an easy target. We love shopping in New York and we love New York prices.
I was only in the Adirondacks once, and it was long ago, but it was a beautiful spot; much more mountainous than anything we have in Ontario. Rochester is a fun city we recently profiled in Star Travel, with good food and wonderful (and cheap) golf courses. The Finger Lakes have great food and wine and marvelous scenery, with stunning waterfalls and gentle hills that we’d consider mountains.
I spent a night at a great lodge outside of New York
City a few year s ago, the Sagamore on beautiful Lake George (see photo at left). It’s an old-style place like Muskoka's Clevelands
House, located on a lovely stretch of lake. A real Muskoka, old-time feel to it,
with nice rooms and a big lobby and a fabulous golf course next door.
PANAMA CITY BEACH UPDATE
We’ve heard of the ball dropping in Times Square in New York. But did you know that on New Year’s Eve in Panama City Beach, Florida they drop thousands of them?
A few years ago, they decided to play up the beach theme down PCB way and
drop 10,000 inflated, brightly coloured beach balls from suspended nets. It’s now a great annual
tradition, with one group of balls dropping on thousands of kids in the early
evening and then a single ball dropping at midnight for adults able to stay up a
little later and enjoy live entertainment.
It’s one of many fun and clever events they stage down in Panama City Beach. They also have an annual pirates festival around Canadian Thanksgiving And each winter they do a prom for the seniors who spend their winters in the area. This year there’s also a homecoming event, with a homecoming king and queen.
They've built a new ampitheatre down at Pier Park, a fun area with shopping and rides that's right next to the beach. They'll feature ZZ Top on American Memorial Day weekend later this month and then a couple of teen idols: The Wanter and Cody Simpson.
It’s a fun part of Florida with incredibly white, fluffy sand beaches, good food, lovely nature reserves and good prices.
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