Niagara Gazette

August 20, 2012

New partnership taking flight

By Michele DeLuca, michele.deluca@niagara-gazette.com
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Heading to sunny Florida?  There’s a new flight out of the Niagara Falls International Airport which might make your visit cheaper and easier — and a little region near Orlando where folks are looking forward to helping you create beautiful memories.

It’s all part of a new partnership being formed between tourism leaders in Niagara Falls and those in Seminole, Fla., in an effort to take advantage of a new non-stop Allegiant Airlines flight to Florida being offered at the Niagara Falls International Airport.

A representative from the Seminole County Visitors and Convention was in Niagara Falls recently meeting with area officials at the Niagara USA Chamber and the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. to help both areas benefit from the new flights.

 “This is something that hasn’t really been tried in our industry and it’s something that we collectively feel will be a win win for both areas,” said Sharon Sears, executive director of the tourism agency in Seminole. 

While the Allegiant flight is being billed as an Orlando/Sanford Florida flight, the planes land in Sanford in Seminole County.

“We’re actually about thirty minutes from Orlando and thirty minutes fron the beaches,” Sears said. “And our hotels are about a third less in cost.”

Beyond that, the region has many nature-based attractions, Sears said, with over 2,000 lakes, trails and airboat rides. “We also have the largest concentration of alligators in North America,” Sears added.

While her recent visit has engaged local tourism leaders, she is also hoping to draw Canadians to the Allegiant flights and the Niagara Falls airport. Either way, the partnership will fortify tourism in both locations, she said.

The cross promotions might include posters in the airports of both regions, and promotion on social networking sites of the local tourism agencies, said John Percy, director of the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp.

“Rarely do you see this,” Percy said of the cross promotion efforts. “We’re thousands of miles away and yet we’re going to help each other out. We want the inbound visitors and so do they.”

So, while people in Niagara Falls and surrounding areas will enjoy the new non-stop flights, the people in Seminole County, Fla. will enjoy non-stop flights to Niagara Falls.

“People in Florida go on vacations,” Sears added.  “We love the change of seasons. So it’s just a win-win for both locations.”