Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 2, 2013

Tourism industry professionals talk up Falls' recent upswing and its potential.

Niagara Gazette — Niagara Falls, as a tourist destination, is going through a "renaissance."

Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. President John Percy made the statement addressing a crowd of more than 160 tourism professionals gathered for the 'I Love New York' Empire State Tourism Conference Thursday.

Percy was speaking of the work done to Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls State Park, many of the hotels in the area and the Seneca Niagara Casino, which the last time the conference was held in the city, didn't exist.

"This conference is an opportunity for us to show Niagara Falls to our colleagues from around the state," Percy said. "They can then become ambassadors themselves."

Tourism is an industry Niagara Falls has been capturing for a long, long time. But Percy said the last two years have been record-setters with the best numbers in its history coming into the city to see the cataract which gives the city its name.

Percy said the 2013 season may not break last year's records, but it won't be a dud either.

"The last two years have been our strongest years ever," he said. "Bed tax collection was up last year from what was already a strong year before it. And early indications are this year is going to be strong. From a hotel side, our bookings are strong. The indications are we'll have a strong season."

Having the type of weather Niagara Falls has experienced through the first two days of the conference has certainly helped sell the city to those professionals. With visitors like Cristyne Nicholas, chairperson of the New York State Tourism Advisory Council, in town, every little bit helps.

Nicholas helps oversee the famous "I Love NY" campaign through an 18-person council designed to implement strategies for marketing locations throughout the state. She said the campaign's job is to shine bright spotlights on the best of the state, Niagara Falls included.

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