NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Niagara Global Tourism Institute (NGTI), was created in combination with Niagara University to help bring tourists to Niagara Falls, especially during the winter months.
According to the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, Niagara Falls, NY, on average hosts about nine million visitors. In 2019, during the peak period of April-November, 9.05 million visitors made their way to the falls. Due to restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of travel, the Falls only saw 5.45 million.
The 76-page report released by the NGTI highlights the reasons tourism is down at the Falls, along with changes to be made.
First, it outlined three main concerns of the community - and the reasons why tourism is down.
- The lack of indoor and cold weather attractions in the Falls for the winter months. Which leads many to disregard trips to Niagara Falls outside of the summertime.
- Families taking short trips to the Falls, and not spending as much time in the area as a typical vacation. This leads to less money being spent in the area.
- "Friction Points," described by the report as crime, poverty, and a lack of area pride - leading to many looking elsewhere for vacation.
The plan provided multiple large and small scale projects to bring people back the community.
- “Gateway to the USA” Theme Park
- New, expanded Conference and Event Center
- “Niagara Experience Center” Museum and Learning District
- Winter Botanical Garden
- Seasonal Festivals:
- Winter Festival of Lights
- Hot Drink Festival
- Ice Sculpture Shows
- Easter Festival
- Christmas Market
- Valentine’s Day Festival
- Harvest Festival
- Spring Flower Festival
- Farmers Markets
- Themed Tours of the City
- Special Interest Events
There are also proposed improvements to parking, mass transit, and energy usage.
The plan states that these actions should be started as soon as possible. The goal is to begin with a committe to chose and prioritize one large-scale project and begin there.
You can read the entire 76-page report on the Niagara Global Tourism Institute's website, here.