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WNY hoping to see bump in tourism

Posted at 7:39 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 19:39:44-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Western New York is expecting to see a bump in tourism, now one full year after the pandemic started.

“We just see a little more light at the end of the tunnel,” said Patrick Kaler, CEO and President of Visit Buffalo Niagara. “More Americans are feeling comfortable about traveling, and as people get vaccinated, we’ve been encouraging people to plan.”

A new study done by tourism group Longwoods International found 84% of Americans have travel plans in the next six months compared to its lowest point in December, when only 57% of Americans planned to travel.

In its new marketing campaign, visit Buffalo Niagara is focusing on Buffalo’s rebound—the comeback from the pandemic in a city that already was making strides.

“We’re talking about dining, the great cultural attributes we have,” Kaler said.

Visit Buffalo Niagara is targeting visitors within driving distance, within a 300 mile radius of Buffalo.

Tourism industry is also trying to attract visitors to Western New York’s wide open spaces like our local parks.

“Because of the pandemic, people are really conscious of their surroundings. That’s where our parks come into play,” Kaler said.

In Niagara Falls, John Percy, President and CEO of Destination Niagara USA says it’s all about feeling free.

“We just launched our ‘return to real, feeling free’ campaign,” he said. “We’re positioning this destination with that openness people want.”

Destination Niagara is marketing to those who may want to check a visit to Niagara Falls off their bucket list.

“People are going to return to real, and we want to capture that customer,” Percy said.