Central New York region receives two Tourism Excellence Awards from New York State Travel Industry Association

2018 NYSTIA Award WinnersExciting things are happening in the Central New York (CNY) vacation region! Last week, CNY received two Tourism Excellence Awards at the New York State Industry Association (NYSTIA) Annual Meeting held at Six Flags Great Escape Lodge in Queensbury, NY. The Tourism Excellence Awards honor individuals, attractions and tourism promotion agencies whose creativity and passion help make New York the destination of choice.

Captain Jerry Gertz of Erie Canal Cruises in Herkimer, NY was awarded Excellence in Overall Tourism Marketing in the private sector with an operating budget less than $500,000. Captain Jerry has built Erie Canal Cruises into the premier Canal experience in the CNY region and one of the very best visitor experiences throughout the entire Canal corridor. He has always been quick to partner with the CNY Region, NYS Canal Corporation and I Love NY on special projects, events, marketing initiatives and FAM tours for the travel and media. He is truly a fantastic ambassador for the region, state and tourism industry.

NYSTIA 2018 Awards Jerry GertzThe BikeThruHistory.com regional campaign was awarded Excellence in Niche Marketing for entities with an operating budget less than $500,000. The purpose of this campaign was to develop and market new cycling routes that connect the existing Erie Canalway Trail to historic sites throughout the project area. The 7-county project area is defined as the Mohawk Valley Region: Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, and Schoharie counties partnering with Saratoga County from phase one of the MVPTH Revolutionary War Trail. The goal of the project was to increase visitation, sales and occupancy tax revenue in the project area.

 “We are very proud of the tourism industry in New York State, and are pleased to lead the celebration of our profession across the state,” said president & CEO, Bob Provost. “Honorees, both past and present, have played a role in everything from downtown renaissance to outdoor adventure and environmental awareness; contributed to the success of innumerable local businesses and the creation and retention of thousands of jobs for New Yorkers.”

Speaking at the meeting this year was Ross Levi, Executive Director for tourism at I Love NY. He noted that this is a vibrant time for New York’s tourism industry since it had upped its position from the 4th largest industry in New York State to the 3rd largest industry.

NYSTIA strives to increase and enhance economic growth, employment and quality of life in communities across New York State by advancing tourism industry interests and the success of NYSTIA members. To get involved, go to www.nystia.org.