Orleans celebrates National Travel & Tourism Week, partners with other counties to promote sites

Posted 11 May 2023 at 7:36 am

Press Release, Orleans County Tourism Department

This is the cover of this year’s travel guide promoting events, sites and businesses in Orleans County.

ALBION – This week is National Travel and Tourism Week, the annual celebration of the contributions of the U.S. travel industry. It spotlights the essential role that travel will play in driving economic growth and innovation through the theme #TravelForward.

“The travel industry fuels every industry—our industry’s success is the nation’s success,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman. “This week is a prime opportunity to elevate the message that travel is essential to moving America’s economy forward.”

Established in 1983, National Travel and Tourism Week is an annual tradition to mark the U.S. travel industry’s role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, stimulating business activity and elevating the quality of life for everyday Americans.

Travel serves as a catalyst for a productive U.S. economy and helps power the success of other industries. The U.S. travel industry generated a $2.6 trillion economic output in 2022 and supported 15 million jobs, fueling communities, small businesses and working families across the country.

Travel spending also generated nearly $160 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2022—revenue that helped fund critical public services while saving each U.S. household an average of $1,270 in taxes.

In Orleans County, the travel industry thrives on visitors coming to experience our world-class fishing, the Erie Canal and other historical assets such as the Medina Railroad Museum and Cobblestone Museum. In 2022, the bed tax that was collected exceeded $111,000. This reflects a 29% increase from 2021 which was a 26% increase from 2020.  We were fortunate to sustain during the peak of the pandemic in 2020 compared to 2019.

Orleans County Tourism is recognizing travel’s essential contributions by a number of promotional tools. This week, we are launching a new dynamic website to highlight all that Orleans County has to offer: OrleansCountyTourism.com.

This has a similar platform as the 4-county regional website, FreshAirAdventuresNY.com, that was launched in 2021. The information for each tourism related business will be expanded and featured on a dedicated page specific to that business. Viewers will be able to filter the listings and events by sub-category. And, we will have the ability to cross feed listings to both the county and regional websites simultaneously to expand our reach efficiently.

We are also expanding our partnerships so we can increase our social media campaigns and advertise in national magazines. Besides the 4-county Fresh Air Adventures campaign, we have partnered with Wyoming County to create “Lakes to Letchworth” and advertised in Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day and Country Living Magazines, which has generated over 1,000 leads to date. The “100 Must See Miles on the Erie Canal” is in partnership with Wayne, Monroe and Orleans Counties featuring the highlights along the 100 mile stretch from Medina to Clyde. We are in the process of developing a similar campaign with Niagara Falls USA.

In 2023, the tourism department expanded by introducing a part-time sportfishing coordinator, Ron Bierstine, on a contract basis. Ron contributes a wealth of fishing and conservation experience to Orleans County and the region. He writes weekly fishing reports and works closely with NYS DEC and Canals NY to enhance fishing locally and regionally. We haven’t had a sportfishing coordinator since 2017 when Mike Waterhouse retired.

The summer events rack card will be available for distribution this week that features the concert series and community events. There are currently over 50 live concerts scheduled that are expected to draw thousands of visitors from outside the county that will be frequenting our shops, restaurants and plan for extended stays.

We’re expanding our video library to include the series, Small Town WNY that was produced for interstitial programming for the Buffalo/Toronto PBS market. In 2022, we collaborated with several businesses in Medina and were able to produce four 8-minute episodes profiling the history and hidden gems of Medina. We will continue reaching out to other communities to showcase their “hidden gems”  in 2023.

“Travel is at the heart of Orleans County, powering a strong U.S. economy, creating jobs and strengthening our community’s culture and identity,” said Dawn Borchert, director of Tourism in Orleans County. “This National Travel and Tourism Week, we are proud to celebrate all that travel does for our community now, and all that it will contribute in the future.”

Please visit ustravel.org/NTTW to learn more about National Travel and Tourism Week and OrleansCountyTourism.com for the multiple reasons to visit Orleans County and invite your friends!