Western New York is anxiously looking forward to a bump in tourism, now one full year after the beginning of the pandemic.

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

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

Photo Credit: WKBW-TV
Photo Credit: WKBW-TV

Visit Buffalo Niagara in a new marketing campaign is focusing on Buffalo’s rebound—the comeback for a city that already was making strides before the lockdown.

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

Visit Buffalo Niagara is targeting visitors within a 300-mile radius of Buffalo.

The tourism industry is also trying to attract visitors to Western New York’s 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.

President, and CEO of Destination Niagara USA John Percy,  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.” “People are going to return to reality, and we want to capture that customer,” Percy said.


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