BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Leaders are hoping an unprecedented tourism push for Western New York will mean big business.
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation President and CEO John Percy said, "For the first time ever, the Governor is speaking the language of tourism."
Very soon, tourists visiting New York City will see ads promoting Western New York attractions, just about everywhere they look as MTA and Port Authority vehicles are turned into moving billboards.
State Economic Development Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, "We're looking at over $2 million of pre-donated space in New York City busses and subways and commuter railroads, out at the airports - JFK, LaGuardia and so on."
And it doesn't end there.
"In the heart of Times Square, where you've got billions of tourists just crammed in there, shoulder-to-shoulder every day, they're going to open up a new tourism information center," Adams said. "A new, manned kind of information kiosk to promote to all the people in Times Square these terrific attractions in Western New York."
It's about driving economic development; selling WNY as a place to play and work. A new TV commercial, featuring such iconic personalities as Jim Kelly and Warren Buffet, is aimed at changing perceptions about New York's business climate.
A survey just released by Chief Executive magazine ranks New York the second-worst state in the country for business.
Adams says the state needs to get the word out about tax and regulatory reform.
"We've got to get out and change hearts and minds. We've got to attack the negative perceptions head-on. And that's what we hope these ads will help us to do," he stated.
One of the promotional tools you'll see closer to home is new signage at the border crossings, pointing visitors in the direction of natural and cultural attractions in WNY.
Over 700,000 people work in tourism in New York, making the industry the state's fifth-largest employer.
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