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'Niagara Falls USA' seeks tourists with more emphasis on nature, adventure

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A new brand and marketing strategy is underway to draw and keep tourists on the American side of Niagara Falls and in Niagara County. "Niagara Falls USA" will put more emphasis on the natural offerings on the U.S. side of the border, encouraging visitors to "go on an adventure."

The unveiling of a new logo highlighted a ceremony held Tuesday inside the Niagara Falls Conference and Event Center. It was presented by the tourism entity that announced its new name. What was previously known as the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation is now operating as Destination Niagara USA.

The new marketing and brand campaign intends to welcome and retain visitors with an increased emphasis on the offerings available on the U.S. side of the international tourist attraction.

There will also be more emphasis on the natural offerings on this side of the border. Tourism leaders learned through 18 months of research that it's what visitors want.

"That's what all the research showed us, that we can be the natural side, the more authentic side, more green and beautiful," said John Percy, president and CEO of Destination Niagara USA. "We need to showcase that."

The newly redesigned Niagara Falls USA website provides new images that Percy said will entice visitors with sights and sounds and invite them to an "adventure."

"There's also a trip-planning tool that you can build your own itinerary," Percy said. "Instead of us trying to tell them what their itinerary should be, they can build their own trip planning."

Mayor Paul Dyster pointed out that millennials are now outspending baby boomers in national tourism dollars. 

"They want to be not just observers but also participants," Dyster said about promoting local tourism attractions. "They want to go and not just see. They want to do. You'll see an emphasis in our branding not just scenic shots of Niagara Falls, as you may have seen in the past, but of people interacting with the natural environment."

The historic and cultural assets will remain spotlighted as well.

The tourism industry in Niagara Falls and Niagara County is estimated at $608 million annually by Destination Niagara USA and accounts for about 20 percent of the county's workforce.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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