Adirondack tourism interests have launched two new digital platforms to entice people to visit the region.
The Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages in late January launched a new interactive trip planning website that allows prospective travelers to map their visit with a list of amenities, attractions and travel preferences such as their recreational hotel desires.
Now there’s a free app on iTunes and for Android to complement the web portal. “Discover the Adirondack Park” can be used to find recreation, lodging, dining and other information even if data and Wi-Fi are unavailable.
Town of Wells Supervisor and Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages President Brian Towers says they are trying to promote the small towns and communities within the park and provide an opportunity to showcase assets travelers may not be aware of. “We’ve got 103 towns and villages within the Park. Certainly everybody knows where Lake Placid is or Old Forge or Lake George. Our real goal is not to diminish those, but to bring some of those other opportunities to people that they may not be aware of. Places to kayak or ski. You name it. I just think we need to bring attention to those communities. And the economic development or the economic spinoff of that is huge.”
Central Adirondack Partnership for the 21st Century Executive Director Nick Rose says there are two economies in the North Country. Communities on the periphery of the Adirondack Park, he says, are in an economic resurgence. The other economy, in the central Adirondacks, is tourism-based. “Our bread and butter for most of the communities is tourism. So the idea is about really trying to utilize the assets of the park, which are essentially recreational, and really trying to make that easier for people to access. Close to ninety percent of all travel planning is done online. So the whole thing is really trying to come and enjoy all of the things that the Adirondacks has to offer.”
As the digital tourism platforms initiate, another promotion for the region is occurring, but this one is at a human level. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is holding his Adirondack Winter Challenge on Sunday. He has invited local, regional and state officials to compete in various winter sports at the Olympic facilities in Lake Placid. Brian Towers recalls that a similar challenge last summer heightened awareness about the park.. “We have people in the Assembly and the Senate and it’s so important to make those people aware of what the Adirondacks is all about. What we have to not only offer, but the challenges that we face just living here and how important it is for this huge asset that the taxpayers of the state of New York have and to open their eyes to it. There are so many people who don't know anything about it and it belongs to the tax payers. I’d want it to be a Park that everybody can come and enjoy.”
The digital tourism promotion project is a North Country Regional Economic Development Council priority project. It is funded by a Regional Economic Development Council "Market NY" grant through Empire State Development.