July 7, 2004
Variety of Group Tours Brings Revenue to a Variety of Businesses
In 2004, group tours will bring approximately 1,500 tourists to Oswego County. Group tours have steadily increased the number of visitors to Oswego County each year, according to Christine Gray, Director of Oswego County Promotion and Tourism Department.
"Their interests vary, with museums, outdoor adventures, the Underground Railroad, or those travelling the Seaway Trail for a Great Lakes tour. Whatever their destination, they all bring added revenue to the area," said County Legislator Kim Seager, chairwoman of the Legislature's Economic Development and Planning Committee.
The County Legislature's Economic Development and Planning Committee oversees the Department of Promotion and Tourism. Other committee members include legislators Jack Beckwith, District 21, Hannibal; Barbara Brown, District 8, Palermo, Hastings, Schroeppel; Tom Bullard, District 14, Scriba; Francis Hoefer, District 19, Minetto, Oswego Town, Hannibal, Granby; Paul Santore, District 16, Oswego; and David Waters, District 3, Pulaski and Richland.
In June, over 800 members of the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) Great Lakes Ontario Tour stopped in Oswego to tour Fort Ontario State Historic Site, the H. Lee White Marine Museum, and the Safe Haven Museum and Education Center.
"When we met with representatives from H.O.G. we showed them Oswego's historic sites of national significance and beautiful waterfront," said M. Lisa Rodak, Public Information Officer. "We were happy to be chosen as a stop on their tour, which brought riders from approximately 38 different states and Canada to Oswego County. We worked closely with the museums, City of Oswego, and Greater Oswego Chamber of Commerce. Approximately 50 chamber members participated in the H.O.G. On Tour program by welcoming riders to their businesses."
Fishing tours are catching on, with visitors to Syracuse conventions making arrangements to fish in Oswego County while they are in Central New York. "We are receiving calls from companies who would like an outdoor adventure," Rodak said. "They're interested in spending a couple of days in the area to go out fishing with charter captains or river guides as well as tour Salmon River Falls."
Group tours have also been booked especially for Harborfest.
"Our department has created group tour itineraries that showcase the entire county and spotlight area attractions and local businesses," said Gray. Oswego County is featured by motorcoach companies in their tour planners reaching tourists in Ontario, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and throughout New York State. When a motorcoach brings tourists to visit for a day, they spend approximately $3,170 on meals, lodging, shopping, admission fees, souvenirs, and local taxes, according to the American Bus Association.
Gray said that group tour business to Oswego County has resulted from the department's participation at the American Bus Association Marketplace, Destinations of New York sales opportunities, group leader luncheons presented by regional motorcoach companies, direct mail campaigns, and familiarization tours of the county. Groups interested in travelling to Oswego County range in age from seniors to school and scout groups.
For more information, call the Department of Promotion and Tourism at 349-8322.
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