Area tourism operators can expect an increase in the annual influx of Chinese visitors to the Empire State, a growing pattern in the foreign travel market. Niagara Falls, the second biggest attraction in the state – after NewYork City – is likely to benefit from that traffic flow.
About 40 people attending the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp.’s quarterly sales and marketing meeting Wednesday heard that message as well as an overall positive forecast for 2015. Elizabeth Davis, director of international sales for the NTCC, reported on her attendance at a conference “China Ready: Preparing New York State for Chinese Tourists.”
Davis said the sessions stressed the importance of being more welcoming and perhaps “changing up” how we treat the Chinese visitors.
“If you’re a B&B (Bed and Breakfast) owner, please remember to have hot water available and tea,” Davis said. She added that if the hosts really wants to score points with their Chinese guests, they “might even consider providing slippers.”
In other action at the meeting:
Deb Duerr, tourism sales director, announced the NTCC would have its booth at the American Bus Association convention in January at St. Louis. More volunteers are needed to help staff the booth when the sales staffers are busy with appointments;
Visitor Services Director Lana Perlman said: “Despite the slow, sluggish and brutal winter, we definitely made up for it from Memorial Day to Labor Day,” alluding to the number of inquiries at the NTCC Visitors Center at First Street and Rainbow Boulevard.
On Memorial Day weekend, the visitor count was 24,926, up more than 2,000 from the 2013 total, tourism officials said.