We love New York City. But do we really know New York state?
But I suspect most Canadians aren’t as familiar with some of the great sights that the Empire State has to offer. Which is why New York state governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced the launch of what’s billed as “New York’s largest tourism campaign in decades,” committing some $60 million to grow tourism and create jobs.
The announcement came at the end of a massive New York State Tourism Summit, held to protect the fifth largest employment sector in the state.
“New York State has some of the most beautiful tourist attractions in the world. From the peaks of the Adirondacks to the beaches of Long Island, no matter what you’re looking for you can find it here,” Cuomo said.
Considering the state invested just $19 million in tourism last year, the $60 million figure is astonishing.
(It’s also a good idea for the Canadian government to follow should they ever wake up to the potential of tourism in a country with the variety we have. Instead, however, we have the Canadian Tourism Commission budget being gutted in a very short-sighted move by Ottawa. Shameful).
The campaign will include advertising space in New York subways and airports that promote upstate New York tourism, as well as an emphasis on new welcome centres and a focus on luring folks from Asia and South America.
Chinese and Brazilian visitors love New York City, so it makes sense to try to get them to visit great places like the Adirondacks or the Finger Lakes. But if they’re not bumping up their marketing in Canada they’re missing an easy target. We love shopping in New York and we love New York prices.
I was only in the Adirondacks once, and it was long ago, but it was a beautiful spot; much more mountainous than anything we have in Ontario. Rochester is a fun city we recently profiled in Star Travel, with good food and wonderful (and cheap) golf courses. The Finger Lakes have great food and wine and marvelous scenery, with stunning waterfalls and gentle hills that we’d consider mountains.
I spent a night at a great lodge outside of New York
City a few year s ago, the Sagamore on beautiful Lake George (see photo at left). It’s an old-style place like Muskoka's Clevelands
House, located on a lovely stretch of lake. A real Muskoka, old-time feel to it,
with nice rooms and a big lobby and a fabulous golf course next door.
PANAMA CITY BEACH UPDATE
We’ve heard of the ball dropping in Times Square in New York. But did you know that on New Year’s Eve in Panama City Beach, Florida they drop thousands of them?
A few years ago, they decided to play up the beach theme down PCB way and
drop 10,000 inflated, brightly coloured beach balls from suspended nets. It’s now a great annual
tradition, with one group of balls dropping on thousands of kids in the early
evening and then a single ball dropping at midnight for adults able to stay up a
little later and enjoy live entertainment.
It’s one of many fun and clever events they stage down in Panama City Beach. They also have an annual pirates festival around Canadian Thanksgiving And each winter they do a prom for the seniors who spend their winters in the area. This year there’s also a homecoming event, with a homecoming king and queen.
They've built a new ampitheatre down at Pier Park, a fun area with shopping and rides that's right next to the beach. They'll feature ZZ Top on American Memorial Day weekend later this month and then a couple of teen idols: The Wanter and Cody Simpson.
It’s a fun part of Florida with incredibly white, fluffy sand beaches, good food, lovely nature reserves and good prices.
JAUNT.CA DEAL OF THE DAY
Jaunt.ca, a division of Torstar, has a deal on tap for a great escape to the Dominican Republic.
- SAVINGS: Two travellers save up to $160 by booking with Jaunt.ca!
- BONUS: Sunwing's SMILE inclusions - 2 children (2-12 yrs) stay & eat FREE (just pay for flight), no single supplement for an adult sharing a room with up to 2 children, unlimited a la carte dining and more!
- BONUS: Stay at 1, Play at 3! (Includes access to Grand Palladium Palace and Grand Palladium Bavaro)
- All-inclusive 7-night stay at the 4.5-Star SMILE at Grand Palladium Punta Cana, located in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Includes return airfare from Toronto or Montreal to Punta Cana, and round-trip airport/hotel transfers in the Dominican Republic
- Accommodations in a Deluxe Room, featuring 1 king or 2 double beds. Maximum occupancy: 4 Adults or 2 Adults + 2 Children
- Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, and unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
- Stay at 1, Play at 3 gives you access to the Grand Palladium Punta Cana's sister resorts which means more activities, more pools and more dining options
- Bavaro beach is considered one of the most stunning beaches in Punta Cana
- Kids clubs are available for all ages and have loads of activities to keep the little ones entertained
- Valid for travel on the following departure dates:
Toronto: June 28 & July 5, 12, 19, 26, 2013
Montreal: June 24, July 1, 8 & August 5, 12, 2013
- Pricing (Rates are per person, plus tax):
Double: $795 + tax
Single: $1095 + tax
Triple: $785 + tax
Quad: $775 + tax
Child (2-12yrs): $325 + tax
Double: $1195 tax included
Single: $1495 tax included
Triple: $1185 tax included
Quad: $1175 tax included
Child (2-12yrs): $745 tax included
Other DATES and GATEWAYS available.
Call us at 1-855-687-5925.
- Valid passport required for travel from Canada
- This offer is refundable until 5 PM EST on May 15, 2013. After that time, this offer is 100% non-refundable.