The 1,000 Islands International Tourism Council has secured two state grants worth $144,000 to market the Interstate 81 corridor and attract more anglers to Northern New York.
Gary S. DeYoung, executive director of the tourism council, said the larger, $84,000 Empire State Development Corp. grant will allow communities along I-81 to pool resources in their promotion of tourism activities along the corridor.
The councils plan specifically targets Eastern Ontario shoppers, snowbirds, or seasonal residents, and Pennsylvanians who travel north to the Thousand Islands to vacation early in the season.
In his proposal, Mr. De- Young said the region must try to get spring and fall travelers to spend more in order to make businesses more viable.
He said a coordinated effort would give regular visitors and Canadian shoppers a better idea of what types of activities, history and services the area has to offer.
The council hopes that by making such information more visible and readily available, the joint effort would facilitate more through traffic business and encourage seasonal residents to stay in the region longer in the shoulder seasons.
Empire State Development also awarded the council a $60,000 grant specifically to promote fishing activities.
Over the past few decades, New York has been outpromoted by other Great Lakes states as a high-quality freshwater fishing venue, Mr. De-Young said in his proposal. He said the funds awarded will allow tourism groups to coordinate an outreach to nearby markets including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The council plans to hire a contractor to develop Internet-friendly content for the spring 2013 I Love New York Fishing campaign such as videos, still photography and two- to three-minute clips of fishing activities in the region accompanied by short articles to complement them.
Both efforts involve promotions through traditional media as well as Internet advertising on various websites, in electronic newsletters and through social media services such as Facebook and Twitter.
But the I-81 promotions also will include the development of mobile applications for the iOS and Android platforms that provide an exit-by-exit directory of the corridor, which the council hopes to launch by summer.