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OBPA seeks $1 million state grant for regional tourism promotion

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Tourism promotion in Northern New York could be in for a $1 million boost.

The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority has taken the lead in submitting a consolidated funding application for a $1 million grant from the state’s MarketNY program.

MarketNY would, if approved, would provide funds for specific tourism activities - including advertising, websites, consumer shows and promotional materials - with their use overseen by agencies closest their mission.

“When successful, this grant will significantly promote tourism in New York State,” said OBPA Executive Director Wade A. Davis. “It’s different levels for different agencies.”

The application’s description of the regional proposal states that “The North Country region plans to capitalize on one of its most unique elements – the longest border with Canada – in a collaborative, multi-county marketing effort to draw targeted Canadian visitors across the border to take advantage of the North Country’s four-season recreational opportunities.

Increased Canadian visitation will create a demand for increased amenities which in turn, leads to job creation. The North Country’s unique border position and current favorable exchange rates position the region well to increase visitation from Ontario and Quebec.”

The activities, requested funding allocations and directing agencies are:

—Fishing: $170,000; local funding/in-kind services, $45,000; St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce/FISHCAP.

—Motorcycle Touring: $251,000; local funding/in-kind services, $25,000; Adirondack Regional Tourism Council.

—Boating: $251,000; local funding/in-kind services, $27,500; Thousand Islands Regional Tourism Development Corporation and other Thousand Islands and Adirondack tourism promotion agencies

—Paddling: $102,500; local funding/in-kind services, $47,500; several local tourism promotion agencies.

—Canadian/Quebec marketing: $117,750; local funding/in-kind services, $15,000; Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, Essex County.

—”I Eat, Play, Love Northern New York” blogger contest with users posting favorite activities; $70,000; local funding/in-kind services, $30,000; Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and other Thousand Islands and Adirondack tourism promotion agencies.

—Frontline Sales Initiative training for tourism staff: $115,000; local funding/in-kind services, $10,000; Thousand Islands Regional Tourism Development Corporation and other Thousand Islands and Adirondack tourism promotion agencies

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