According to the Guide…

Don’t Panic!

Only good words a tourism book ever really said.

I don’t like talking in the forums of media outlets as more often not, it’s not exactly the Algonquin Roundtable, if you know what I mean (we’ll assume yes). This editorial came across my desk though: http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial-page/from-our-readers/my-view/article745409.ece.

In it, the writer laments marketing the Buffalo region, how the visitors find out the scoop about restaurants and the like by talking to people and the region doesn’t seem to be advertising as hard as it good.

A couple things immediately popped to mind. In regards to the guidebook, people use them in a Manhattan because the advice you get on the subway platform shouldn’t be taken as gospel. There are plenty of Buffalo maps, brochures and posters out there for digestion, in addition to Trip Advisor, Yelp and more. I’m very proud of the work going on at my shop and he is quite right in pointing out world class level of the Albright Knox Art Gallery. I don’t think we want a Ritz Carleton to come to down. Some of my colleagues in the Hotel industry were wrankled when Tom Brady slammed Buffalo Hotels in a pre-Super Bowl interview as the News article recounts. Personally, I think the mistake is in caring what comes out of a millionaire’s mouth. Have fun with it, put a cot in Brady’s suite next time the Patriots come to town and smirk away,

There wasn’t a huge effort to sell the area as we’ve had plenty of issues to contend with in previous years. Personally, I like the fact that you find out secret specials by talking to the waiter at a given restaurant. There is no fun in reading that out of the American Express Guide to Allentown. That personal experience is what makes trips memorable.

Aside from reminding us about the Peace Bridge fiasco, he wonders quite sensibly, about Canadian visitors. Now, this does make sense as any trip through the Fashion Outlet or Walden Galleria parking lots reveal that most of Ontario spends the weekends loading up at the Old Navy. So, I disagree with him on the point of getting folks here. Their dollar is actually stronger than ours and made more sensibly to boot. Canadian money is accepted more often than not and it is the banks in our neighborhood that make those funds tougher to get. They know we are here. We don’t need to put a mall on a billboard like was cited in the editoral (and Mr. Editorial writer? Pretty sure the Erie Outlet Mall did that on their own).

I think our friends in St. Catherines, Hamilton, et al know we are here and are here often, shopping and making Walden Ave and Niagara Falls Blve into the busy avenues they are. The trick is showing them what ELSE there is to do. And that is an issue that is true with another large demographic, Western New Yorkers.

This is a gradual process, after all, Rome wasn’t burnt in a day. Step by step, gradually we’ll get people to explore.

Life moves pretty fast, put the guidebook down and go have a look

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