News Column

Hospitality Training helps promote the coast

June 3, 2014

By Dan Heath, The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y.



June 03--PLATTSBURGH -- The point was to help hosts boast about the coast.

The Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau's fifth-annual Hospitality Training session, held at the Plattsburgh State Art Museum, acquainted hotel and other front-desk staff with area attractions.

Visitors Bureau Director Kristy Kennedy, also vice president for marketing at the North Country Chamber of Commerce, said 30 local attractions provided information to more than 50 front-desk personnel from local businesses.

Those are the people, she said, who visitors will ask for information on what's available while they are in the area.

"This helps create that better experience for visitors," Kennedy said. "It answers the age-old question: What is there to do here?"

Vicki Giroux of La Quinta Inn and Suites hotel, who takes part along with some of the staff, said it's an enjoyable event. And they bring back a wealth of information to share with colleagues.

It's a chance to learn about new attractions and get a reminder about others they may have forgotten, she said.

"It reminds them of stuff they haven't done in a while."

CROSS-PROMOTION

The three focal points identified in the regional Destination Master Plan -- recreation, history and agri-tourism -- were all well represented, Giroux said.

The Hospitality Training was also an opportunity for those from various attractions to learn about each other.

Giroux said it has been great to witness the growth of cooperation and cross-promotion by all those located within the Adirondack Coast.

This was Plattsburgh State Art Museum Director Samantha Bellinger's second time as a participant, since she took over just 18 months ago.

"This year, we're really thrilled to have it here," she said.

PRESTIGIOUS COLLECTION

The Art Museum is really a hidden gem, Bellinger said, with well-known exhibits such as the Rockwell Kent Gallery at Feinberg Library and the Nina Winkle Sculpture Court, the Joseph and Jane Burke Gallery and ever-changing exhibits in Myers Fine Arts Building.

The latter recently featured the Senior Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibit, works by graduating students.

And there are other pieces and exhibits scattered throughout campus, Bellinger said.

She said she had heard only positive feedback from the people who stopped to talk with her during the hospitality event.

"People seem to be enjoying themselves while they learn about what's available in the community."

MESSAGE TO MARKETS

Giroux said the Visitors Bureau is doing a great job with its marketing campaigns, most of which are bilingual.

Once again, they have launched a campaign on CTV television in both the Montreal and Ottawa markets, Kennedy said. It kicked off in mid May to coincide with Canada'sVictoria Day holiday and will run through Labor Day.

It features a digital component for mobile devices and was made possible through cooperation from 11 local participants.

Last year, CTV's daily morning television news program -- think "The Today Show" -- featured giveaways of prizes from Adirondack Coast attractions.

"That always drives amazing traffic to our website," Kennedy said.

Email Dan Heath:dheath@pressrepublican.com

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(c)2014 the Press-Republican (Plattsburgh, N.Y.)

Visit the Press-Republican (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) at pressrepublican.com

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Source: Press-Republican (Plattsburgh, NY)


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