With the funding, CATS will embark on a robust marketing strategy to increase the number of tourists to the region each year, in partnership with Goshen-based advertising and public relations agency Focus Media. CATS also plans to conduct a study on the region’s perceptions on the part of people living in the New York City metro area, which will give the organization valuable insights into how to market to this target audience. As time goes on, the organization will adjust its messaging strategies to attract more visitors to Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster counties.
The funding comes specifically through the Capital Region’s Regional Economic Development Council, and CATS is helping to meet the council’s economic goals of promoting tourism and inter-regional partnerships. It’s also aiding distressed communities by promoting more economic opportunities in the form of tourism dollars.
“We are very pleased to announce that CATS has received funding through the Capital Region’s Economic Development Council,” said CATS President Richard J. Remsnyder, who is also director of Ulster County Tourism. “This will give us more opportunities to highlight and promote all that our area has to offer for people who live in the New York City metro area and beyond. A healthy tourism industry helps our local economies and creates jobs throughout the Catskill region.”
“The Catskills region truly has a lot to offer people, especially if they want to get outdoors or take part in rich traditions and culture,” said Jim Thomson, vice president of CATS and Tourism Director for the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. “Whether it’s through brochures, billboards, television and radio ads or other channels, we now have the resources and capabilities to truly promote our region like never before and that will mean greater tourism dollars, which will be a wonderful economic benefit to this region.”
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative started by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo represents a new approach to state investments and economic development, with the individual councils made up of representatives from the areas of business, academics, local government and non-governmental organizations. The initiative empowers community, business and academic leaders, as well as members of the public in each region of the state, to develop strategic plans specifically tailored to their region’s unique strengths and resources in order to create jobs and support economic growth.
Tourism is a nearly $1 billion industry in the Catskills, with the state Department of Labor estimating that nearly 17,000 jobs in the region depend on it. The area features a wide range of recreational opportunities, including rafting, kayaking, hiking and camping, along with more than 200 lodging options. Visitors can also enjoy seasonal farmers’ markets, family-owned restaurants, museums, distilleries, wineries, art galleries and much more.
About Catskills Association for Tourism Services
Catskills Association for Tourism Services promotes the wide range of vacation and recreational opportunities in the Catskills region. The region has a billion dollar tourism industry, with tourism responsible for about 15 percent of total employment. The Catskills is known for its mountainous landscapes, history, sense of adventure and proximity to major cities like New York, Boston and Philadelphia. The Catskills region includes Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster counties. For more information, go to http://www.visitthecatskills.com.