Visit Buffalo Niagara (VBN), the lead marketing organization for Erie County’s visitor economy, is developing a ten-year Destination/Tourism Master Plan that will serve as a long-term road map for tourism in the region. The organization has hired MMGY NextFactor to develop the plan, a leading advisor in travel and tourism who has delivered insights and strategies to more than 250 destinations across the globe.
The plan will help create a strategic vision to address the county’s future as a world-class leisure, meetings and conventions, and sports destination. To create this vision, MMGY NextFactor and Visit Buffalo Niagara will engage residents, community leaders, public officials and tourism stakeholders over a six-month process.
“We’re looking forward to working with the talented team at MMGY NextFactor,” said Patrick Kaler, President & CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara. “Tourism continues to play a significant role in the future prosperity of Erie County. This process is an important and strategic investment that influences how Visit Buffalo Niagara and our partners promote the county moving forward.”
Officials from both groups will meet later this month to kick off the planning process. A steering committee of various county and industry leaders has been developed to guide the development of the strategy.
“The short-term recovery and the survival of the Buffalo Niagara region’s visitor economy are absolutely critical for the future prosperity of the county. However, we must also utilize this time to think about how we can build back better and create a more resilient visitor economy,” said Paul Ouimet, President of MMGY NextFactor. “We have an opportunity to rethink the way we approach tourism to ensure that it will make the Buffalo Niagara region a more sustainable place, enrich the lives of local residents, and deliver a financially self-sustaining tourism sector in the longer term.”
The master planning process is a result of a strategic assessment of local tourism undertaken by Visit Buffalo Niagara.
“The good news is that the assessment showed we are in a good place from a destination perspective,” Kaler said. “With that in mind, the process throughout the assessment was to come up with some next steps — what can we do to better position the destination for the future.”