May 12, 2014

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce ‘Brand USA’ Is Ramping Up Its Efforts to Promote Tourism In Niagara Falls & Buffalo – New Push Will Bring More Foreign Visitors & Tourism Dollars to WNY

Push By Federal Tourism Promotion Agency ‘Brand USA’ Comes After Schumer And Gillibrand Successfully Called For Niagara Falls & Buffalo To Be Added To Organization’s List of Top Tourist Destinations

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that Brand USA, a federally-funded entity that promotes U.S. tourist destinations to foreign travelers, has increased its efforts to promote the Niagara Falls/Buffalo region. Brand USA recently published comprehensive travel journals specifically targeted to travelers from the United Kingdom and Germany that included extensive information about the Niagara Falls/Buffalo region. In addition, Brand USA is also paying for 15 travel agents from the United Kingdom and Ireland to travel to Western New York later this month in order to familiarize themselves with the area’s tourist attractions. These new developments were made possible after Schumer and Gillibrand’s push last year that resulted in Brand USA’s including Niagara Falls and Buffalo in its promotional material and placing the region on its list of suggested trips. Schumer and Gillibrand noted that these efforts should attract additional visitors to the region and inject much-needed tourism dollars into the local economy.

“I am thrilled that Brand USA has decided to ramp up its efforts to bring foreign travelers to Western New York,” said Schumer. “From the breathtaking Niagara Falls, to the beautiful architecture of Buffalo, there are many exciting places throughout the region for foreign travelers to visit. Brand USA materials will encourage more travelers to see the beauty of Western New York by making them aware of everything the region has to offer. That is why Brand USA’s effort to promote the region is so important; now people around the world will begin to enjoy the world-class tourist destinations right here in our backyard, and bring much-needed tourism dollars with them.”

“Brand USA’s continued commitment to marketing the Greater Niagara Region is critical to bringing more international travelers,” said Gillibrand, who as a member of the President’s Export Council has worked to secure Brand USA’s involvement in promoting Western New York tourism, including convening a May 2013 tourism roundtable with Brand USA and other federal partners in Youngstown, NY. “This new attention by Brand USA will only enhance the work we’ve done as a community to make Niagara an international travel destination. Niagara County is a family friendly destination with iconic natural and cultural landmarks that people of all ages can enjoy.  An increase in international visitors to Niagara would increase our export growth, facilitating job creation in the region.”

Last year, Schumer called on Brand USA to include the Niagara Falls and Buffalo regions on its promotional website – DiscoverAmerica.com – in order to attract additional visitors to the region. Until Schumer’s push, the website did not include any destinations in Western New York on its list of suggested trips in New York State. Created in 2010, Discover America provides materials for travelers from all over the world who are planning trips to the United States. It is one of Brand USA’s largest efforts to encourage foreign travelers to visit the U.S.

In his letter to Discover America in April 2013, Schumer pointed to a number of great destinations that Western New York offers to visiting tourists, including Niagara Falls, which is one of America’s greatest treasures and has long been one of the country’s most visited tourist destinations. Schumer noted that the city of Niagara Falls would benefit greatly from any increase in tourism. Schumer also specified a number of tourist destinations in Buffalo that would appeal to foreign tourists, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece Darwin Martin House, Louis Sullivan’s intricately ornamented Guaranty Building, and the imposing H.H. Richardson Complex.

Gillibrand also worked closely with Brand USA to secure their commitment to promote the Greater Niagara Region as an international travel destination, featuring the region as a “Trip Idea” on the New York State page of Brand USA’s Discover America website, a commitment that was formalized at a May 2013 tourism roundtable Senator Gillibrand convened with Brand, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security, and local officials to ensure all federal resources and support are made available to increase international travel to the area.

Brand USA was established by the Travel Promotion Act in 2010 with the goal of spearheading the nation's first global marketing effort to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and to communicate U.S. entry/exit policies and procedures. Formed as the Corporation for Travel Promotion, the public-private entity began operations in May 2011 and does business as Brand USA. Brand USA works in close partnership with the travel industry to maximize the economic and social benefits of travel. Through its call-to-action—DiscoverAmerica.com—Brand USA inspires travelers to explore the United States of America’s boundless possibilities.