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Opinion: Chamber Takes Step Toward Revitalizing Tourism

Written By Timothy Knight on 4/17/15 | 4/17/15


Schoharie County is a prime tourist destination with our beautiful mountains, exceptional farmlands, pristine creeks, and an abundance of attractions that appeal to people of all ages from all regions of not only New York, but the entire world. 

We may be biased, as we are a collection of lifelong residents, but Schoharie County sure does look like an easy sell to the outside world. The problem is: it wasn't when the job of promoting all we have to offer rested on county government's shoulders.

Somehow making an easy sell into a bureaucratic mess, county tourism suffered under the direction of former Planning Director Alicia Terry, who was tasked with overseeing promotional efforts in addition to her existing department head duties. 

It was an abject failure from day one that lacked the determination to get the job done and the direction to achieve its intended goals. As such, the ball had been dropped on one of our single most important economic assets, and it was obvious.

There is a bright side, however.

Receiving authorization to once again manage county tourism by the county board last summer, the Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce has given the wounded industry a breath of new life and is setting it upon a path of revitalization. 

Revitalization that has not only been spurred by the appointment of Becky Stark as Tourism Coordinator and the formation of an all encompassing Tourism Committee, but in recent efforts to bring the focus back to Schoharie County. 

Launching a $30,000 television advertising matching program last month, Schoharie County Tourism is offering local businesses and municipalities up to $1,000 in matching funds to shoot, edit, and place destination themed ads on regional stations. 

Pitched as part of a renewed Picture Perfect Schoharie County promotional campaign, the program is a major step in the right direction for county tourism. Not only because it is proactive, but because it is innovative and seeks to put a spotlight on us. 

And that is something worth supporting. 
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