Tourism Hits the Road
(GENESEO, NY - June 18, 2007)
Seeing is believing. That is exactly the concept that the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Office is tasked to convey during their annual motorcoach tour of the county.
On Thursday, June 14th a group of fifty local residents, including the chamber's "Leadership Livingston" class learning about how tourism works as an economic generator for our county took to the roads of Livingston County, via luxury motorcoach to see, for themselves that this county has several tourism strong points and is a viable destination for vacation seekers,
Called a familiarization tour, or "FAM" tour for short, the objective is to highlight the many attractions and tourism options within our county, create awareness with local residents about how "tourism friendly" our county is and to have our own residents become "tourism ambassadors" for our county and the Finger Lakes Vacation Region.
"The tourism office links our community's many tourism virtues together by showcasing all there is to do and see," notes Lisa Burns, Livingston County Tourism Director, "and we seek to educate local residents about these virtues, instill pride in our history and then encourage them to become the voice for attracting more visitors. After all, word of mouth is the best form of marketing."
This year's tour took place on Flag Day so the theme was all about red, white and blue. The day began in a fitting way, in Mount Morris, the home of Francis Bellamy the author of our nations "Pledge Allegiance to the Flag." How tourism works for our community was conveyed to the participants, a group pledge at the newly installed Flag Pole at the Mt. Morris Dam Visitors Center, lead by county historian Amie Alden took place then the tour was underway.
Visits on the tour included the Abbey of the Genesee and a shopping stop in Caledonia. Merchants in that community rolled out the "red, white and blue carpet" for the group and showcased the outstanding shopping options Caledonia has to offer. The motorcoach traveled along historic Rts. 5 and 20 and enjoy lunch, including a choice of either a red, white or blue soup at the American Hotel in Lima.
Hemlock Lake, 1812 County Store & Savor the Moment Tea House, the newly renovated Quality Inn Geneseo, our "Little Finger Lakes Wine Path" and the newly constructed SUNY Geneseo Integrated Science Center where other stops during the day.
The tour was designed an orchestrated by a committee of the Tourism Advisory Council with support from all the vendors and attractions along the route. In addition to the stops during the day the county historian traveled along and provided historical commentary while facts and trivia about the county filled the travel time.
"Our county is much to big to include every corner in one day," notes Burns, "we construct each tour based on a theme and although we may not get to every community in the county during the day we certainly provide information about those areas we didn't stop by."
As one tour participant stated, "I've lived here all my life and never knew that there used to be homes on Hemlock Lake, that a major Revolutionary War battle was fought here or that we had so much to offer visitors. This was an eye opening experience."
The tourism committee already has the plan laid out for next year's county tour.