Tourism Insider
Issue 36   
VBN to kick off National Travel & Tourism week with annual Beacon Awards luncheon

Beacon AwardsNational Travel & Tourism Week is May 2 – 10, 2015. This annual tradition was established by congressional resolution in 1983 and the nationwide week of events serves to champion the power of tourism. Visit Buffalo Niagara will kick off the week with the 5th annual Beacon Awards luncheon, taking place Monday, May 4, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The theme this year is “Travel is More Than Fun,” and VBN is coordinating activities each day this week to draw attention to the impact tourism has on the economy, jobs and civic pride.

Twelve deserving individuals will be given the prestigious Beacon Award in recognition of their outstanding service to the industry. Additionally, we honor Russ Salvatore with the Tim Russert Award. Russ will be inducted into the Buffalo Ambassador Hall of Fame in acknowledgement of his efforts not only in the industry, but also the community.

Individual tickets to the luncheon are XX; a table sponsorship is XX. More information may be found here.

2014 Annual Report2014 Annual Report Hot Off the Press!
2014 was a year to remember and the highlights of the year just past have been collected in Visit Buffalo Niagara’s 2014 Annual Business Review. NCAA Men’s Basketball, the Congress for the New Urbanism, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, group tours, individual travelers, scores of travel journalists and bloggers – all made their way to Buffalo in 2014, filling our hotels, restaurants and attractions and leaving behind hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact. Read all about it here.

Legislative Roundtable Breakfast April 10 at Buffalo Niagara Marriott

The NYS Hospitality & Tourism Association, the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation and Visit Buffalo Niagara are hosting a 2015 Legislative Roundtable Breakfast on Friday, April 10 at the Buffalo/Niagara Marriott.

Members of the industry are invited to participate in an open forum, roundtable discussion with elected officials, beginning at 8:30 a.m. For more information and to register More information and to register.

April 6 – 14
Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ COOLJC
2,000 attendees

April 9 – 12
USA Sled Hockey Disabled Festival 2015
980 attendees

April 10-12

United States Bowling Congress 91st NYS Open Championships
200 attendees

April 17 – 22
American Association of Airport Executives International Aviation Snow Symposium
675 attendees

April 23 – 27
Break the Floor Productions Jump 2015
600 attendees

April 27 – May 1

NYS United Teachers Annual Representative Assembly & Local Presidents Conference
3,000 attendees

April 30 – May 2
Float Yoga Bhakti, Beats & Brews
100 attendees

May 5 – 11
United Schutzhund Clubs of America 2015 Working Dog Championships
300 attendees

VBN calendar

Convention Center calendar

Are you interested in having CEO Patrick Kaler speak to your group about the economic impact of tourism in WNY?

Winter Wonderland
of Media Coverage
In the News

Buffalo’s winter renaissance – the development of HarborCenter, the Ice @ Canalside and RiverWorks – led to an unprecedented level of first quarter media relations activity for Visit Buffalo Niagara. VBN assisted in the development of a New York Times piece titled Buffalo Embraces Winter’s Chill that ran in the Sunday travel section. VBN’s press release on the new Ice Bikes of Buffalo was picked up as far away a newspaper in Lima, Peru, and contributed information to an Associated Press story that ran in over 100 media outlets around the world, including and the Huffington Post. Regional media also discovered Buffalo’s renaissance; VBN provided tours to writers who published features on Buffalo’s burgeoning restaurant scene and thriving waterfront in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, St. Catherine’s Standard and Niagara Falls (Ont.) Review. The Toronto Star also ran a feature on the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum in February based on a FAM tour VBN provided in December.

VBN launches transformative website
Visit Buffalo Niagara has launched a new and improved edition of its website. Featuring prominent media grids that include large scale photography and video embeds, an expansive inventory of itineraries, blog posts and food crawls, as well as completely updated and refreshed copy, the site is the latest iteration of the website that was first launched in 1995. “Buffalo is in a transformative moment as a destination and deserves a transformative website to tell its story,” said Patrick Kaler, VBN President and CEO. “We think we achieved that with this highly engaging and inspiring site.” The new site is the result of a collaboration with the Portland, Oregon-based web developers, Substance.

new website
Kaler joins board of directors of US Travel Association

VBN President and CEO Patrick Kaler has been elected to serve on the board of directors of the U.S. Travel Association.

The U.S. Travel Board of Directors is the overseeing and governing body of U.S. Travel, which represents over 1,300 travel service providers, travel associations and destination marketing organizations like VBN. The board manages the business of the association, votes on organization decisions and oversees the disbursement of monetary funds.

Kaler will serve a two-year term on the 23 member at-large board with the potential to be re-appointed to a second term. He is the first CEO of VBN to serve on U.S. Travel’s board of directors. More...

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