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Destiny aims to boost Canadian spending with events

By Journal Staff


SYRACUSE — The Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB) and Destiny USA are looking to increase Canadian tourism in Central New York.

“We are strategically focusing on target markets, and for us, those are definitely Canada given its proximity,” Destiny USA Executive David Aitken says.

The visitors bureau and Destiny USA are planning two events promoting Canadian tourism to Central New York: a Syracuse Showcase at the Ontario Motor Coach Association tradeshow in Buffalo and Meet Syracuse, an invite-only event at the home of the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson. The motor coach association event will begin Oct. 20 and end Oct. 24, while “Meet Syracuse” will be held Oct. 23.

The visitors bureau and Destiny USA representatives will meet with over 60 Canadian tour operators during the motor coach tradeshow and promote Canadian tourism to Syracuse, according to a news release. Meet Syracuse will host Canadian tour operators, media members, travel agents, and businesses from the greater Ottawa area, the release said.

Both events are funded by the visitors bureau and Destiny USA, says Carol Eaton, vice president of marketing at the visitors bureau.

The events will aid the region’s economy through increased spending and more hotel stays, Aitken says.

“There are approximately 6,500 hotel rooms in the region,” Aitken says. “[We’ll be putting] more people in those hotels.”

Destiny USA expects Canadian shoppers to account for 22 percent of annual sales by 2014, a 7 percent increase from current sales to Canadians, Aitken says.

The visitors bureau and Destiny USA expect to hold similar Meet Syracuse events in the Toronto and Montreal markets in 2013, Eaton says.

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