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Oneida County Tourism gears up for busy summer season

By Traci DeLore (news@cnybj.com)

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Oneida County Tourism is kicking off what it expects to a busy summer travel season with a new tourism map, travel guide, and website. (IMAGE CREDIT: ONEIDA COUNTY TOURISM)

UTICA, N.Y. — After two summers of pandemic-dampened travel, Oneida County Tourism is gearing up for a busy 2022 travel season with a new tourism map, new travel guide, and new website.

“We are feeling very positive about the upcoming summer season and even into fall,” says Kelly Blazosky, president of Oneida County Tourism. That view is bolstered greatly by the return of traditional regional events such as the Boilermaker 15K race, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and National Boxing Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, and numerous live music events.

“That gives us reason to be positive,” Blazosky notes.

The agency’s new Oneida County tourism map is already being distributed. The new map features a fun cartoon-like design created by Sarah Price at Price Designs in Whitesboro and highlights attractions across the region. It also has a page each devoted to Utica, Rome, and the Sylvan Beach/Verona Beach area.

The new travel guide for the region is also now available. Typically out in February, this year’s edition was plagued by some supply chain issues. Oneida County Tourism worked with the Sentinel Media Company in Rome for printing and design assistance. 

While the agency typically orders 50,000 copies, Blazosky says it reduced that number to 25,000 this year, in part to due higher paper costs. A digital download of the brochure is also available on the agency’s website: www.oneidacountytourism.com.

That website also has a fresh new look this year, as well as an overhauled platform on the back end to allow the agency to offer a more dynamic and engaging site.

Kelly Blazosky

“We are using our blogging much more heavily,” Blazosky says. The new platform allows the agency to publish blogs right to the website, offering regularly update content.

It’s much easier to keep the site vibrant and keep travelers engaged this way, she says, rather than a static page that never changes.

“It gives us the tools to be able to be more nimble and timely and current,” Blazosky notes. Now they can blog about the Boilermaker, for example, doing things like recommending places to stay or eat for visitors who traveled from out of town for the race.

Oneida County Tourism worked with Quadsimia in Utica on the website overhaul.

Marketing material like the website and travel guide are aimed at potential visitors in a four- to six-hour driving range, which makes up the majority of Oneida County’s visitors.

The region benefited, even during the pandemic, from the wide variety of outdoor offerings, Blazosky says, Even with higher gas prices, she expects the region will see a good number of visitors this summer.

Other draws include New York Craft Beverage Trail, Oneida County’s 28 public golf courses, Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, and both the summer arts festival in July and the Norman Rockwell exhibit coming in June to Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica.

“As we look toward the end of the year with the completion of the Nexus Center, that is opening up a complete new market for us in the sports-tourism industry,” Blazosky says.

Oneida County is part of the eight-county Central New York region of the state’s I Love NY tourism agency. The region — encompassing Oneida, Herkimer, Madison, Otsego, Schoharie, Montgomery, Broome, and Chenango counties — collectively generates a $2.2 billion economic impact.

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