Albany studies tourism trends - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany studies tourism trends

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May 24, 2006

Albany --   It's either a good way to attract more visitors to Albany or a waste of money, depends on who you listen to. Imagine Albany 2010 spent 75,000 dollars to study the marketing strategies of the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau's.  

A five person team collected data from businesses, researched trends in lodging, and interviewed city leaders. Some business owners aren't convinced the study's results will really help promote business in Albany.

Jaye Lomax directs sales and marketing at Albany's Sleep Inn motel, so she needs to know where to advertise or promote room deals.

"I am disappointed because all I heard was development between Washington Street and Front Street," said Jaye Lomax.

Lomax came to this presentation of the Randall Travel Company's results expecting to learn how to increase business, but she thinks the study didnt reveal much. And she wasn't the only marketer who thought so.

"I thought they would be talking about how can they give us businesses, how can they generate us some money," said Emma Katibak.

Both Lomax and Katibak didn't know where their lodging advertising money would be best spent after the study's results were revealed. Even so, Convention Center and Visitor's Bureau leaders felt the tourism and business study was a good investment.

"What the research will show us is how best to market, where best to market, and what we have to offer folks, whether their visiting us for meeting or convention or considering us for vacation," said CVB Vice President Sara Underdown.

The study found Albany lacks leisure activities, evening entertainment, and places to eat late at night. And it left some business leaders wondering if those types of businesses were even coming to town.

"We didn't hear where exactly we need to concentrate to go out and get business," said Lomax.

For some business people the study simply restated what they already know.

The research mentioned a lack of nightlife here in Albany. The consultants say the city needs to offer more amenities to visitors if it wants to attract more people to town.  

That firm spent five months on the study. They conduct similar surveys across the country.

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