In recognition of National Travel & Tourism Week, and in preparation for the kickoff to the 2015 summer tourism season, the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp. hosted a "Day of Appreciation" Wednesday for hospitality employees throughout Niagara County. Employees from hotels, tourism attractions and venues were treated to lunch and entered to win prizes at the Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls.
"Those in the hospitality and tourism industry often work long hours and on weekends and holidays, but all are dedicated to helping ensure that visitors to our region enjoy their stay," said John Percy, NTCC's president and CEO. "As we ramp up efforts for the summer tourism season, we came together today to thank these individuals for all they do to help visitors experience the best Niagara USA has to offer - not only during the peak summer season, but throughout the year."
Representatives from the NTCC's government partners, including Niagara County and the cities of Lockport, North Tonawanda and Niagara Falls, issued proclamations that recognized National Travel & Tourism Week, as well as the importance of the hospitality industry to the Niagara region's economy. Percy, in turn, thanked the elected leaders for their support.
Those in attendance included Niagara County Legislature Chairman Bill Ross, Niagara County 4th District Legislator Owen Steed, Niagara County 5th District Legislator Jason Zona, City of North Tonawanda Common Council President Russ Rizzo, City of North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur Pappas, City of Lockport Mayor Anne McCaffrey and City of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
Tourism is the second-largest employer in Niagara County, employing approximately 14,232 people, according to Tourism Economics 2013. That accounts for 20 percent of the total workforce.
"Day of Appreciation" attendees enjoyed food, fun and entertainment provided by Niagara County businesses and organizations. Operators from various Niagara USA attractions also were on hand so that hospitality and tourism workers could learn more about what brings tourists to the region besides the natural beauty and wonder of Niagara Falls. In addition, $50, $100, $250 and $500 Visa gift cards were awarded to lucky winners throughout the afternoon.
Also at the event, NTCC announced its "Random Acts of Appreciation" to further recognize the role hospitality workers play to the overall success of the local tourism industry. During the next several months, NTCC staff will be on the lookout for hospitality and tourism workers who are going above and beyond the call of duty and reward them with $10 Visa gift cards.
"The appreciation event and gift cards are some simple ways for us to say 'Thank you,' today and throughout the year, to all of those who work in the hospitality and tourism industries," Percy said. "These workers are the true core of the region and often make the first impression to those visiting Niagara USA, so it's important to recognize their value and contributions to our tourism economy."
The NTCC's mission is to expand the economic prosperity of the Niagara USA communities by generating individual and group visitation. For more information, visit niagara-usa.com.
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