Updated 10/09/2012 06:53 PM
Region makes the most of leaf peeper season
They come by the car load looking to soak in some autumn beauty and Finger Lakes businesses are hoping to attract their share of the leaf peepers this fall. Tamara Lindstrom tells us what Tompkins County is doing to bring them in.
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TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. -- Blazing colors signal the return of a welcomed group of spectators.
"We had a couple in from Israel this morning. Another couple in from Canada," said Fred Bonn, director of the Ithaca/Tompkins County convention and Visitors Bureau. "People from all over the Northeast are looking for this driving experience."
But the Finger Lakes region isn't alone when it comes to breathtaking fall scenery and tourism officials are working to bring more attention and income to the area.
"The Finger Lakes part of New York State has really been very strategic in trying to build more business around that time of year," Bonn said. "And so where Vermont may have leaves and maple syrup, but here in the Finger Lakes, we have leaves and wonderful wine, incredible culinary experiences and some really romantic getaways."
The autumn colors paint a picture that could sell itself, if potential tourists could see it. That's what the visitor’s bureau is working on.
"One of the fun things we've been doing this past season is taking some of the pictures and the images and posting them on our Facebook page," Bonn said. "What that has created is all sorts of conversations with people who might have been from the Northeast or Ithaca in the past, telling stories about their memories of being in the Finger Lakes during the fall and what a beautiful season it is."
Bonn says the effort has had far reaching success.
"It's re-establishing that emotional connection. And as we read through the posts, a number of people are saying we're planning a trip, can you give me any suggestions of a hike to do, or a restaurant to go to? And our staff is out there giving them some advice."
And he hopes when locals run into the seasonal guests, they'll give them some friendly advice as well.
The season is off to a strong start. Officials say great fall weather has helped boost tourism so far this season.