Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Niagara Falls spotlight could spark tourism

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Buffalo: Niagara Falls spotlight could spark tourism
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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - As emcee of the Presidential Inauguration and luncheon Monday afternoon, Senator Chuck Schumer made a point to tip his hat off to Niagara Falls.

"For me as a New Yorker, Niagara Falls never fails to inspire a tremendous awe of the beauty of our great country," he said.

During the luncheon, Schumer displayed an oil painting of Niagara Falls behind the president's head table.

According to Schumer, the painting, done by Ferdinand Richardt in 1856, was meant to "bring a wave of admiration for Western New York," - something Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said will certainly help.

"Anytime you get this kind of national exposure, it's a boom to tourism on into the future," said Dyster.

YNN caught up with Mayor Dyster on his way back from the Capitol, who was at the Inauguration. The mayor said it was an honor to have Niagara Falls in the spotlight, although it wasn't the first time.

"The first same-sex marriage, the Wallenda walk and now this," he said. "We've been in the national media periodically over the last couple years, and I think it's really helping to boost the city's image."

The painting of the majestic attraction also got some attention on social media.

Since Monday, the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation's Facebook page had nearly 20 new "likes," and more than 100 for the painting including someone from Europe.

"If you could obtain any type of free notoriety or free coverage, or earn media, it's worth its weight and gold to this destination," said John Percy, the president of the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation.

Percy said he hopes the national coverage will help boost tourism.

"Maybe someone yesterday will think about, 'Maybe I need to visit. That painting's beautiful. It's on my bucket list. It's one that I really want to see.' So we love that," he said.

Percy said his team is thinking of ways to promote the destination even more by possibly placing brochures at the State Department, where the painting usually sits.

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