NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Building off of the governor's focus to increase tourism in Niagara Falls, Niagara University is also looking to boost the region's industry, and how to best serve those tourists.
"We're going to be preparing people to do things like destination management to build up Niagara Falls as a place that's a destination where you go and see the Falls, but also see everything else that's in the region," said NU’s vice president for academic affairs Timothy Downs, Ph.D.
Expanding on its current degree programs in the hospitality and tourism industry, the university plans on building the Niagara Global Tourism Institute in downtown Niagara Falls.
The institute would help connect with people on a global level - digitally.
"We have to be able to compete with things that are digital, such as the apps people use, the simulations that are part of the tourism experience today, all of the high-tech," said NU’s executive vice president Bonnie Rose, Ph.D.
While bringing more visitors to the region, NU said the institute would also help eliminate poverty in the city.
"New jobs that are developed may require skills that the local population doesn't have,” said Rose. “Hospitality and tourism offers broad opportunities for people to enter fields and develop, and go on to have very successful careers."
NU expects to have more concrete plans about the project over the next couple of months.