Tourism Campaign Fights Back Against High-Water Misconceptions

Tourism Campaign Fights Back Against High-Water Misconceptions

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Attracting tourists this summer is a battle between perception and reality, a fight to make sure people know the Thousand Islands Region is open for business.

It's deep into summer and boats are scarce. Alexandria Bay dock attendant Deegan Shaffer thinks he knows the reason.

"I've had a lot of people come in and say that they've not heard about the floating docks being in here," he said, "so they thought there was only the flooded docks and they thought there was going to be no docking."

So, Deegan says, people aren't bringing their boats.

The still-slow boating business at the Alex Bay docks illustrates the problem: perception versus reality.

At the Thousand Islands International Tourism Council, they're fighting back.

"We knew the high water was going to create problems," the council's Gary DeYoung said. "We're a water-based destination."

The council created two new web pages. One of them is "High Water: Fact or Fiction."

For example, fiction: nobody's boating, and fact: the fish are biting.

"And what we're hearing from our charter captains and fishermen is that fishing's pretty good this year," DeYoung said.

The second website: "10 Ways to Enjoy the 1000 Islands Without Worrying About Water Levels."

Social media are being used to direct people in the Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo areas to the web pages.

Deyoung: "If you're on the web using Facebook or if you're on the web searching about high water and that triggers a key word search, we're going to feed you that ad," DeYoung said.

The council dipped into its "rainy day" advertising fund for this new campaign.

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