Despite Disappointing 2017, Businesses Optimistic About 2018 Tourist SeasonPosted: Updated:
Despite what for many was a disappointing summer tourist season, businesses in the Thousand Islands are optimistic about the future.
The 1000 Islands International Tourism Council released results of what it calls a business confidence survey it sends to attraction, lodging and recreation businesses on both sides of the border.
In it, 65 percent say they expect a better season next year, which reflects a trend going back to 2009.
The tourism council reported a record season in 2016, but 2017 was plagued with record high water levels and frequent rain that resulted in an average loss to the local tourism industry of 28 percent.
Seventy percent of businesses gave the high water levels -- which delayed openings, closed camp sites and knocked out marina services -- "resoundingly low marks."
A third of businesses reported disappointment with the season, which is the most in the 18 years the council has conducted the survey.
Forty-two percent gave the season good marks and 24 percent said they were satisfied.
There's work underway to counter whatever bad reputation the region might have received because of high water levels.
The state last week announced that the council – in partnership with tourism offices in Oswego and St. Lawrence counties – will receive $136,875 to partially fund a “high water reputation recovery” marketing campaign.
The point, tourism officials say, is to demonstrate that the region is open for business despite the last season's high water.