Survey shows improvement for tourism

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 6:12 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ALEXANDRIA BAY, New York (WWNY) - After an all-time low in 2020 and a somewhat better 2021, the 2022 Thousand Islands tourism survey is out and business owners are satisfied. And, for the first time in two years, COVID-19 wasn’t the biggest challenge.

On a chilly December day, traffic at the Thousand Islands Bridge was sparse.

At Crestwood Cottages in Alexandria Bay, the blinds are shut and they’re closed for the season. Looking back on the year, it was a good one.

“Absolutely! This was a great season for Crestwood Cottages,” said Chrystal Weaver, owner.

Crestwood along with motels, hotels and other lodging businesses all had positive experiences this year.

As did other industries.

According to the Thousand Islands Tourism Council’s annual survey of businesses, 90 percent of responders in both New York and Ontario say they were satisfied with the 2022 season. A response that’s night and day compared to the 46 percent that were disappointed in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It lets us know that this a place this is real, that people can have real experiences, and will probably remain popular for the next few years as we continue to learn to live with COVID and illnesses and those kinds of things,” said Corey Fram, Thousand Islands Tourism Council.

Some of the reasons behind the positive reviews are marketing and the weather.

But Weaver says it was the low water levels that did a disservice this past summer.

“It affected swimming, it affected boating. I know a lot of people hit shoals with the props. I would say that would be the only detrimental issue for us this year,” she said.

Fram says other negative reviews included gas prices, inflation, and the ability to cross the border.”

“This year there was an app requirement. That was a challenge for a lot of travelers that still just said, ‘I’m not going to do it.’ That’s been lifted as of October 1, and we’re seeing improved numbers, but that’s been a big prohibitor for cross-border travel,” he said.

Despite the challenges COVID-19 brought to the tourism industry, things seem to be leveling out, paving the way for a better future.

“I expect that 2023 should be even better,” said Fram.