FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4, 2012

SCHUMER: ORANGE COUNTY WINERIES MISSING OUT ON MAJOR BUSINESS FROM INT’L TOURISTS VISITING NYC AND HUDSON VALLEY – CALLS ON FEDS TO HELP LAUNCH MARKETING CAMPAIGN TO BRING MORE TOURISTS INTO HV WINE TRAIL



Millions of International Tourists Visit NYC and the Lower Hudson Valley Each Year, But Few Head North To Visit Hudson Valley Wineries

To Help Bring More Visitors To Local Wineries, Schumer Calls On Federal Program “Brand USA” To Partner With New HV Food & Beverage Group On Marketing Campaign To Get Tourists To Visit Wineries

Schumer: This Partnership Would Help “Pour” Jobs Into The HV

 

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called on Brand USA, a public-private partnership between the travel industry and the U.S. Commerce Department, to develop a partnership with wineries in Orange County and the Hudson Valley, that are currently missing out on record-high international tourism levels to nearby New York City and other parts of the Hudson Valley. Specifically, Schumer is calling on Brand USA to partner with the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Group to develop an international marketing strategy that would attract the millions of international tourists that visit New York City and lower Hudson Valley attractions, like Woodbury Commons, in order to increase tourism and provide a boost to Hudson Valley’s economy.

 

“We need to make sure that international tourists to the Big Apple hear about our world-class wineries not just through the grape vine, but on radio, TV, and billboards,” said Schumer. “This partnership could take our wineries to the next level and I’m confident that if tourists catch wind of all that they have to offer, our Hudson Valley wineries will be overflowing with new visitors, helping to pour jobs into the local economy when we need them the most. With Brand USA’s international expertise, the Hudson Valley Food and Beverage Cluster can tap into this market that’s slipping by us right now, and help bring new tourism dollars into our local economy.”

 

“HVEDC, along with our partners in the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Alliance, will create, design and implement a multi-year, multi-million dollar marketing and branding campaign for the Hudson Valley designed to attract international tourism to our growing Wineries throughout Orange County and the Hudson Valley Region,” said HVEDC President Mike Oates. “Our campaign will be designed to foster strong collaboration between our food and beverage companies, resorts and retail shopping centers to increase international tourism as well as to open new markets for our products overseas. The campaign elements will include a comprehensive social media experience, print and broadcast media, international tradeshows and events, and sweepstakes and contests. We believe that with this program, we can reinforce that message that the Hudson Valley has everything a tourist could want – from our wineries to our resorts to our retail shopping centers; the Hudson Valley has it all. We again thank Senator Schumer for his leadership and support as we work to grow our economy and bring investment in the Hudson Valley region.”

 

According to the Department of Commerce, New York City was the most visited city by overseas travelers in 2010, and experienced a 9% increase in visitors last year. However, Schumer noted that this tourism in NYC does not translate to increased tourism at other tourist spots in the state, such as the dozens of wineries across Orange County and the Hudson Valley, including the 11 wineries of the Shawangunk Wine Trail. Therefore, Schumer is urging Brand USA to help double down in this effort to bring an increase in international tourism, and to partner with local hotels and restaurants to create destination packages to entice international travelers, in an effort to link local businesses with the program.


Schumer visited Brotherhood Winery and was joined by owner of the Brotherhood Winery and wineries of the Shawangunk Winery Trail, President Mike Oates of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC), members of The Orange County Partnership and the Orange County Chamber of Commerce as he called on Brand USA to help develop an international marketing campaign to attract tourists to Hudson Valley’s wineries. In total, there are 26 wineries in the Hudson Valley, and a total of 42 wineries along both banks of the Hudson River.

 

With federal assistance from Brand USA, the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, wineries of the Hudson Valley and wineries of the Shawangunk Wine Trail are seeking to create and implement a comprehensive marketing and ad campaign to target international tourists to visit the wineries of the Hudson Valley. The plan will be a multi-year and multi-million dollar marketing and branding campaign targeted to reach international tourists who are already visiting the Hudson Valley for shopping, vacations, visiting family or for business. The campaign will be designed to utilize the strong relationships between food and beverage companies, hotels, resorts and retail shopping centers to increase international tourism as well as open up new markets for Hudson Valley products overseas.


Under the proposal being crafted by the newly-created Hudson Valley Food and Beverage Cluster, which is part of the HVEDC, the campaign will include a comprehensive social media experience, print and broadcast media, international tradeshows and events, and sweepstakes and contests. The campaign will also utilize physical advertising in frequently visited locations by the Cluster’s target market including Woodbury Commons, Stewart Airport and the NYC Metro Airports.

 

Brand USA is owned and operated by the Corporation for Travel Promotion, and this public-private marketing entity was authorized by Congress and created in 2010 to encourage and inspire travelers to explore America’s boundless possibilities. The Brand USA campaign plans to focus on four types of experiences that await tourists from aboard, great outdoors, urban excitement, culture and indulgence. Brand USA aims to encourage families and solo travelers alike to take trips to America through a campaign that will utilize social media and mobile media, as well as advertising, promotions, and public relations abroad. Schumer is pushing for Brand USA to help attract visitors and increase tourism to the hundreds of wineries in Orange County and the Hudson Valley.

 

According to the Department of Commerce, New York City was the most visited by overseas travelers in 2010, and experienced a 9% increase in visitors last year. However, Schumer noted that this tourism in NYC does not translate to increased tourism at other national tourist spots in the state, such as the dozens of beautiful wineries across the Northern Hudson Valley. Therefore, Schumer is urging Brand USA to help double down in this effort to bring an increase in international tourists to Hudson Valley wineries, including those along the Shawangunk Winery Trail.  Under the Brand USA program, the food and beverage coalition can utilize their international expertise to craft an effective marketing campaign utilizing social and traditional media. Brand USA, financed by a $1 billion budget, can provide a 2-1 match on every dollar spent on the effort by the food and beverage coalition.

 

The United States first-ever nationally coordinated tourism marketing program was created by the Travel Promotion Act, federal legislation passed in March 2010.  A public-private partnership between the travel industry and the U.S. government, the Corporation for Travel Promotion – now Brand USA Inc. – was charged with increasing international visitation to the United States through marketing and promotional efforts to drive job creation and economic growth.  The organization is led by private industry with oversight from the Department of Commerce and U.S. Congress. The program is funded through a combination of private sector investment and funds collected by the Department of Homeland Security from international visitors who visit the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. No U.S. taxpayer dollars are used to fund the program. Brand USA’s headquarters are located in Washington, DC.

 

A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to Brand USA’s Stephen Cloobeck appears below:

 

Stephen J. Cloobeck

The Brand USA, Inc.

Chairman of the Board of Directors

1725 Eye St. NW

Washington, DC 20816


Dear Mr. Chairman,

 
I write to urge you to partner with Hudson Valley Wineries and the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation on one of your first-ever international travel promotion initiatives.  The wineries located in the Hudson Valley include some of the most sought after and unique wineries in the United States, including Brotherhood Winery, the oldest winery in America.  With its proximity to International Tourist destinations, including The Woodbury Commons and its millions of visitors a year, the Hudson Valley is ideally situated to attract a new market of international consumers looking for a unique travel experience.


With over a dozen wineries spanning several counties in the Hudson Valley, the density and quality of wineries will make for a marketable and highly sought after product. By collectively establishing a comprehensive marketing plan for the wineries and hospitality industries in the Hudson Valley, Brand USA will be making a wise investment to increase international tourism to New York.


With the recent establishment of the Hudson Valley Food and Beverage Alliance, the timing is ripe to design and implement a multi-year marketing and branding campaign for these wineries. By partnering with the Shawangunk Wine Trail and local economic development officials Brand USA will be bringing together all the necessary resources to create a unique, creative and ultimately successful campaign to increase visitors to the United States.


Based on the potential to positively impact the Hudson Valley Wineries, spur economic development and growth while fulfilling the mission of Brand USA I am urging your organization to immediately partner with the HVEDC and Hudson Valley Wineries to develop a world class campaign for tourists around the world.


Thank you for your attention to this request.  I look forward to working with you.

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