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Dec. 3, 2021 | Friday
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Tourism group behind NY Times story on NOTL
A New York Times article about Niagara-on-the-Lake circulated widely on social media last week. (Sourced photo)

The Tourism Partnership of Niagara, a non-profit organization responsible for promoting and marketing Niagara Region, was behind a hugely positive New York Times article about Niagara-on-the-Lake that sparked big interest from local residents.

Headlined "36 hours in Niagara-on-the-Lake," the July 25 article by freelancer Jennifer Conlin describes the writer’s experience spending some time – from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning – in town.

The story, which mentions a variety of activities from visiting wineries and shopping in Old Town to attending the Shaw Festival and biking along the Niagara River Recreation Trail, became a talking point for many NOTL residents.

Tourism Partnership of Niagara has been working with New York Times for a couple of years now and the author of the article was interested in Niagara because of the “urban escapism” pitch the organization made to the newspaper, said Anthony Annunziata, the organization’s president.

“We were pitching things to do on a quick getaway out of New York City,” Annunziata said.

“What we want the story writers to do is to tell their stories, their experiences through their eyes of what it might be like for people like them or just looking to get away, trying to find something authentic and genuine, which is what Niagara has to offer to that New York market.”

It’s not the first time articles promoting Niagara have appeared in international media outlets, Annunziata said, naming such publications as the Washington Post and Bon Appétit magazine. The New York Times also had a number of articles about NOTL previously. 

Annunziata said his organization pitches a publication an idea for a story and if the outlet decides to pursue it, the publication sends a writer to cover it.

Letting the writers tell about their genuine, authentic experiences is how the organization sells Niagara rather “than a hard sell,” Annunziata told The Lake Report. The Times story likely reached an audience of millions, he said.

The organization has been working with the Shaw Festival on its programming as well as with the NOTL Chamber of Commerce on projects such as the icewine festival and Christmas events, Annunziata said in a phone interview.

The new president of the NOTL Chamber of Commerce, Eduardo Lafforgue, said it was an excellent article about NOTL.

“I liked very much they talked about the mix of offers that we have,” Lafforgue told The Lake Report. “From culture, culinary and great accommodation and spa, and shops. They covered wineries, they covered a little bit of all the aspects of Niagara-on-the-Lake, which is great.”

Lafforgue said he doesn’t know if the town will get more tourists as a result of the article, he hopes it will mean “quality versus quantity.”

“It will certainly boost our overnight stay, which helps boost the spending that tourists do in our town,” he said.