IAT Presents at Binational Tourism Summit
On March 25-26, IAT President Paul Wylezol gave a slide show presentation of the International Appalachian Trail at the Binational Tourism Summit in Niagara Falls, New York. The host Binational Tourism Alliance is a not-for-profit tourism industry trade organization created to support tourism development in cross border regions shared by Canada and the United States. Their mandate is to deliver binational tourism industry advocacy, communications and training.
The IAT recently joined the BTA to promote the trail in North America, learn about other cross-border initiatives while sharing its own, and explore new opportunities related to national and binational tourism development.
In addition to being binational in North America, the IAT also has its sights on becoming multinational across the North Atlantic, by extending the trail to Greenland, Western Europe, and North Africa; all regions containing fragments of the "Appalachian" Mountains. In June 2009 an IAT delegation travelled to Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Wales to begin that process.
The Binational Tourism Summit was a two-day event that provided opportunities for delegates to network, share business challenges and opportunities, view industry presentations, and socialize with like-minded colleagues from cross-border regions. It was held at the Conference Center of Niagara Falls in Niagara Falls, New York, just across the Rainbow Bridge from Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Paul's presentation focused on the history of the Appalachian Mountains and the International Appalachian Trail, as well as the IAT's desire to extend the trail to other Appalachian regions. He also discussed plans to partner with industry and government in Newfoundland and Labrador to create protected wilderness areas along the IATNL route, and the potential to use carbon offset credits to help finance related tourism infrastructure.
During Paul's short visit to Niagara Falls, he also took the oppportunity to view the downtown tourism infrastructure, including the famed Bridal Veil and Horsehoe Falls; the former on the U.S. side of the border, the latter on the Canadian side. (See below.)
Paul extents his thanks to BTA Executive Director Arlene White and Project Officer Helga Honey for making the Binational Tourism Summit a successful and informative event, and making his trip to Niagara Falls a pleasurable and hassle-free experience.
To learn more about the Binational Tourism Alliance and the 2010 Summit, go to their website at www.btapartners.com.