Promoting Buffalo Niagara’s recently improved public image and attracting professional talent to the region go hand in hand. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership discussed the critical nexus between these efforts as part of our annual our annual cross-council boat tour of the Buffalo River and Outer Harbor.
The day began with rain, thunder and lightning, but the skies cleared just in time for us to set sail on the Grand Lady. Members of our five Economic Councils, as well as our associate members from the Hamilton and Greater Niagara chambers of commerce got the chance to network with one another and make new cross-border connections. The program typically focuses on the state of industry, commerce and development in our bi-national region.
Patrick Kaler, President of Visit Buffalo Niagara, talked about the current state of Buffalo Niagara’s tourism industry. Investment has bolstered our tourism industry and set the stage for some great press about Buffalo Niagara. We made it on to the New York Times’ list of 52 places to visit in 2018 and were featured in their widely read travel column 36 Hours. The London Sunday Times called us “America’s Coolest Summer City.”
The boat tour was also an opportunity to talk about another timely issue – tariffs. Our tourism industry is heavily dependent on Canadian patronage, just as our economy is heavily dependent on trade with our friends up north. The Trump administration’s recently imposed tariffs threaten the vitality of our relationship with Canada. Kaler emphasized our regions commitment to maintaining and growing our relationship with Canada.
Guests also heard from Tom Kucharski, President & CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara, who discussed talent attraction in the Buffalo Niagara region. Tom explained young professionals and businesses often don’t realize the opportunities available to them here. But Buffalo’s renaissance has led to an increase in job creation and a growth in industry. Forging ahead in our support of regional economic development initiatives will establish the city as an economic hub that is attractive to young professionals and established executives alike.
Despite the morning’s stormy weather, our 2018 cross-council boat tour was a successful afternoon of networking and discussion. And the spectacular views of Buffalo’s waterfront made the experience that much more memorable.
Check out more photos from the boat tour here.