Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council builds off success of 2014 PR programPittsford, N.Y. – The Finger Lakes Vacation Region announced the final numbers for its 2014 Regional Public Relations program, which amassed a total of 2.8 billion impressions for the year. The 14-county Finger Lakes Vacation region started the collaborative program in 2010 as a way to increase marketing efforts for the Finger Lakes and to draw more attention to the region as a whole. 2014 garnered 212 total travel articles in publications such as USA Today, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Last year, the region took steps to become an official 501(c)(3) organization, forming the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council (FLRTC), which comprises 14 representatives from each of the counties in the region. The new organization was formed to provide structure for the group’s operations and decision-making process, provide a unified voice for the region when interacting with I Love NY and other partners, provide equal representation for all tourism related attributes in the Finger Lakes Region, offer the possibility for stronger marketing programs with a regional focus, and provide the ability to consider and pursue additional sources of funding. After a year of planning and building the organization, the FLRTC announced its 2015 board leadership:Chairperson: Bruce Stoff, Director, Ithaca/Tompkins County CVBVice Chair: Rebecca Maffei, Director, Tioga County Chamber of CommerceTreasurer: Jim Dempsey, Director, Cortland County CVBSecretary: Cynthia Raj, Tourism Manager, Chemung County Chamber of CommerceTo kick off 2015, the board has recently released a Request For Proposal to conduct a destination market analysis and strategic marketing plan for the Finger Lakes Vacation Region. This planning exercise will lead to intentional and coordinated marketing across the 14-county region in order to continue to capitalize on all of the region’s assets. The goal is to provide a resource that will not only guide the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council activities, but also leverage programs and resources of existing tourism marketing programs. The plan will help the board identify areas for collaboration and partnership while maximizing resources to garner the best results. This project is supported by a grant awarded to the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council by New York State’s Empire State Development and the I ♥ NY Division of Tourism, under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. The board will be accepting proposals through February 25. “We are excited for the direction that this new organization is taking, and are confident that we will continue to see results as we increase our collaborative programming and grow the Finger Lakes brand,” says Bruce Stoff, Chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council. “Success for this region does not stop at a county line. It is a team effort, and our program is paying off.” ### The Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council The breathtaking Finger Lakes takes its name from eleven lakes spanning the region like a giant handprint, stretching from its easternmost point in Onondaga County to its westernmost border in Livingston County, near Letchworth State Park. Boasting a mix of nature trails and natural beauty, wineries and breweries scattered across the region, and quaint villages close to large metropolitan areas, the Finger Lakes Vacation Region has a plethora of tourist attractions within its borders. In January 2014, the 14 Official County Tourism Promotion Agencies of the Finger Lakes Vacation Region formed a 501(c)(3) organization known as the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council (FLRTC). The FLRTC Board includes representation from all 14 TPAs and counties: Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Livingston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne and Yates. For information about attractions and events throughout the Finger Lakes region, visit www.fingerlakestravelny.com or call 1-888-408-1693.