Round Two Open to Private Sector Tourism Businesses
Ontario County, N.Y. – Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, Ontario County’s official tourism promotion agency, is kicking off Round Two of its Visitor Experience Fund grant program, expanding 2022-2023 funding to private sector businesses and organizations who are actively marketing to attract out of town visitors.
The Visitor Experience Fund is designed to improve the visitor experience in Ontario County with a focus on Accessibility for All. Matching funds are available on a competitive application basis to any organization investing in a project that will directly lead to an increase in out-of-town visitors through improved visitor experiences specifically in the area of accessibility. The ultimate goal of the program is to encourage tourism focused businesses to seek and implement opportunities for improvements that will create positive visitor activities, services, and interactions, enhance accessibility, grow their business and spur economic vitality through tourism in Ontario County.
Grant levels are up to $5,000 with a 50% match required of either in-kind or cash for projects which contribute to the Accessibility for All goals and are completed between January 1, 2023 and December 15, 2023. Successful applicants will tie their improvements into the Ontario County Visitors Connection’s Promoting Accessibility for All Policy to improve access to visitor experiences to people of all abilities. A workshop will be held on November 16, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. to overview the program and answer questions. Attendance is encouraged but not mandatory, however, pre-registration and pre-qualification are required. Fully completed applications are due on November 30, 2022. The application and further information is available on VisitFingerLakes.com/partners.
Adopted in 2019, the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection policy entitled, “Accessibility for All” stated their commitment to sustainable and equitable product development, education, and policy recommendations to achieve a goal of accessibility for all. According to FLVC president, Valerie Knoblauch, “Our focus on accessibility for all is a recognition that globally there are over 1 billion persons with disabilities who are vastly under-served due to inaccessible travel and tourism facilities and services, as well as discriminatory policies and practices.” Knoblauch continues to note the importance of accessibility as not only a human rights imperative, but as responsible tourism and community development policy. Board chair, David Hutchings added, “By working with businesses and not-for-profits, we can improve our overall destination appeal. A Finger Lakes Visitors Connection is committed to taking a leadership role in creating effective partnerships and cooperation across many sectors to extend Ontario County and the Finger Lakes Region’s reputation as a great place to visit, do business, and live for people of all abilities.”
For questions and further application information email projects@VisitFingerLakes.com or call 585-394-3915.
About Finger Lakes Visitors Connection
Finger Lakes Visitors Connection is Ontario County’s official tourism promotion and destination management agency. Its mission is to curate, distinguish, and develop Ontario County’s destination brand inspiring travel, creating economic vitality for our stakeholders, and providing quality of life benefits for Ontario County’s residents. www.visitfingerlakes.com