India Canada to Strengthen Cooperation in Tourism Sector

On Feb. 26, 2013 the Press Information Bureau, Government of India released a statement from the Ministry of Tourism that Canada and India are planning to strengthen cooperation in the tourism sector. Should that happen is there a chance this side of the border could see an interest in visits but Indian nationals or even investors from the rapidly growing Indian business community.  We can only hope.  I have not been able to find any sources indicating local efforts to link-up with Indian tour operators, travel  agents and internet travel sites.

Fifteen months ago the Chicago radio station WBEZ-FM 91.5 broadcast a report under the heading “Niagara Falls draws Indian tourists and businesses.”

India Canada to Strengthen Cooperation in Tourism Sector

              Mr.Maxime Bernier, Minister of Tourism, Canada called on Union Tourism Minister Shri K Chiranjeevi here today. Both sides  resolved to strengthen cooperation in tourism sector.  It was also decided that both the countries will identify areas for working together and explore new opportunities in tourism sector especially in the field of human resource development, exchange of tour operators, investment in the tourism sector and exchange of information related to tourism sector.  The possibility of signing an agreement/MoU between India and Canada was also discussed.  It was also agreed that Tour Operators and Travel Agents of both the countries will interact with each other in order to promote two way tourism between India and Canada. The possibilities of promoting more package tours in either of the countries could also be explored by the travel trade of two countries. Both sides also explored the possibilities of promoting joint venture investment in the field of hotel industry and tourism infrastructural sector. Now that Hotels and Tourism sector has been opened for Foreign direct investment up to 100% on automatic routes, Canadian investment in tourism infrastructure in India could be one of the major areas of cooperation.


Canada  is one of India’s primary source markets.  Foreign tourist arrivals from Canada to India have increased considerably over the past few years.   Numbers of Canadian tourist visiting India during the last five years were:

Year                       2007              2008                           2009                    2010              2011

No. of tourists    208214      222364                            224069                242372          259017

                        Ministry of Tourism has hosted a total of 16 journalists, photographers, travel agents, travel writers etc. from Canada  during the year 2011-12 under its hospitality scheme.  14 guests have visited India from Canada during 2012-13(till date).

`          India Tourism Office in Toronto takes care of promotion and marketing of India in Canada. India Tourism Office participates in Tourism Fair, organize workshops and seminars to showcase India’s tourism destinations and products to the tour operators and consumers of Canada. Some of the travel fairs in which India Tourism Office participates in Canada are:  Travel & Vacation Show, World Culinary Show, Addison Travel Shows, International Travel & Tourism show and Maritime Show. The Ministry of Tourism organised India Tourism Road Shows in Vancouver in Sept, 2012.

Both India and Canada can benefit greatly by sharing experience and know-how in destination management & management of heritage sites. India could benefit from the initiatives undertaken by Canada in the field of Adventure Tourism.


(Release ID :92564)

Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan already has misssed the boat.

The well-connected are planning regional development for the Buffalo (Erie County) and Niagara Falls (Niagara County) region. Their impetus is the result of a $1 billion development offer from New York State by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and will operate under the moniker – Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan.

It just made the following announcements

A Message from the Co-Chairs

On behalf of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, we are proud to present the Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan.  The Plan was developed at the request of Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Plan encompasses an in depth analysis of the levers that drive Buffalo’s and the region’s growth within a global context, promotes strategies based  upon Buffalo’s unique assets, and advances early initiatives for implementation.  The plan’s  success depends on the continued input and commitment of Buffalo’s and the region’s stakeholders.

Many people have contributed to the Plan’s development.  Whether providing leadership and direction, research and analysis, conducting interviews, providing global context , the collaboration of people and organizations have made this plan possible.  We would like to  acknowledge the members of our Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, as well as the members of the Buffalo Billion Advisory Group, the many hundreds of people  who served on design councils and our partners at Empire State Development.  We would also like to acknowledge the work done by the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, McKinsey & Company, and University at Buffalo Regional Institute.  The combined insight and  work has the power to positively impact the economic growth trajectory of Buffalo and the  region.
In particular, we thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership, as well as his dedication to Buffalo
and the region.  Governor Cuomo recognized the potential of WNY, and that recognition inspired the Plan contained within.  We also thank Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy for his vision throughout this process, and for his continuous support of our Regional Economic Development Council and of our Plan.

Thank you in advance for joining with us as we move forward.

Satish K. Tripathi                          Howard A. Zemsky

It acknowledges the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council membership:


Robert J. Duffy, Lieutenant Governor, New York State

Regional Co-Chair

Satish K. Tripathi, President, University at Buffalo and Howard A. Zemsky, Managing Partner Larkin Development Group – Regional Co-chairs

Members -
Crystal Abers, Cattaraugus County Director of Economic development, Development, Planning & Tourism – designee of Cattaraugus County Legislature Chair;  Pamela R. Henderson, Managing Partner,  Henderson-Woods, LLC;  John R. Koelmel, President & CEO, First Niagara Financial Group, Inc.;  Aaron Bartley Executive Director, PUSH (People United for Sustainable Housing) Buffalo; Thomas A. Kucharski, President & CEO, Jeff Belt Buffalo Niagara Enterprise: President & CEO, SolEpoxy; Brenda W. McDuffie, President & CEO, Bufflao Urban League;  Robert T. Brady, Chairman & CEO, Moog;  Deanna Alterio Brennen, President & CEO Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce; Jennifer J. Parker
President & CEO President, Jackson Parker Communications, Black Capital Network; Byron W. Brown, Mayor of Buffalo;  Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Executive;  Paul Brown, President, Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council;  David Porter, Plant Manager, Cummins, Inc.; Michael H. Ranzenhofer, New York State Senate, 61st District; Curtis Crandall Chair of Allegany County Legislature; Colleen C. DiPirro, President & CEO, Amherst Chamber of Commerce; William Ross, Chair of Niagara County Legislature;  Paul A. Dyster,  Mayor of Niagara Falls;  Duncan Ross, President, Arrowhead Spring Vineyards;  Andrew J. Rudnick, President & CEO, Buffalo Niagara Partnership;  Dr. Charles Edmonson, President, Alfred University;  Greg Edwards, Chautauqua County Executive, Robin Schimminger, New York State Assembly, 140th District;  Robert Gioia, President, The John R. Oishei Foundation ; Samuel Teresi, Mayor of Jamestown;  Dr. Rosa Gonzalez, Owner/Assistant Professor & Chair, Emergency Management Program, R. Gonzalez Consulting, Inc./ Erie Community College;  Dr. Connie Vari, Executive Vice President & COO,  Kaleida Health; Dr. Raul Vasquez, Founder & CEO, Urban Family Practice

Buffalo Billion Advisory Group –

Martin Berardi, President, Moog Medical Devices Group;  Robert Shibley, Dean, University at Buffalo, School of Architecture and Planning; Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker,  President/CEO, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo;   Rich Tobe, Deputy County Executive, Office of Erie County Executive.

It has defined its areas of interest for regional investment and development as being: 1)  Advanced Manufacturing; 2)  Health and Life Sciences; and,  3)   Tourism.

This site has its focus on tourism and travel.  So I will stick with the Tourism focus of the plan and express the opinion that its members choice of Regional Attractions are not necessarily a reality check as much as it could be a “we want these” opinion.

The BBIDP identifies what it calls the 18 top regional attractions.  They are:  1. Niagara Falls State Park; 2. Buffalo Olmsted Parks; 3. Ralph Wilson Stadium; 4. Canal side; 5. Buffalo Zoo; 6. Buffalo Museum of Science; 7. Albright Knox Art Gallery; 8. Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens; 9. Niagara Wine Trail USA; 10. National Garden Festival; 11. Old Fort Niagara; 12. Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society; 13. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House Complex; 14. Theodore Roosevelt Historic Site; 15. Buffalo Sailing Adventures; 16. Buffalo Transportation/Pierce Arrow Museum;17. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Graycliff Estate; 18. Forest Lawn Cemetery.

All are attractions except one.  Ralph Wilson Stadium.  It is a sporting venue that attracts people only on game day.  It is not a tourist destination.  Over 40 years it has never been a place that attracts out-of-town visitors to come by take a look and spend money in the process.  How many of you go to New York City and have Yankee Stadium or the Meadowlands on your must se list?

Why I find interesting is that some very serious attractions are left off the list from Niagara County even though the Mayor of Niagara Falls, President of Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Niagara County Legislature are members.

The committee has ignored for major local attractions where people come by bus, personal car, and rental by the tens of thousands to do something interesting.. They come to Lockport, NY to see and experience the 200-year-old Flight of Five Locks from the Original Erie Canal.  They take the canal trip through Locks #34 and #35 on one of the two tour boats operated by Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Tours.  This company has been featured in segments of television programs on the History and Discovery Channels. They walk the 175 year old Lockport Cave and take the underground boat ride. The Erie Canal, America’s greatest engineering feat, by itself is not even considered as a regional attraction to be developed by the group let alone receiving well-deserved World Heritage Site recognition after 188 years of existence.  Its name known world wide and this area continues to not capitalize on that global recognition.

When they leave the City of Lockport if they haven’t done so earlier, the take a trip to the Lewiston  to take in the great Niagara Power Project Power Vista.  The engine that drives New York State and  areas of its neighboring states.

There is the place that is a treat to kids.  A place tailored to their entertainment.  A place to have fun when a family needs a break in their sightseeing agenda.  That is the 52-year-old Martin’s Fantasy Island on Grand Island.

Finally, if you want to attract tourism to this area.  It means you must end the New York City monopoly on international air travel in to the state.  The Buffalo Billion group “must” avail itself to an active pursuit of travel airlines and their tourist packages to Niagara Falls International Airport.  Until done, this area will never meet its full tourism potential because it will always be subjected to the whims of travel brokers located elsewhere.

This Plan needs hard-working, involved and committed tourism specialists and educators to do the leg work.  As far as I can see, this group does not have people with that back ground.

Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa Contest looking for competitors.

612 Fillmore Ave., Buffalo, New York 14212

Maybe you even think that your kielbasa is the Best in Buffalo. Applications are actively being sought for Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa Contest in both Commercial and Homemade categories.

Here’s your chance to prove it. Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle (Mickey’s) and Tornspace Theatre are bringing back the spirited “Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa Contest” on Dyngus Day, April 1, 2013 at noon. This way you can start your Dyngus Day celebration early in Polonia at Buffalo’s M…ost Authentic and Original Dyngus Day Celebration.

This Contest will converge Dyngus Day revelers, polish beer connoisseurs, and polish sausage lovers into the Heart of Polonia to determine Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa. The sponsor of this event is Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk and he is looking for the best kielbasa-makers in the area.

The winner of this year’s contest will receive a basket of Polish Cheer and best of all, the honor of being designated Buffalo’s Best Homemade and Commercial Kielbasa and People’s Choice Winner.

The contest will be held at the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle, 612 Fillmore Ave, Buffalo, NY from Noon- 3pm. During the contest, a Polish Beer Tasting Bar will be conducted at the bar with the unique brands of Polish Beer we feature throughout the year. Tastings will be offered (3 for $1 or 6 for $2) and you can certainly buy a bottle to enjoy.

Anyone who wishes to participate in the kielbasa contest must register in advance by completing a registration form. Any questions can be emailed to, or by calling 716-479-2342.

Admission to the contest is $10. Admission includes a ballot to vote for the People’s Choice Contest, one draft beer, a commemorative cup for beer tasting, and admission to evening activities at Mickey’s beginning at 5pm

Note: Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle, Inc. is pleased to announce that Amtec from Brooklyn, NY, will once again be sponsoring the prizes for the winning kielbasa in both the Commercial & Indiviudual categories. Also, the Amtec tasting bar will be returning.