Schoharie County is looking to bolster efforts to draw tourists while creating a job opportunity for the right firm or organization.
The county’s Planning and Development Department this week issued a request for proposals for consulting services that would complement work already under way.
The department has been serving as the county’s Tourism Promotion Agency since the task was relinquished in 2009 by the county Chamber of Commerce. That task relates to the state’s I Love NY tourism program that directs advertising at potential tourists outside of the county.
Planning Director Alicia Terry said the department wants to hire an agency that would put “more boots on the ground,” both inside and outside the county. It would add to the current tourism program, which is using $25,000 in grant funding to help sites hold events and develop attractions to bring in guests.
The grants are funded through the county’s occupancy tax.
Terry said the firm being sought could be an advertising agency or a nonprofit entity with skills or expertise in tourism promotion. There are some companies that tackle just this type of work, and nonprofits might be capable as well, she said.
“If there is a nonprofit that feels like they may have the resources and some of the expertise to do it, let’s talk,” Terry said.
Tasks would include maintaining information about tourism-related properties and events, replying to inquiries about tourism, and maintaining a calendar of events. The agency also would be expected to dispatch a representative to local and regional meetings and trade shows, operate a welcome center or set up photo shoots.
Currently, Schoharie County is maintaining a website at www.upstatevacation.com. The site includes a full calendar of events and provides links and contacts to attractions and sites throughout the county.
It’s unclear what the additional work would cost. The funding would come out of the county’s total promotion budget of $179,000, Terry said.
Proposals are being accepted until April 24.