Weve talked recently a lot about foreign travel markets, namely in Canada and Europe. Having sent our Director of Media Relations Margaret Marchuk to London to attend the World Travel Market, weve been discussing the best way to go about developing strategies for increasing the flow of international visitors to our region. The show was a place for destination representatives to make connections with tour operators who then bring back their information to clients and recommend select regions. Lake Placid and the Adirondacks it seems are nice selections indeed. Our moderate name recognition abroad and close proximity to New York City provide both assets and hindrances to our efforts. Since this metro area has vastly greater recognition in Europe, it sometimes overshadows our locale, which can be swept under the big Manhattan rug. To continue the conversation locally, the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau hosted a forum on Thursday, December 13th at the Golden Arrow Hotel and Resort in which local lodging proprietors, visitors bureau representatives, and attractions representatives and other hospitality representatives were invited to attend in order to help develop connections and share ideas with three speakers who discussed Upstate New York travel and destinations. Speaking were Markly Wilson, Director of International Tourism with I Love New York; Chris Guidone, President of Big Picture Tourism Consulting; and Helen Woodward, representing FTI North America, a German based tour operator. We think that the efforts of our local counterparts in the destination industry are an extremely important part in helping to expand European travel. There has been no better time in recent years given the exchange rate and closer ties that America is beginning to enjoy with such nations as Germany, France, and Great Britain to push for the Adirondack experience to be enjoyed by many more around the world.