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County tourism agency now

QUEENSBURY - Whether it's Facebook, Ebay, MySpace, Twitter, or YouTube, the Internet is dominating the attention of millions.

Warren County Tourism Department comprehends this trend and is now taking advantage of it, a county tourism employee told area Chamber of Commerce officials Feb. 26.

The tourism agency is using new ways to capture the eyeballs of the Internet generation in an attempt to lure new visitors to the area for a vacation or a weekend, county Tourism Dept. Creative Director Peter Girard told members of the Warren County Council of Chambers Thursday.

These increased promotional efforts on the Internet are prompting new interest in visiting the county, Girard told members of the council during their meeting at Sweet Basil Restaurant in Queensbury.

Topping the list of the county's new initiatives are their e-mail "blasts" to people who have already expressed interest in visiting the county.

The county can reach tens of thousands of potential tourists immediately by sending out timely messages to 96,000 e-mail addresses.

These messages are routinely tailored to their interests, Girard said.

If the county has a heavy snowfall, for instance, the county tourism employees can "blast" e-mails immediately to many thousands of snowmobile enthusiasts and skiers who've already shown interest in the lower Adirondacks.

The tourism department has obtained these addresses from sign-ups on the county's www.visitlakegeorge.com and from various other contacts.

That established, well-trafficked Web site is now undergoing an overhaul to make it more navigable and attractive, Girard said.

The e-mail "blasts" have been very effective, as Google Web site activity gauges have indicated dramatic increases in visits to www.visitlakegeorge.com for three days immediately following the e-mail blasts.

In a recent blast to snowmobilers, Web site visits spiked to 4,000 per day from a routine level of 600 per day, Girard said.

"This method of communication is absolutely wonderful," he said, noting that such e-mail dispatches are a virtually free method of promotion for the county.

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