The Wild Center has been announced as a recipient of a 2022 NYS Tourism Excellence Award presented by the New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA). The Wild Center’s “Get Outside – Push Forward & Thrive Project” was named Excellence in Overall Tourism Marketing: Private Sector, one of the program’s highest awards.
“We’re proud to be recipients of NYSTIA’s Excellence in Tourism Marketing award,” said Nick Gunn, Marketing Director at The Wild Center. “The past two years have been challenging, but the creativity, passion and commitment to the community shown by our staff has been unwavering. We thank NYSTIA for this ultimate recognition of our work to not only showcase The Wild Center, but to bring attention to the Adirondacks as a whole.”
The “Get Outside – Push Forward & Thrive Project” was The Wild Center’s approach to delivering mission digitally and reopening its campus following the shut-down enforced by the pandemic. The Wild Center positioned itself as a safe space for travelers to visit, leveraging its 115-acre campus and highlighting the one-of-a-kind outdoor experiences it provides.
Within its marketing and promotion, The Wild Center showed its commitment to the community and flexed its creativity to encourage safe tourism. One example included the introduction of Wild Lights—a winter evening event that celebrates the magical nature of the woods at night. Virtual tours and daily digital programs like Lunchtime Live created a whole new audience and delivered Wild Center content to viewers in their homes.
In an interview about reopening procedures with Hillarie Logan-Dechene, Wild Center Deputy Director, she discussed how the pandemic brought out more personal experiences at The Wild Center. Logan-Dechene went on to say: “We saw experience at attractions such as The Wild Center become more personalized. We thought of it as a curated experience – small groups of your close family or friends visiting. And we were able to offer space and fresh air for folks to enjoy our animals, exhibits, Wild Walk and other experiences.”
The annual NYSTIA awards program recognizes the outstanding work of New York State’s destination marketing organizations, attractions, and other tourism-related businesses in all forms of marketing, destination management and stewardship. As the tourism industry took a huge hit from the pandemic, the New York State Tourism Excellence Awards are acknowledging the work done in contributing to the recovery and resurgence of New York State’s tourism industry and the communities that they serve.
The New York State Tourism Excellence Awards are juried by an impartial panel of industry experts under the auspices of the New York State Tourism Industry Association.
The Wild Center will join other tourism partners and award recipients at an award ceremony on October 27, 2022 in conjunction with the 2022 NYSTIA Annual Meeting, held at the New Yorker Hotel in New York City.