The Lake George Area in New York’s Adirondacks is a perennial favorite with group tour operators. Scenic beauty, relaxing cruises, culinary experiences, varied activities and a helpful tourism bureau are the reasons groups keep coming back to this region of upstate New York.
We spoke with Tanya Brand, group tour promoter for the Lake George Area, to find out about group tours in the area.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself and your role with the tourism bureau.
A. My official title is group tour promoter, but I work with both the group and international travel trade markets. I have been with the Lake George Area Tourism Department for 18 years and really love what I do as it provides many opportunities to make personal connections. This industry really is all about continued relationships, and I have made so many friends which started as professional partnerships.
Q. What is the current state of the group tour market in the Lake George Area? Are the motorcoaches coming back?
A. I am happy to say YES! This summer and this fall we have seen a resurgence of group tours. I even felt confident enough to recently run a digital promotional campaign designed around the idea that group tours are BACK in the Lake George Area!
Q. Are you seeing any changes in group tours in the wake of the pandemic?
A. In 2021 we were seeing more pre-formed groups coming from shorter distances traveling within New York state primarily. The groups that did visit were much smaller and did quick day trips. This year, operators and their clients are more comfortable with nearly full coaches, lengthening their itineraries, and really looking for unique attractions to sell their tours.
Q. What is the outlook for group tours in the Lake George Area going forward?
A. Although the classic attractions like cruises and sightseeing are still the main draw to our destination, I find I am working more to customize itineraries with operators. I am working along with the planner on certain details that really make it special and unique.
Q. Describe some of the favorite attractions/signature experiences for group tours in the Lake George Area.
A. Lake George is referred to as “The Queen of American Lakes” and is 32 miles long with some of the most spectacular scenic beauty on the East Coast, so a boat cruise is usually the “must-do” in any itinerary. Many of our cruise options include lunch, dinner, and even fireworks.
Q. What are some new attractions/experiences in your area that tour operators should know about?
A. Locally produced food and drink experiences have become quite popular. We have an award-winning cheese producing company in the area as well as a newly expanded wine tasting facility that offers tastings, tours, light fare, and special programs for groups. We also provide a variety of options for group-friendly lodging throughout the area.
Q. How does the bureau help tour operators?
A. As the group tour promoter, I am the go-to resource for pretty much anything to assist group planners. I can help them connect with lodging and attractions for group rates, work logistics of itinerary timing, provide welcome bags for the group, and I also enjoy providing meet and greets to welcome our incoming groups.
Q. Do you have any final thoughts regarding tourism in the Lake George Area?
A. We have enjoyed being a favorite group destination for decades. We truly believe that is because we are an easily accessible, value destination that provides groups a little something interesting for everyone on the coach and THAT is appealing to group tour planners!
For more information, contact Tanya at email@example.com or go to visitlakegeorge.com. Sign up for the Group Loop Newsletter at visitlakegeorge.com/groups/group-newsletter-subscribe.
Main image: Lake George cruise; credit: Lake George Area