Photo: Nancie Battaglia, © Nancie Battaglia
Warren County tourism officials could be forgiven for feeling on top of the world Tuesday. After all, they were playing hosts to an adventure travel association that had attracted representatives of locales far and wide.
The meeting rooms at the Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center were filled with displays from destinations as close as the Canadian Maritimes and as far away as Australia and Catalonia.
It was the first time the Adventure Travel Trade Association had been to the Adirondacks. The 260 participants included travel writers and tour operators, as well as “influencers” and bloggers, people who share their experiences on social media.
Organizers from the Lake George Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Warren County Tourism Department, and other agencies including the state’s I Love NY campaign offered a broad range of activities for the attendees.
“They’re here to mix, mingle and network,” said Joanne Conley, the Warren County tourism director.
On Monday, some went mountain biking at Garnet Hill Lodge, others hiked through the forest surrounding Shelving Rock. A woman training for an upcoming trip to Nepal ran up Prospect Mountain Tuesday morning, said Tanya Brand, the county’s group tour promoter.
Lake George and the Adirondacks have long been a popular tourist destination, “the original vacation destination,” Brand said.
While much of the emphasis was on the natural features, the conference’s location adjacent to the recreated Fort William Henry was a reminder of the deep history of the region. That fort played a role in the French and Indian War in the 1750s.
Participants spent Tuesday, pitching or listening to descriptions of the assets of such destinations as Switzerland, Sweden, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru.
The event winds down Wednesday with a smoked barbecue buffet and show at Painted Pony Championship Rodeo in Lake Luzerne.