New Research On Canalway Corridor Visitors


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Cycling visitors at the Adams Basin lift bridge on the Erie CanalThe Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has released results from a recently-commissioned study about current and prospective visitors to the 500-mile Canalway Corridor.

The information is intended to help tourism promoters, businesses and heritage sites better attract and serve visitors, including boaters, cyclists, sightseers and vacationers.

More than 1,000 people participated in online surveys and 20 provided interviews conducted by Rochester-based Level 7 Market Research on behalf of the National Heritage Corridor. Visitors and prospective visitors who live near the canal system, as well as those from other parts of New York and neighboring states, participated.

Among the findings:

Recent and prospective visitors were drawn to the history of the area and to exploring local canal communities; boat tours/boating and attending festivals/events are major draws among prospective visitors.

  • Recent canal visitors tend to be older, travel in smaller parties, and have higher income households compared with prospective visitors. Most are savvy travelers who are three times more likely to travel internationally.
  • Lack of awareness and knowledge are among the greatest barriers to visiting.

The research was funded by a grant from Market NY through I LOVE NY, New York State’s Division of Tourism, as a part of the State’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

The full study is available here.

The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor spans 524 miles across the full expanse of upstate New York, encompassing the Erie, Cayuga-Seneca, Oswego, and Champlain canals and their historic alignments, as well as more than 230 canal communities. For more information, click here.

Photo: Cycling visitors at the Adams Basin lift bridge on the Erie Canal, courtesy Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

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