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Those Darn Criminal Tourists

September 5th, 2008 · No Comments · Destination Marketing

I’m glad I’m not the only one paying attention. The Almanack also noted this story in the Post-Star a couple days ago: Officials: Summer arrests fell as tourism floundered

I love that they are monitoring some interesting metrics down there.

Lake George Mayor Robert Blais said the indicators village officials use to gauge the number of visitors all have showed declines as well. Parking meter revenue is off 5 percent; water consumption is down, and revenues from the public boat docks in the village have fallen 30 percent, Blais said.

Even the crime statistics are fun to look at.

Overall, arrests by the Sheriff’s Office have fallen nearly 20 percent this summer compared with the summer of 2007, while car crashes have fallen by more than 18 percent and traffic tickets by nearly 12 percent. The only rise seen was in driving while intoxicated arrests, which went from 34 during the summer of 2007 to 44 this summer.

The declines were less pronounced in Glens Falls, but arrests between June 1 and Friday had dropped 6 percent compared with last year, and the department fielded nearly 8 percent fewer calls and wrote nearly 20 percent fewer traffic tickets during the same time period.

But the headline to the article is odd.  Talk about a strange connection.  This raises more questions for me than answers.

Is tourism up or down?  It should be way up since there is a huge jump in the monies being spent on promotion.

Should I assume that the majority of arrests are “out-of-towners”?  What is the ratio of local vs. outsider arrests?

Are tourists being targeted?  This does seem to be an issue, especially after the Americade harrassment.

Are we tourism promoters increasing the rate of crime in the Adirondacks?  Lehman’s article implies it does, but there is no logical connection made.  Eh, what do I care?  I’m so far removed from any real marketing these days, I would hardly feel responsible.

Maybe we should be advertising in places with lower felony crime convictions?  For instance, are all the criminals from New Jersey?  Did all those people who saw our ad in the housing projects convert?  Silly, ain’t it?

Then again, at the end of the article, weather and the Gregorian Calendar were also mentioned.

Record rains hammered the Northeast in late July and early August, which undoubtedly deterred some visitors.

Further compounding the problems seen by those who cater to summer visitors was the fact that the calendar deprived them of a week of summer, since Labor Day is on Sept. 1, and most schools in New York resume classes next week.

“Summer was a week shorter than usual,” Blais said.

I guess they’ve got all their bases covered.  Blame crime on tourism, blame poor tourism on weather.  Personally, I think the weather is the biggest factor impacting tourism up here.  All of these are really excuses which alleviate any responsibility for effective law enforcement or effective tourism promotion.

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