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GLIN==> Marketing Lighthouse Theme Travel: A Seaway Trail Success Storypress release

Title: Marketing Lighthouse Theme Travel: A Seaway Trail Success Story press release
Business Writers: Story/Interview Opportunity
Contact:  Teresa Mitchell, 1-800-SEAWAY-T, info@seawaytrail.com
Illustrations, photos available: 1-800-SEAWAY-T

Seaway Trail: A Marketing Beacon for Lighthouse Theme Travel

Sackets Harbor, NY - (07/15/02; 1300) (EIS) Cultural and heritage tourists, a fast-growing segment of the travel industry, are increasingly visiting the nationıs lighthouses. New York Stateıs nonprofit Seaway Trail, Inc. has built a tourism success story through marketing historic beacons as heritage attractions.

In the 12 years since a feasibility study suggested that the lighthouses along the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie held tremendous theme development potential, Seaway Trail, Inc. has developed:
* a best-selling Seaway Trail Lighthouses guidebook,
* an 82-minute video, produced by WPBS, Watertown;        
* popular seniors Elderhostel programming,
* a lighthouse travel map,             
* a Trailwide signage system,
* lighthouse conferences
* a lighthouse quilt pattern series, and        
* magazine features.

"The preservation and restoration of Americaıs lighthouses got an early boost on the Great Lakes, and weıve seen tourism and public interest increase dramatically over the past couple of decades," says Mike Vogel, a founding trustee of the National Lighthouse Museum and president of the Seaway Trail regionıs Buffalo Lighthouse Association and the American Lighthouse Coordinating Committee, a national leadership council. "Lighthouses offer a link to a colorful regional maritime legacy and serve as local landmarks that boost a communityıs sense of pride and identity with a tremendous economic impact. Boosted by the national boom in cultural and heritage tourism, the Seaway Trail Lighthouses marketing program is bringing tourists and their dollars into Seaway Trail communities."

Vogel belongs to Seaway Trail, Inc.ıs lighthouse networking group that unites the public and private caretakers/owners of the 28 beacons stretching from Ogdensburg, NY to Erie, Pennsylvania. The collection spans 1781 to 1929, with later editions of the Great Lakesı first lighthouses; and one of perhaps only four birdcage lanternrooms in the U.S. Tibbetts Point, Selkirk, and Thirty Mile Point Lighthouses offer rarely-found overnight accommodations at a lighthouse.

Eight lights with some 200 volunteers joining 16 full-time and 57 part-time staffers (Seaway Trail, Inc. survey) are open to the public; at some, museums chronicle the regionıs rich maritime history of ships saved and lost, and the lonely lightkeeperıs life. Dunkirk Lighthouse honors the armed services.

Seaway Trail, Inc. has written federal grants to support a Trailwide interpretive signage system.

To learn more about the Seaway Trail lighthouses, contact 1-800-SEAWAY-T or visit www.seawaytrail.com.