Kelly Rapone

Episode 12: How to Use Partnerships in the Travel and Tourism Industry, with Kelly Rapone

In this episode, you will learn about using partnerships to maximize effect from Kelly Rapone.

Kelly has been Tourism Marketing Director at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce in the Buffalo Niagara region of NYS for the past 13 years, and a part of the Chamber’s Tourism program for 18 years. In her role, Kelly manages implementation and development of the overall tourism marketing program for Genesee County. In addition to her work at the county level, Kelly has been instrumental in several regional and statewide tourism marketing initiatives including the roles of regional administrator for Greater Niagara Region, project manager for Country Byways of the Greater Niagara Region, and project coordinator for the War of 1812 Honorary Peace Garden Trail brochure.

Kelly is also the founder and administrator of the Haunted History Trail of New York State. The Haunted History Trail of New York State began in 2013 and features attractions from almost every region of New York State including haunted dining, tours, attractions, events and accommodations, with many of the attractions tying back to New York’s local history. In 2015 the Haunted History Trail of NYS was recognized with an Excellence in Tourism Marketing Award Statewide by the New York State Tourism Industry Association. It is the only state-wide paranormal tourism trail in the country.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Kelly’s background and how she became the Tourism Marketing Director at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce
  • How to identify and focus on niche markets
  • The challenges Genesee County has faced standing out against much bigger destinations
  • How Genesee County has collaborated with other destinations
  • A newly renovated visitor center, a redesigned website, and other projects that Kelly is working on right now
  • Some of Genesee County’s very unique assets and how she founded the Haunted History Trail
  • Making the time to form relationships that lead into great partnerships

Ways to contact Kelly: