Publisher’s Note: 30 Years Promoting Tourism

by Wagner Dotto

We’re celebrating a big milestone: the publication of our 30th annual Summer Guide—The Best of Upstate New York.

When I started publishing the guide in 1995 I had no idea it would last so long. Heck, I didn’t even expect to be here 30 years later.

It’s been a long journey since we published the first issue as Vacation Guide. Aside from the color cover, everything else was black and white. That first issue and several of the following issues were printed on newsprint. Attractive at the time but not that much, when we look back. The focus then was exclusively Oswego County.

The magazine was renamed Summer Guide — Best of Upstate New York in 2001 and has remained an important piece that promotes tourism in Upstate New York, especially in Central New York and the Finger Lakes region.

The magazine has proven to be an effective way to reach the general public and visitors. The guide has an estimated readership of over 250,000 readers and its website — — usually gets about 10,000 unique visits per month during the summer months.

Local businesses have had good results from advertising in the publication — and we’re glad they do advertise. Many do so year after year.

Advertisers are the ones who fund the magazine and allow us to print 40,000 copies and distribute them all over the region at no charge. They get the exposure from the print advertisement plus the exposure from the website. We upload a copy of the guide to and hyperlink all the ads. It means that as viewers skim through the publication online, they can click on any ad and go directly to the advertiser’s website. I love that feature.

One of the reasons the guide has remained popular over three decades is that readers love it, and that drives businesses’ interest in advertising. Travelers — and locals — do pick up copies of the guide every time. We replenish our drop off locations two, sometimes three times a month.

If visitors are like me, the first thing they do is to look for some literature with local content, highlighting things to see and do. That still works in the digital era.

Aside from its sleek design and glossy stock, the Summer Guide brings great content: tons of interesting feature stories and a comprehensive, easy-to-read calendar of events.

Advertising in the publication makes sense: advertisers place one ad and they get results all season long. The Summer Guide later in August is distributed as Fall Guide.

A big thank you goes to the staff who every year work diligently to sell advertisements, write stories and compile a 10,000-word calendar of events; of course, we owe our advertisers a big deal — their advertising dollars enable us to do it all.

Wagner Dotto is the editor and publisher of Oswego County Business Magazine.

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