Madison County villages of Canastota, Cazenovia, Chittenango and the hamlet of Peterboro featured on the site

One of New York state’s newest tourism websites,, was recognized at the NYSTIA awards ceremony May 6 for its vigorous and committed efforts in keeping tourism alive by alerting, updating and advising visitors about restrictions of the pandemic, from its lockdown to reopening.

Discover Upstate NY features 58 unique, charming and fun cities within eight of Upstate New York regions on its website highlighting its attractions, restaurants, lodging and more for potential visitors. Among them are the Madison County villages of Canastota, Cazenovia, Chittenango and the hamlet of Peterboro.

Discover Upstate NY received the Award of Excellence in Overall Tourism Marketing by a Private Sector Entity. The website features more than 2,900 attractions including hundreds of restaurants, hotels, tourism attractions and historical sites and focuses on family fun and adventure tourism throughout the cities and Regions of Upstate New York West of the Hudson River.

The 2021 state Tourism Excellence Awards acknowledged the work done in crisis conditions during the 2020 pandemic year. Destination marketing organizations, museums, attractions and other tourism-related businesses gathered virtually to honor the efforts of their peers. The event was presented as a webcast from the New York State Museum co-hosted by Ross Levi, vice president/executive director of tourism at Empire State Development/NYS Division of Tourism; and Josiah Brown, board chair of the state Tourism Industry Association.

“Each year at these awards, I am amazed at the creativity, commitment and innovation demonstrated by tourism professionals across the state,” Brown said, “but the work done in 2020 wasn’t just good, or even great … at times it rose to the level of heroic.”

The state Tourism Excellence Awards are juried by an impartial panel of industry experts under the auspices of the state Tourism Industry Association. Nominations were up 250 percent versus 2019, and the judges were challenged by the volume and caliber of the entries.

“DUNY and our dedicated team of writers, graphic designers, technical advisors, photographers, social media experts and editors are honored and thrilled to receive this prestigious award from such a distinguished tourism association as NYSTIA,” said David Granoff of Oswego, who is the chief editor, administrator and visionary of DUNY. “We’ve worked hard to bring awareness to the many fantastic attractions and opportunities that are available to travelers, and our website, maps and social media platforms provide comprehensive and useful resources for visitors of all ages to enjoy the beauty, excitement and fun that the great state of New York has to offer.”

Granoff said his team includes content editor and writer Debra Lupien Denny of North Syracuse, social media expert Charmaine Daniels of Albany, blog writer Theresa Farrell of Cohoes and graphic designers and web specialists Keith Calveric and Andrew Pushlar of KCNY Design, Syracuse.

By martha

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