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The Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau has formed a new 12-member committee to assist it in three- to five-year planning activities.

The committee will help the bureau find Buffalo's niche in the convention business area, and to look at new attractions or improving existing attractions to draw more visitors to the area.

"For example, shopping is a very big attraction for this area," said Mary Summers, bureau communications manager.

The committee will be chaired by John Gartner, president of technical marketing consulting firm John Gartner & Co.

Two subcommittees also have been established. One will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the area in terms of visitor and convention development. The second will look at how future development and growth will impact on tourism and convention business.

According to a 1988 study conducted by the U.S. Travel Data Center, domestic visitors alone spent more than $475 million, created tax revenue exceeding $14 million and meant employment to nearly 7,000 in Erie County.

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