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I read the April 3 story about the new tourism post in Niagara Falls and the apparent debate about the position itself and the way in which it has been filled.

While it may be of interest to the politicians of Niagara County, it detracts from what the tourism debate in this area should really be about.

The thing is, until Niagara Falls embraces the rest of the region in its promotion efforts, it is doomed to fail. By itself, there's just no way Niagara Falls, N.Y., can compete with the kind of attractions that are popping up across the border.

What needs to be done, it seems to me, is to develop a regional strategy that includes the other counties of Western New York and their many impressive attractions and destinations. We need to think beyond Buffalo Niagara.

While we're at it, why not give the area a new name to go with the effort -- one which could help change the image we project to the rest of the world As the co-founder of Discover NY West, a private, business-supported tourism campaign, I can tell you that the rest of NY West is ready to be a part of the effort and has a lot to offer, too.

With all this talk of regionalism, why not actually do something about it?

There's no better place to start than with tourism, and no better time to do it than right now.

Brian Kahle