NYSTIA Press Release

NYSTIA Contact:                Content Studio Contact:                     Rhinebeck Area Chamber Contact:

Bob Provost                        Thomas Martinelli                                Carolyn Bernitt

518-956-1241                     845-462-1209                                        845-876-5904

Email: bob@nystia.org      Email: tom@contentstudiony.com    Email: rhinebeckchamber@gmail.com

2020 Rhinebeck Destination Guide Recognized in 2021 New York State Tourism Excellence Statewide Awards Competition

Pictured from left to right: David Tellerday, President of Rhinebeck Chamber, Bob Provost, President of New York State Tourism Industry Association, Tom Martinelli, President of Content Studio @ Martinelli Custom Publishing, Rhinebeck Chamber Executive Director Carolyn Bernitt and Josiah Brown, President of New York's Best Experiences.


The 2020 Rhinebeck Destination Guide, was awarded “Best Print Collateral Material” in the 2021 New York State Tourism Excellence Awards which acknowledge the work done in crisis conditions during the 2020 pandemic year. The award was presented in-person by Bob Provost, President, New York State Tourism Industry Association to Content Studio and the Rhinebeck Area Chamber of Commerce at a June 3rd event at Terrapin Restaurant in Rhinebeck, NY. 

The Rhinebeck Destination Guide is published by Content Studio @ Martinelli Custom Publishing on behalf of The Rhinebeck Area Chamber of Commerce and is a collaboration between Thomas Martinelli and Josiah Brown, President, New York’s Best Experiences. Deemed a “Travel Guide of the Future” it was developed based upon travel interests from attendees at major Northeast consumer travel shows. The Guide features a magazine-style, image-driven, listings-free format showcasing the picturesque region of Rhinebeck and its surrounding area, conveying a premium destination experience. This updated design is a modern, contemporary and on-trend look that incorporates the use of images and spotlights to tell the story, a shift from traditional guide formats to a content-driven approach that connects with readers. The 2020 Guide is 64 full-color pages. 8,000 copies are distributed by the Chamber throughout Rhinebeck and Dutchess County, as well as tourism information centers outside the area, with the objective of bringing visitors to Rhinebeck. An electronic edition of the 2020 Rhinebeck Destination Guide  is also available for viewing on RhinebeckChamber.com

The award, administered annually by the New York State Tourism Industry Association, was initially presented May 6th during a webcast ceremony from the New York State Museum by Ross Levi, Vice President/Executive Director of Tourism at Empire State Development/NYS Division of Tourism.

The New York State Tourism Excellence Awards are juried by an impartial panel of industry experts under the auspices of the New York State Tourism Industry Association. Nominations were up 250% vs 2019 and the judges were challenged by both the volume and the caliber of the entries. 

COVID-19 presented a disproportionate challenge to the tourism industry. Tourism related or dependent businesses were among the most adversely affected due to COVID regulations and restrictions. Major 2020 events in the Rhinebeck Area, such as the Dutchess County Fair, and throughout New York were canceled, and many venues were closed or subject to severe capacity restrictions. Tourism industry professionals and Chambers, such as the Rhinebeck Area Chamber of Commerce redirected their efforts in new directions, supporting local residents and sustaining local businesses, while rising to the occasion to meet unprecedented health related guidelines and special needs for travelers.

“Working collaboratively in New York State’s tourism community enables you to network with some of the best minds, most experienced individuals and trendsetting thought leaders in the global tourism industry.” states Bob Provost, President of the New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA). “The individuals, campaigns, initiatives and projects being honored are world-class. The award received by Content Studio @ Martinelli Custom Publishing for Excellence in Tourism Marketing: Printed Collateral Materials for the “2020 Rhinebeck Destination Guide” is significant. Consumer research indicates that printed visitor guides are critical to travelers’ destination selection and planning.”

Bob Provost, President of NYSTIA, hands Tom Martinelli, President of Martinelli Custom Publishing the NYSTIA Excellence Award for Printed Collateral Materials.

“We’re delighted to be recognized for our work producing an important marketing resource that is helping to drive visitors to the Rhinebeck Area” states Thomas Martinelli, Chief Content Office of Content Studio @ Martinelli Custom Publishing. “The Chamber has embraced our consumer-first Guide format allowing us to objectively showcase content that we feel will inspire visitors to come to the Rhinebeck Area which provides an economic boost to Rhinebeck businesses” 

“Our destination guide simply conveys Rhinebeck and its neighboring towns as the place to be,” states Rhinebeck Chamber Executive Director Carolyn Bernitt “Our members make up an impressive business community and presenting them in a refreshing, creative way was paramount to our producing this new guide format. It’s easy to read and gorgeous to look at. We’re ecstatic it has been given the recognition it deserves in a prestigious statewide award competition.” 

About New York State Tourism

Tourism is the third-largest industry in New York State. The tourism industry has paid dividends for years to New York’s economy, setting new records for economic benefit in each of the past five years. In 2019, the tourism industry attracted 265 million visitors and generated record-high levels of impact:

  • $72 Billion in spending at New York State businesses large and small,
  • $39 Billion in disposable income and over 961,000 jobs for New York State residents and
  • $9+ Billion in state and local taxes, the equivalent of $1,248 for every New York State household.

During the pandemic year of 2020, tourism was inarguably New York’s most impacted industry. In fact, New York State was the third most impacted state in the country.

By year-end 2020, the tourism industry was devastated:

  • Average annual employment declined 34%, a loss of over 330,000 jobs vs 2019 – nearly three times the employment impact in any other major category!
  • An estimated 56% loss in travel spending at New York State businesses and a corresponding 45% drop in state and local tax revenues.

Content Studio @ Martinelli Custom Publishing is a premier content marketing and custom publishing company based in Wappingers Falls, NY, producing both digital and print travel and destination guides that are forward-thinking, content-driven, and visually compelling. It has an 18-year engagement with Amtrak producing the New York By Rail magazine, an APEX award-winning “Magazine of Excellence” for ten consecutive years. www.contentstudiony.com

The Rhinebeck Area Chamber of Commerce represents more than 400 businesses in the region. The Chamber strives to be a comprehensive resource for its members in marketing, education, growth, and advocacy so they can enhance their business success. www.rhinebeckchamber.com

The New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) advances economic growth, job creation, community revitalization, quality of life and pride of place by realizing the potential of New York State’s tourism industry and facilitating the success of its members. We serve New York State’s tourism industry through collaborative initiatives, research, legislative awareness, and exceptional marketing. www.nystia.org


Click here to learn more about the New York State Tourism Industry Association and the New York State Tourism Excellence Awards.