niagaraA consortium of eight counties in western New York State, including tourism-reliant Niagara, is looking to hire an agency to develop a destination marketing and branding study to help "unite" its tourism pitch.

The project is headed by the Niagara Tourism and Covention Corp. with funding from the Empire State Development's "I Love NY" program. In addition to Niagara, counties include Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Wyoming, Genessee and Orleans.

An RFP closing today calls for a firm to develop a "strong, clear brand promise that unites visitor experiences and can be sold to travelers in all key segments." That includes "coalescing" other travel and tourism campaigns around a common destination brand.

Agencies are slated to be interviewed in mid-July for the work.