Niagara Falls Reporter
Home | Archive / Search
MAY 05 - MAY 12, 2015

Niagara Falls Voted No. 1 in Flawed Contest

So-called USA Today 'Kid Friendly' contest requires online voters to vote more than once to select winners
May 05, 2015

John Percy, president and CEO of the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp., told the Niagara Gazette, “We applaud the public for voting Niagara Falls, N.Y. as the Best Kid-Friendly Destination. Families create lifetime memories here when they partake in some of our timeless and exciting attractions. Visitors from around the world enjoy the Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds, Erie Canal history, jet boats, and Old Falls Street, to name a few. This acknowledgment comes at just the right time and is setting the correct tone as Niagara USA is bustling with energy and activity as we kick off the peak season.”
Don Glynn of the Niagara Gazette questioned the contest, writing, "Not to belabor the point, how is it possible to rank Niagara Falls ahead of Orlando, Fla., in the kid category?"

Last week it was announced in the local media that "USA Today readers named Niagara Falls, N.Y. the best 'kid-friendly' destination as part of the newspaper's 10Best readers' choice travel award contest."

This hopeful news sounds good at first until you dissect it a little.

First of all, as clarification, it is not the general population of USA Today readers, with its print circulation of 1.8 million or its estimated 3.1 million daily readers, or even its estimated nearly one million daily internet readers, that chose Niagara Falls as the most kid friendly spot in America.

The online contest was not hosted on USA Today's website, but on, which is the website of 10Best Inc. of Greenville, South Carolina. 10Best Inc. is a internet based company acquired by USA Today in Jan. 2013.

The 10Best website features online contests about travel plus travel information and travel industry advertising.

The 10Best "Kid-Friendly Destination" contest where Niagara Falls was voted number one is one of hundreds of similar contests that promote travel interest and traffic to the website by visitor interaction.

In this contest, the website's editor assigned four "travel experts" Katie Dillon (La Jolla Mom), Kyle McCarthy (, Eileen Ogintz (Taking the Kids) and Dave Parfitt (Adventures by Daddy) to nominate 20 destinations they thought were kid friendly.

Then 10Best listed these 20 places and opened the contest up to online voting where any internet user can visit the site and click on the vote button and vote anonymously.

In fact, by the rules, people are encouraged, if they want their favorite to have any chance of winning, to vote once every day for four weeks since the highest total votes cast over four weeks determines the winner.

One can game the system since the only identification used when one votes in a 10Best contest is the browser "cookie" message sent to the 10Best website.

A person who knows a little about computers, say such as some of those at the Niagara Tourism and Convention Center, can vote all day long on the same computer by a simple method requiring exactly six clicks with your mouse, if they are using Google Chrome, and five clicks, if using Internet Explorer, then going back to the website and voting again.

The Reporter tried this experiment and voted multiple times in the space of an hour for the same contest - which was picked at random.

Not to be a cookie buster, or to denigrate a site dedicated to travel and fun, but the results are not to be taken seriously and no one should deem them reliable.

What this survey and its results speak to is the unreliability of internet contests where meaning is derived from so-many clicks and page visits, clicks and visits that at the end of the day have absolutely zero relationship to both the number of true visits to Niagara Falls and visitor satisfaction, much less children friendly visits.

Online is where, depending on how clever the staff technological person is, we can become what we are not and even boast to the world about it.

Saying it's so doesn't make it real.

And trying to convince people that it is indeed real is a sign of the desperation driving the false notion that we are a friendly children's tourist destination.
It's a common sense reaction to the simple declaration that "Niagara Falls is the number one kid friendly destination."

On the face of that claim we know it's not true.

This isn't Disney World. This isn't Hawaii and it's not any one of a number of more action-filled and contemporary themed and child oriented vacation locations.

In our gut we know this to be true and to say so doesn't demean the city or even the region.

Let's not, in our hopes of becoming a genuine family oriented vacation destination, resort to ballot stuffing and online tourism measuring contests that signify nothing and matter less.





Isaiah 61 House Collapses After Walls are Removed
Zona to Run for Mayor?
Uniland, Delaware North at Odds; Dispute Could Threaten Wonder Falls Project
Jury Finds Dowd, Toohey, Mitchell Harmless in Hickory Stick Land Case
Niagara Falls Voted No. 1 in Flawed Contest
City's Proximity to Canada Finally Does Us Some Good in New Poll!
Elderly Taxpayer Targeted By Dyster's 'Beautification Police'
Trash and Stupidity Abound with New Trash Plan
Grandinetti Calls School District Sex-ed Policy 'Borderline Criminal'
What is Grandinetti Talking About and Why?
Dyster on Anello Show, Another Curious Radio Performance
Bogus 'Task Force' Bolsters Dyster Resume', Accomplishes Little Else
Grandinetti on Facebook During Working Hours?
Judge Faso to Run for Reelection
Only in NT: Untapped Power of Unregistered Voters Need to be Tapped
Second Pro Baseball Team to Play Part of Season at Sal Maglie Here
Sal Maglie Stadium a Field of Dreams For 75 years, Saw a Lot of Great Baseball
A Niagara Falls Original, Maglie One of a Kind Wherever He Went
The Niagara Falls High School Athletic Complex Officially Opens May 6. District says it is the largest high school athletic complex in the State.
Politicians Vague on ECC Crisis as Another Tuition Hike Nears
City Hall Jokes

Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina