The newly released “Economic Impact of Tourism in New York” report by I Love NY announced the significant economic and employment impact of the tourism industry in the Finger Lakes region for 2017.
The Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council (FLRTC), the official tourism promotion agency for the Finger Lakes Vacation Region, assisted in bringing in over $3 billion in traveler spending to the area last year – which accounted for 17% of traveler spending in Upstate New York and 5% of all traveler spending in the entire State in 2017.
The annual study conducted by Tourism Economics stated that in 2017, tourism in the Finger Lakes:
• Supported over 58,000 jobs
• Generated $925 million in direct labor income
• Generated $229 million in local taxes
• Generated $167 million in state taxes
Traveler spending in the Finger Lakes region grew by 2.4% in 2017, with the cities of Rochester and Syracuse generating a large portion of traveler spend – at 35% and 29% of total revenue generated, respectively. Spending at restaurants comprised 31% of all tourism spend, and lodging accounted for 25% region-wide.
According to the report, “Were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in the region would have to pay an additional $495 to maintain the same level of government revenue.”
The Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council supports tourism through the administration of region-wide programs and marketing efforts. This year the organization embarked on a complete re-creation of their regional tourism website, funded with a grant awarded by New York State’s Empire State Development and the I LOVE NY Division of Tourism under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. The new website will launch in late August and feature engaging imagery of the region, while directly tying into the state’s tourism website, ILOVENY.com.
Another key element of the organization’s programming is a public relations program. Now in its ninth year, the program uses direct pitching, media familiarization tours (FAMs), and face-to-face interaction with journalists at deskside visits to gain attention for the region. In the nine years of this PR initiative on behalf of the entire Finger Lakes Vacation Region, it has accounted for over 2020 media placements in noted publications such as the New York Times, U.S. News, Conde Nast and the Huffington Post and has generated over 12 billion cumulative media impressions.
“The FLRTC works around the clock to advocate for the tourism virtues of the Finger Lakes. We are proud to see continued growth in jobs, traveler visitation and spending year-over-year – a true testament to the efforts of this organization and to the local business owners who make this a great place to visit,” says Finger Lakes Executive Director, Lisa Burns.