Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today traveled to Watkins Glen to officially kick off the summer tourism season in New York State, and invite residents and visitors to take a road trip to experience the Empire State's many spectacular attractions.
The Governor unveiled a new television advertisement, featuring New Yorker Robert DeNiro, which encourages New Yorkers and visitors to hit the road and take the Ultimate Road Trip in New York State.
Experiencing New York State via road trip is easier than ever before with an increased number of highway and roadway signs across New York that point travelers to the States I LOVE NEW YORK, Path Through History, and Taste NY attractions and experiences. To view the ad, click here . In addition, the Governor announced the launch of a new social media campaign that features New Yorkers and visitors explaining in short video messages why they love New York.
Governor Cuomo made todays announcement at Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen and Continental Tire 150 competition, a six-hour competition of speed and endurance featuring IMSA United SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International where I LOVE NEW YORK engaged race fans to promote the region and all New York State has to offer as premier vacation destination. The Watkins Glen raceway is featured in the "Ultimate Road Trip" advertisement.
"Tourism is a major driver of jobs and economic activity in communities all across New York State, from the Adirondacks, Niagara Falls, and the beaches of Long Island, to the exciting turns of Watkins Glen International raceway," Governor Cuomo said. "Our investment in tourism is paying off with a record setting number of visitors coming to the Empire State, and this year we are doubling down on our efforts to promote and market all that New York has to offer. The 'I Love NY' summer tourism campaign encourages visitors to take a road trip, an experience that promises to be more enjoyable and easier than ever with the help of new signage, mobile applications and social media to guide the way."
There are now approximately 4,000 signs across New York States highways and roadways identifying the States historic and cultural attractions, world class entertainment and dining venues.
The Watkins Glen International competition is one of the many upcoming summer events all across New York State where I LOVE NY and Taste NY will have a presence to bring attention to summer tourism activities, attractions and locations. Other signature New York State summer events include the BassMasters Elite fishing tournament in the Finger Lakes, Saratoga Race Course Opening Day, Syracuse Nationals Car Show, 50th Annual Antique Boat Show & Auction in the Thousand Islands, Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in Cooperstown and Great NYS State Fair in Syracuse.
In addition, as part of the Ultimate Road Trip campaign, I LOVE NEW YORK is also announcing the new social media promotion Why I Love New York that debuted at the Sahlens Six Hours of The Glen weekend, and will be activated at future select events across the State. As part of the initiative, videographers interview event and festival goers on why they love New York and ask them to share their own New York experiences. These quick interview spots will make their way onto jumbotrons and I LOVE NEW YORK social media channels.
I LOVE NEW YORKs digital channels provide increased access and outreach to enhance awareness of New York States tourism destinations. Visitors can now conduct travel research, book travel, upload vacation photos, and share their experiences instantly with their friends, family and the world with a click of a button. I LOVE NEW YORK recently relaunched a new, more robust website that features a travel itinerary builder with attractions and landmarks from all around the states 11 vacation regions. Website traffic is already up nearly 35% from last year, and website users are up over 30% from last year. The new website is also mobile responsive. There has been an increase of over 100% from mobile visitors as a result. I LOVE NEW YORKs social media campaign is also hugely successful, helping to spread the word about New York State travel. Its Facebook page has more than 1.2 million fans. The @I_LOVE_NY Twitter handle has more than 227,000 followers, making it number 1 among all U.S. states. A newer platform for I LOVE NY, its Instagram page has more than 3,700 followers. In just over a year, its award-winning #iSpyNY campaign generated over 21,000 photo submissions featuring landmarks across New York State.
As a result of the State's support of tourism, the industry has seen an increase in spending, state and local tax revenue, visitors and employment. In 2013, New Yorks tourism industry generated direct spending of $59.2 billion, producing an estimated $7.5 billion in state and local taxes. The number of visitors to New York is estimated to have increased by 8.8 million and projected to finish at 218.8 million visitors in 2013. As the fourth largest employment sector in New York, the tourism industry also added 28,500 jobs in 2013 for a total of 832,500 jobs and generated more than $17.96 billion in wages. One out of every 12 jobs in New York is tourism-related.