Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today released an end of the year progress report on the States tourism initiatives showing that the number of visitors to New York increased by 8.8 million this year. In addition, the industry is projected to generate $7.7 billion in state and local taxes with direct spending expected to reach $61.3 billion. The industry is also projected to add 24,800 jobs by the end of the year. The Governor held a cabinet meeting today, where Cristyne Nicholas, Chair of the Governors Tourism Advisory Council, gave a presentation on the impressive results being delivered by the states efforts to attract more visitors to the state, grow the tourism industry and create jobs.
This year my administration made it a priority to showcase the Empire State as the go-to destination for visitors from around the world, Governor Cuomo said. Our efforts are clearly paying off: by the end of 2013, nearly nine million more visitors will have come to New York compared to 2012. We will have generated almost $8 billion in local and state taxes and reach more than $61 billion in direct spending, which is enough to pay the salary of every firefighter and police officer in New York. We will have created tens of thousands of new jobs in the industry, growing one of the states biggest employers. These figures underscore the significant role the tourism industry plays in New Yorks economy, and we will continue our work to make sure it thrives.
In the last year, New Yorks tourism industry has grown in revenue, job creation, the number of visitors, and hotel occupancy:
- In 2013, the tourism industry is projected to generate $7.7 billion in state and local taxes. Direct spending is projected to reach $61.3 billion, an increase of 7 percent since 2012. Based on Department of Labor figures, this is enough to pay the salary of every firefighter and police officer in New York State.
- Since December 2012, Leisure & Hospitality employment is expected to add 24,800 jobs for a total of 818,700 jobs by the end of 2013, a 3.1% increase.
- The number of visitors to New York in 2013 will increase by 8.8 million, a 4.2% increase since 2012. By the end of the year, the total number of visitors is projected to be 218,800,000.
- In 2013, New Yorks hotels will sell 43 million rooms with associated $8.3 billion hotel room revenue. As of October 2013, New Yorks hotel occupancy rate is 73.7% which is almost 10% higher than the national rate.
This year, Governor Cuomo kicked off the states tourism efforts by hosting the Tourism Summit in Albany, where he announced $60 million in tourism funding the highest level of tourism funding in decades as well as other initiatives including: a new I Love NY marketing campaign with the Port Authority and MTA, Taste NY marketing efforts, an international tourism campaign, I Love NY in Times Square, and I Love NY LGBT. Click here to read more about the results of the Tourism Summit.
2013 also saw the launch of the Governors Path Through History campaign, an initiative that supports tourism and economic development by highlighting significant historic sites, locations and events throughout New York. Under Path Through History, the State developed and launched a website, designed and placed tourism signage on State and Federal highways, invested in regional projects and promotion of historic sites, and rebranded Museum Week and Heritage Weekends (June 1-2 and 8-9, 2013) as Path Through History Weekends and Museum Week. More than 200 consumer events were developed throughout the state as part of the program.
This summer, Governor Cuomo held various high-profile events to highlight locations in Upstate New York as world-class tourism destinations. On July 21 and 22, the Governor hosted the first ever Adirondack Challenge, a two day festival with a whitewater challenge featuring the Governor, New York officials, and members of the media. On August 8, the Governor also attended the BassMasters Tournament in the Thousand Islands which drew more than 34,100 people to the four day event. There, he announced that the 2014 BassMaster Elite Series will return to New York in 2014, including the Governors Challenge, a fishing competition featuring the Governor, elected officials from New York State and some of the biggest names in professional fishing to highlight the states many fishing and vacation opportunities. The next day, on August 9, Governor Cuomo appeared at the Watkins Glen International to announce a partnership with NASCAR for a public safety initiative to combat distracted driving. The State also participated in the PGA Championship, which had a $102 million economic impact on the Rochester region. The Governor announced a landmark agreement with The PGA of America to bring the 101st PGA Championship and the 45th Ryder Cup to Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale.
A major initiative by the Governor this year was Taste NY, which fuses the states agriculture sector with tourism to highlight the great variety of wine, beer, spirits and food products grown and produced here in New York. Governor Cuomo organized a Governors Cup Wine Tour in the Finger Lakes region and invited more than 200 restaurateurs, wine buyers, and media to attend. The Governor launched an ad campaign to promote New York State wines and announced the winner of the 2013 Governors Cup. Taste NY participated in more than 15 events this year, including the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, the Great New York State Fair, Hudson Valley Food and Wine Fest, Farm Aid, Cider Week, and the NYC Wine & Food Festival.
The State also launched several advertising and marketing campaigns to promote the states tourism industry. This included a Get Outta Town campaign and partnerships with the MTA and Port Authority featuring 6,400 ad posters in platforms, trains, subways and buses, video advertising at more than 100 subway entrances in Manhattan, Grand Central Terminals main hall, and Long Island Rail Road passenger areas in Penn Station, and a fully wrapped I Love NY 42nd street shuttle.