April 18, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces More Than $14.2 Million Awarded Through EDA Tourism Partner Sub-Awards Grant Program

Governor Hochul Announces More Than $14.2 Million Awarded Through EDA Tourism Partner Sub-Awards Grant Program

Funding Made Available Through Federal American Rescue Plan Grant Will Support Efforts of State's Destination Marketing Organizations

Full List of Awardees Available Here

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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that more than $14.2 million will be awarded to 30 tourism partners through the New York State EDA Tourism Partner Sub-Awards Grant Program. This federal COVID-19 recovery funding, made available through the United States Economic Development Administration, was awarded to New York State to support the post-pandemic recovery of the State's travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Empire State Development's Division of Tourism competitively sub-awarded the funding to Destination Marketing Organizations throughout the state for tourism marketing projects based on the Division’s EDA grant focus areas: outdoor recreation, international tourism, and travel trade including Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions, amateur sports and group travel.

“With our breathtaking views and landscapes, vibrant arts and culture, thriving business community and more, New York is proud to welcome visitors from all over the world to experience what our state has to offer,” Governor Hochul said. "Thanks to the Biden administration and New York’s Congressional delegation, these sub-awards will help our tourism partners reach new audiences on a global scale and attract even more travelers to our state."

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, “New York’s travel and tourism industries are the beating heart of our state, and this critical funding creates a unique opportunity for the federal government to boost tourism across New York by supporting small businesses, creating jobs, and investing in our local economies. The recovery from the pandemic has spurred a newfound demand for travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation throughout the state, and this vital $14.2 million of funding that I pushed to include in the American Rescue Plan will accelerate that economic recovery and allow us to come out of the pandemic even stronger than we were before.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “Every year, New York draws millions of tourists from across the country and the world. This federal funding will help us attract even more,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I thank the EDA for this award and will keep working to bring home more resources to develop our tourism sector.”

Representative Jerrold Nadler said, “It’s been over two years since President Biden signed it into law, and the American Rescue Plan continues to deliver for New Yorkers and our nation. Today’s announcement of $14.2 million in funding to New York State, with $2.1 million flowing directly to support tourism in NYC—will help sustain NY’s status as a leading destination for domestic and international travelers. I’m proud to have fought for the American Rescue Plan in Congress, which has equipped countless families, businesses, and governments with the resources necessary to weather the public health and economic crisis.”

Representative Brian Higgins said, “Tourism is a critical part of the Western New York economy, especially as northern border community. The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on this sector, halting travel and preventing local attractions from generating revenue. Thanks to a state-wide investment made by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, historic and cultural tourism and recreation across Western New York is receiving the funding it needs to continue its economic recovery, while bringing new and returning visitors to our local attractions. As our region continues to rebuild, this federal funding serves as a continued investment in businesses, parks, and destinations that support the growth and development of our community.”

Representative Paul Tonko said, “When my colleagues and I advanced the American Rescue Plan, we knew that investing strongly in travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation would be critical in ensuring our communities made a full recovery from the pandemic. These awards today are a direct result of that careful, impactful planning and will help to further boost the economic strength and vibrancy of our Capital Region and state. I look forward to seeing how these deserving awards further bolster our local economy and benefit residents and visitors alike.”

Representative Adriano Espaillat said, “Tourism is the lifeblood of New York City adding to the vibrancy and cultural landscape that helps make us a destination for visitors from around the globe. I commend Governor Hochul on today’s announcement allocating $14.2 million of federal funding my congressional colleagues and I secured through the American Rescue Plan to support grants for our tourism partners around New York State.”

Representative Joe Morelle said, “Now is the time to invest in revitalizing our local travel industry by highlighting everything our state has to offer—from outdoor recreation in the Finger Lakes region, to the historic Underground Railroad stops around Rochester. I’m proud to have secured this federal funding for New York’s economic recovery post-pandemic, and I’m grateful to Gov. Hochul for her commitment to supporting our area’s distinctive tourism industry.”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Under the leadership of Governor Hochul, New York State is rebuilding and revitalizing its vibrant and vital tourism industry. The funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration will help I LOVE NY and other tourism organizations throughout the state promote targeted activities and engage new visitors, supporting tourism's continued revival."

Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, "The federal EDA grant to New York State enables I LOVE NY to expand its reach in specific travel segments. These sub-awards to our DMO colleagues from Buffalo to Long Island will allow them to complement those efforts with a regional or audience-specific approach, focusing on areas of opportunity that most resonate with their target markets. We are grateful for the Economic Development Administration's support, and proud to further support our New York tourism partners."

Awardees include:

  • Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus of New York State, Inc.: Generate a collaborative statewide sales and marketing approach to sell the many attributes of New York to meeting planners, tour operators, travel writers and amateur athletic rights holders.
  • Capital-Saratoga Region Tourism Association: Highlight outdoor vacation opportunities to new domestic and international audiences, and target meetings and conventions focused on cutting-edge industries.
  • Destination Niagara USA: Engage travel trade, promote international tourism and promote outdoor recreation to grow new business and job opportunities.
  • Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council: Utilize a strategic marketing campaign to promote the outdoor recreation activities available throughout the region, with an emphasis on first-time visitors.
  • NYC & Co.: Invest in international business-to-consumer campaigns, and business-to-business campaigns that promote New York City as a meeting and event destination.
  • Thousand Islands Regional Tourism Development Corp.: Re-establish international market share and outdoor leisure demand by promoting lesser-known assets and attractions, while supporting overall regional economic health.
  • Underground Railroad Consortium of New York State: Promote a driving tour of Underground Railroad sites in New York State connected with other travel opportunities.

The program's goal is to positively impact New York State’s tourism industry by making strategic investments in programs and organizations that are working to generate economic growth for New York State and its vacation regions. Using a competitive grant process, ESD ensured that the awarded funding is impact-driven, and the awarded projects are responsive to the program's intended focus. New York State is concentrating on sectors most in need of help, or areas representing the most promising opportunity for growth. A full list of awardees is available here.

The United States Economic Development Administration made $750 million in funding available from the American Rescue Plan to states and communities through its Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program. New York State applied for, and was awarded funding, with ESD designated as the agency to oversee and administer the grant. Of the $510 million allocated specifically to states, New York was awarded nearly $45 million – the second highest amount of any state. Other funding from this award will enhance I LOVE NY's programmatic work and efforts in the identified EDA areas of focus and will support similar tourism-related efforts of other specified New York State agencies.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
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