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JULY 26, 2017 – Utica, NY – A recent study released by Empire State Development and the I Love NY; Division of Travel & Tourism reports that visitors spending in Oneida County increased by 8.8% to more than $1.4 Billion dollars in 2016. Oneida County represents 64% of the Central New York Region’s travel and tourism sales. Visitor spending across the Central New York Region totaled $2.2 Billion in 2016, supporting 35,609 jobs. The Central New York Vacation Region is comprised of Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie, Broome, Chenango, Southern Herkimer, Madison, and Montgomery counties. Traveler spending in the region rose 6.4% in 2016, representing the largest regional growth reported for New York State.

Tourism supported 19,214 direct and indirect jobs in Oneida County in 2016; generating $810 million in household wages. Travel and tourism sustains 18.5% of all employment in Oneida County. State tax coffers gained $79 million while local tax revenues reached $87.7 million in 2016 from tourism generated spending in Oneida County. Oneida County residents realized $1,824 in tax savings per household in 2016; an offset generated by visitor spending. Oneida County contributes 62.7% of the Central New York Vacation Region’s tourism tax base in 2016 which totaled $266 million.

“We were thrilled to see the growth reflected in the 2016 research. An 8.8% increase in visitor spending is remarkable growth across the industry sustaining jobs, sales tax receipts and household wages in Oneida County,” stated Kelly Blazosky, President of Oneida County Tourism. “Tourism is economic development. Recent investments in new lodging facilities, restaurants, expansion at the AUD, coupled with successful regional campaigns like BrewCentralNY.com and BikeThruHistory.com will continue to position Oneida County a rising destination and a leader in the state’s travel industry.”

“Each and every year, Oneida County continues to build itself as a tourism powerhouse,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. “With major draws such as Turning Stone Resort Casino, Utica Memorial Auditorium and the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, tourism dollars have energized our local economy and led to more and more development. With the U District proposed for downtown Utica building off the momentum of the AUD and creating a critical mass of people through the Nexus Center, American Craft Beer Museum & Innovation Center and Utica Commons Casino, we will see these numbers rise to even higher levels in the future.”

The Economic Impact Study of Tourism in New York for 2016 was conducted by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company of Oxford, United Kingdom with US offices in Wayne, PA. Tourism Economics studied several sectors of the tourism industry including lodging, recreation, food & beverage, retail and service stations, transportation, and second homes.

In Oneida County, all industry sectors realized an increase and generated the following visitor
spending in 2016:
 Lodging $411 million
 Recreation $375 million
 Food & Beverage $253 million
 Retail & Service $316 million
 Transportation $42 million
 Second Homes $21 million

New York State’s tourism economy expanded 2.7% in 2016. Traveler spending in New York reached a new high of $65 Billion. Key industry data of the expansion include room demand grew 3.8% in 2016; passenger counts at all NYS airports increased by 5.1%, and tourism employment grew 1.7% sustaining more than 780,000 direct and indirect jobs. The Central New York Vacation Region captures 3% of the state visitor spend annually.

Lockwood Law

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