Governor Cuomo Announces More Than US$50 Million To Support Historic Growth Of New York’s Tourism Industry During Third Tourism Summit
Governor Andrew M Cuomo has unveiled a commitment of US$50 million to promote statewide tourism, create jobs, and attract more visitors to every region of New York, at the third New York State tourism summit held recently in Albany. The investment, which is one of the largest ever by the State, builds upon the historic investments in the tourism industry which generated a US$100.1 billion economic impact in 2014.
“Tourism is vital to New York’s economy – it creates jobs and opportunity in virtually every community across the state,” said Governor Cuomo. “When people visit New York, they fall in love with all that our state has to offer and keep coming back. I am proud that our administration is continuing to play a leading role in supporting tourism across the state, and I look forward to seeing the industry and our economy thrive for years to come.”
Lieutenant Governor Hochul said: “As a result of Governor Cuomo’s historic investments, New York State continues to experience record-breaking tourism year after year. This can be attributed to the Governor’s ambitious agenda that has helped resurrect our I Love New York campaign, create good paying jobs, and attract scores of visitors from the North Fork to Niagara Falls. It’s no wonder that tourism generated over US$100 billion dollars in economic impact last year alone. And with today’s US$50 million dollars in new investment, we will entice even more people to come see what New York has to offer.”
The third New York State Tourism Summit brought hundreds of tourism experts to the Capitol to discuss innovative ideas and new ways to encourage travel to all 11 vacations regions of the State. As a result of the Governor’s support of tourism, the industry has seen an increase in spending, state and local tax revenue, visitors and employment since 2011, and a record-breaking economic impact of US$100.1 billion in 2014.
Last year, New York’s tourism industry generated direct spending of US$62.5 billion, producing US$7.8 billion in state and local taxes. The number of visitors to New York increased by 8.2 million with nearly 227 million visitors in 2014. As New York’s fourth largest employment sector, one out of every 12 jobs in New York is tourism-related. Data from 2014 show the tourism industry supported 867,900 jobs and generated more than US$31 billion in wages.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said: “New York State’s tourism industry has been reenergised under Governor Cuomo’s leadership and the I LOVE NY campaign has been reborn. Today’s summit highlights the tourism industry’s incredible impact on job creation and revenue, and assists our hard-working state and local partners in promoting New York as a top destination.”
During the morning session, the Governor announced a series of initiatives designed to build on the success of past summits. These initiatives will build on the Governor’s commitment to further promote New York State as the tourism capital of the world. The Governor also unveiled the Tourism 2020 initiative which will envision and develop the next generation of New York State’s tourism initiatives and infrastructure.
The Governor made the announcement at today’s Tourism Summit via video conference. VIDEO of the Governor’s announcement is available here.
In addition to increasing the state’s annual investment in tourism, the Governor will continue to host successful events such as the Adirondack Winter and Summer Challenges, and the new Catskills challenge to bring together state and local officials, tourism industry representatives and outdoor enthusiasts to strengthen tourism in Upstate New York.
Increased Level of Tourism Funding: The State will invest nearly US$50 million in tourism funding. This is more than US$5 million compared to last year and includes tourism marketing, transportation promotion, international marketing, and funding for industry development.
Tourism Marketing Campaign: US$25 million will be utilised for tourism marketing, featuring the I LOVE NY, Path Through History and Taste NY initiatives. The new marketing campaign will feature TV ads and other media at airports, on roads, on railways, on the web and on mobile devices to promote tourism opportunities throughout New York State. The very successful I Love New York television advertising campaign featuring actors and athletes from New York will continue into 2016.
Increased Transportation Access: A US$4 million investment will be utilised to work with the Port Authority and MTA for opportunities to promote Upstate travel and make transportation information easily accessible for all travellers. The investment will also promote linkages from New York City via partners like car rental companies and bus and train operators to create transportation options in key areas where none exist.
Expand Global Tourism Markets: The Governor announced I LOVE NEW YORK will continue to expand its global reach through key markets in Australia and Puerto Rico. New York will create a Tourism Advisory Board in Australia, and host the first-ever Australia trade mission to bring New York travel representatives to meet with airline operators, travel media, and tour operators in Australia. In addition, announced during the Governor’s Solidarity Mission to Puerto Rico, a US$5 million joint I LOVE NY tourism ad campaign will be used to promote travel between New York and Puerto Rico. This investment will provide a unique opportunity for travellers to experience the beauty of both Puerto Rico and New York and maximise the newly opened “I Love New York Welcome Center” in Puerto Rico at the NYS Office of Trade and Tourism. New York will also promote Upstate and build awareness of New York’s 11 regions through targeted marketing.
Winter Tourism Promotion: The weekend of January 16-18 (Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend) will be a free snowmobiling weekend to encourage out-of-state and Canadian snowmobile enthusiasts to sled in New York State. State registration fees will be waived for properly registered and insured out-of-state snowmobiling enthusiasts wishing to explore New York’s 10,500 miles of snowmobile trails. Information on snowmobiling, including online registration for out-of-state snowmobilers is available here
President’s Day weekend (February 13-14) will be a free ice fishing weekend to encourage more New Yorkers to try Ice fishing while many are on winter recess. Residents and visitors age 16 and older will be able to fish the fresh or marine waters of New York State without a license, providing a great opportunity for people to learn about this popular sport. More information is available here
I LOVE NY is also entering a partnership with all five New York State AHL teams: Utica Comets, Rochester Americans, Albany Devils, Binghamton Senators and the Syracuse Crunch to increase economic impact of spectators at New York winter sporting events and expose sports fans to New York State winter getaway opportunities. New York State tourism destinations will be promoted at team games and events and the AHL schedule will be featured on I LOVE NY platforms.
Business Travel and Special Events: To maximise New York State’s appeal to business travellers and event planners the State will: leverage corporate relationships to promote New York State through corporate travel departments to increase the number of meetings and conventions held in the state; engage concierges at New York City hotels, directly and through trade associates, to highlight day trips and overnight getaways outside of Manhattan through the I LOVE NY Bus; and underwrite a percentage of costs incurred by municipalities or private entities who were successful in drawing new special events to New York State.
Lodging Development: A multi-agency, public-private workgroup will be convened to explore incentives and grant programs that would encourage investors and developers to create and improve lodging in areas where few facilities exist.
Outdoor Recreation Promotion: Working in partnership with Department of Parks and DEC, leverage New York’s world-class parks and outdoor recreation facilities by promoting parks, trails and activities to nature lovers through targeted publications and websites.
Agri-Tourism and Heritage Tourism: Through the Department of Agriculture and Markets, and Taste NY, continue to build awareness of New York’s agri-tourism industry through culinary tours and encourage the creation of additional farm visit programs for consumers.
Market NY: Funding for the Market NY program will be increased to US$13 million. This funding allows tourism assets to make necessary improvements and launch strategic marketing campaigns to increase visitorship. The funding will be awarded through the regional economic development council process.
Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Jeff Klein said: “With so much to offer, New York State has always been a leader in the tourism industry, which continues to create jobs and spur over US$100 billion in economic growth for communities throughout the state. Now, with the launch of the third Tourism Summit, we can look forward to a boom in our state’s fourth-largest employment sector. I am proud to work with the Governor and my colleagues in the legislature to expand this critical industry and I look forward to all that we will accomplish moving forward.”
Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie said: “Investing in New York’s tourism industry will have immense long term benefits for our state and the hundreds of thousands of people whose livelihood depend on it. I commend Governor Cuomo for these strategic and far-reaching campaigns and am confident they will aid in the continued growth and prosperity of New York’s tourism industry.”
Senator Betty Little, Chair of the Senate Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks & Recreation Committee, said: “New York’s tourism industry is a major pipeline for economic opportunity in the North Country and all across New York. Under Governor Cuomo, this state has developed a comprehensive strategy to continue attracting visitors to New York and generate a new economic life for local businesses and I am proud to take part in these efforts. I am thrilled about the progress that New York tourism has made and I look forward to continuing this partnership to keep this industry thriving.”
Senator José M. Serrano said: “New York State is home to some of the most amazing tourist attractions in all of the world. The arts and tourism sector supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, while generating US$100 billion in economic impact. Additionally, the arts provide countless educational and enrichment opportunities for students throughout our state. I applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo for his steadfast commitment to tourism in New York. His allocation of US$50 million to our tourism industry will ensure that this important sector remains vibrant and robust.”
Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, Chair of the Assembly’s Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Committee, said, “The tourism industry is one of New York’s premier economic engines and its growth is critical to the overall economic health of our state. New York has placed a renewed focus on finding and developing new ways to keep this industry thriving – and that is what today’s summit is all about. I am proud to collaborate with the Governor and my colleagues and look forward to sharing new ideas to keep our success going.”
Cristyne Nicholas, Chair of the NYS Tourism Advisory Council, said: “At our first tourism summit in 2013, Governor Cuomo outlined his vision to expand NYS tourism and today we are proud to show the results of that commitment. New York State tourism has grown to a US$100 billion dollar industry and welcomed 227 million visitors, making New York State the world’s premiere tourism destination.”
Jan Marie Chesterton, President of the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association said: “I applaud Governor Cuomo for recognising the importance of lodging to the New York State tourism industry.”
Gail Grimmett, Senior Vice-President, Delta said: “Business travel is vital to the success of our airline. We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo to increase both domestic and international business travel for all of New York State.”
Nancy Elder, Vice President of Communications, JetBlue said: “Governor Cuomo has done much to encourage and support tourism throughout the Empire State. As JetBlue expands our service this winter with new flights to Albany, our eighth New York destination, we greatly appreciate all his efforts to inspire travel and make it increasingly easier for guests to visit all corners of our vibrant state.”
Scott Brandi, President of Ski Areas of New York, Inc. said: “Governor Cuomo’s consistent support and promotion of winter tourism in New York State has been invaluable to the ski industry, not only in terms of increased visitation but also by enhancing our competitive position in the marketplace.”
James McKenna, CEO of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism/Lake Placid CVB said: “Thanks to the governor’s support, including hosting tourism events like the Adirondack Challenges that highlight the region, tourism in the North Country has grown by leaps and bounds. His continued emphasis on growing markets for tourism, like promoting outdoor recreation and attracting high level amateur athletes and athletic events to New York, will continue to benefit the Adirondacks and the entire state.”
Devin Lander, Executive Director, Museum Association of New York said: “From I Love New York television commercials to the Path Through History heritage tourism campaign, New York’s museums have greatly benefited from Governor Cuomo’s tourism efforts. The new initiatives announced at the Tourism Summit today will continue to shine the spotlight on New York’s museums as a vital part of growing tourism in the state.”