Livingston County Has Surge of Visitors in 2018
The latest tourism economic impact numbers for New York State have just been released from Governor Cuomo’s office. According to Tourism Economics, a division of Oxford Economics, across the state every region saw an increase in tourism numbers and tourism remains the state’s third largest industry, supporting close to a million jobs. More than 250 million people traveled to New York in 2018, (a 3.7% increase from the year before) and direct visitor spending; tourism’s economic impact, is now a staggering $114.7 billion, a growth of $6 billion over the year before.
New York is divided into 11 tourism regions for marketing purposes. Livingston County is one of 14 counties designated as part of the Finger Lakes Region by New York State. Tourism in the Finger Lakes is a $3.2 billion industry, supporting 58 thousand jobs. The increase in tourism dollars across the entire Finger Lakes Region was 4% but in Livingston County, there was an 8.5% upswing into our local economy. This was the second largest increase in tourism dollars in the region, led only by Tioga County.
Visitors to Livingston collectively spent $57 million resulting in the employment of over 1,350 local residents in tourism related industries, adding $3.5 million and $3.1 million dollars to local and state tax coffers respectively. Were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, each household in the county would have to pay an additional $272 to maintain the same level of revenue.
Across the entire Finger Lakes region, travelers spent $3.2 billion with the majority being spent on restaurants and lodging. In Livingston County traveler spending was broken down as $11 million spent on lodging, $1.5 million on recreation, and $24.6 million on food and beverages. Shopping and service stations accounted for $11.3 million, transportation $2.8 million, and seasonal second homes, $5.9 million.
The Livingston County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism is the designated Tourism Promotion Agency for the County. Tourism Director Elissa Russell attributed the increase in visitors to the Chamber’s collaborative relationships across the state which pool resources and extend the reach of the county’s tourism promotion efforts. Existing partnerships include 31 counties through organizations such as the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council, Country Byways of Greater Niagara and the Finger Lakes, Finger Lakes Scenic Wonders, the Historical Aviation Trail of NYS, The Haunted History Trail of NYS, and I Love New York.
National ad campaigns encouraged visitors to explore the region while the local tourism team promoted the assets of Livingston County. Additionally, the Livingston County Chamber & Tourism office sends representatives to travel agent and tour bus conferences, and hosts travel writers and social media influencers to help them have exciting experiences while visiting here. The Chamber’s tourism team also creates an annual Visitor Guide which is sent to tourism information centers across New York State, AAA offices throughout the Northeast, CAA offices in southern Ontario, Canada, and travel & camping trade shows in New England. In 2018, the theme of the Visitor Guide was a calendar with suggestions for experiences available here in each month of the year which proved effective in garnering visitation for Livingston County.
Media Contact: Ellen Herlihy, Tourism Marketing Coordinator
585-243-2222 ext. 5 or Ellen@LivingstonCountyChamber.com