Finger Lakes Visitors Connection Announces Tourism Growth is Alive and Well in Ontario County and the Finger Lakes
New York State’s tourism economy grew in 2016 with 2.7% growth in traveler spending, reaching a new high of nearly $65 billion. A major driver of that was the Finger Lakes Region, including Ontario County.
This is according to Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company dedicated to analytically-based consulting for the tourism sector. Tourism Economics combines visitor survey and industry data to provide a comprehensive view of tourism-generated sales, production, employment, wages, and taxes.
Traveler spending in the Finger Lakes Region grew 2.1% in 2016, with Ontario County representing 7% of the region’s tourism sales. Ontario County employed 4,800 people in tourism, the largest area outside of Syracuse and Rochester. Specifically, traveler spending was up 3.2% in Ontario County from 2015 to 2016. Tax growth was up as well. From 2015 to 2016, local tax revenue grew by 3.8% in Ontario County thanks to tourism. In Ontario County, were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household would have to pay an additional $592 to maintain the same level of government service.
“These positive indicators are a testament to the wide assortment of fantastic visitor attractions and experiences we have in Ontario County,” said Finger Lakes Visitors Connection President Valerie Knoblauch. “People from all over the country, and the world, have heard about our part of New York State, and they’re excited to come and take part in all we have to offer. I’m not surprised to see our numbers are up.”
Tourism in the Finger Lakes is a $3 billion industry, supporting 59,326 jobs.