Visitor Spend Tops $1.6 Billion in Oneida County in 2018


A recent study released by Empire State Development and the I Love NY; Division of Travel & Tourism reports that travel related spending increased 5.9% and generated more than $1.6 Billion in economic impact to local communities in Oneida County in 2018. 

Remson Depot DeMott2019Travel and tourism supported the livelihoods of 20,527 workers in direct and indirect jobs in Oneida County in 2018; generating $964 million in household income. Travel sustains 20.9% of all jobs in Oneida County. The travel industry is a public good for Oneida County, generating State sales tax of $86.8 million and local sales tax resources of $95.2 million in 2018 from travel-related spending in Oneida County. Oneida County residents realized $2,012 in tax relief per household in 2018; an offset generated by traveler spending. 

Oneida County represents 64% of the Central New York Region’s travel and tourism sales. Travel spend across the Central New York Region totaled $2.5 Billion in 2018, supporting 37,015 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 5.2% in 2018, representing the fourth largest regional growth reported for New York State with Chautauqua-Allegheny, Capital-Saratoga, and New York City regions ranking first, second and third. The Central New York Vacation Region captures 13% of upstate traveler spend annually (excluding New York City and Long Island) second only to the Finger Lakes Region; and 3% of statewide travel spend.

“Oneida County continues to grow as a tourism powerhouse with each passing year,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “Across that state and throughout the country we are known for our natural beauty, robust recreation, eclectic cuisine and exploding craft beverage industry. With major draws such as Turning Stone Resort Casino, the Boilermaker Road Race and the Adirondack Bank Center, which is now home to two professional sports teams, visitors are flocking to our communities and pumping major dollars into our local economy. With the Nexus Center for youth sports tournament play set to bring hundreds of thousands more into our area, the future looks even brighter.” 

Ed Welsh, Chair – Economic Development & Education Committee, Oneida County Board of Legislators stated, “With Oneida County Tourism representing over $1.6 Billion dollars in economic impact and almost 21% of all employment in Oneida County, it is one of the major jobs and economic engines of this region. Kelly Blazosky and Oneida County Tourism do a great job quarterbacking travel and tourism for our county and region.”

 “2018 was a strong year for New York State and Oneida County’s travel industry,” stated Kelly Blazosky, President of Oneida County Tourism. “Every region across the state realized increased travel spend. We are pleased to see continued and positive returns on the promotion of our community as an attractive year-round travel destination. Continued investment in hotel accommodations coupled with quality attractions and experiences like Fort Stanwix National Monument, Turning Stone Resort Casino, Vernon Downs, Sylvan Beach, the Comets and UCFC, Boilermaker Road Race and changing exhibitions at Munson-Williams-Proctor Museum of Art, for example, greatly enhance our public image. The power of travel strengthens our Oneida County communities, the Central New York region and New York State.”  

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Len Cross, Fort Rickey Children’s Discovery Zoo, stated, "As Chairman of Oneida County Tourism's Board of Directors, I realize that It is sometimes difficult for locals to grasp that our region is a highly desirable tourist destination. It is easier to think of the Adirondacks, Niagara Falls and New York City as destinations but, it turns out that our wonderful combination of waterways, snowmobile trails, golf courses, breweries, campgrounds, gaming facilities, events and attractions bring in truly impressive numbers of visitors. The economic benefit to our County and region is dramatic. I am continually impressed with the success of Oneida County Tourism's volunteer board and our talented and dedicated staff lead by Kelly Blazosky.”

The Economic Impact Study of Tourism in New York for 2018 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 2018:


  • Lodging                              $464.7 million (up 13%)
  • Recreation                         $377.3 million (up 1%)
  • Food & Beverage             $287.3 million (up 6%)
  • Retail & Service                $396.6 million (up 6%)
  • Transportation                  $44.1 million (up 4%)
  • Second Homes                  $22.4 million (up 4%)


New York State’s tourism economy grew 6.2% in 2018. Traveler spending in New York reached a new high of $71.8 billion. Key industry data of the expansion include room demand increased 4.1% in 2018; passenger counts at all NYS airports increased by 4.5%. Personal income of workers in New York State’s travel industry grew 4.9%, outpacing the general economy.