Visitor Spending Tops $1.5 Billion in Oneida County in 2017
A recent study released by Empire State Development and the I Love NY; Division of Travel & Tourism reports that visitor spending in Oneida County increased by 5.8% to more than $1.5 Billion dollars in 2017.
Oneida County represents 64% of the Central New York Region’s travel and tourism sales. Visitor spending across the Central New York Region totaled $2.4 Billion in 2017, supporting 37,583 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 5.7% in 2017, representing the second largest regional growth reported for New York State, just behind the Catskill Region.
Tourism supported 21,035 direct and indirect jobs in Oneida County in 2017; generating $924 million in household wages. Travel and tourism sustains 20.8% of all employment in Oneida County. State tax coffers gained $82.7 million while local tax revenues reached $89.9 million in 2017 from tourism-generated spending in Oneida County. Oneida County residents realized $1,912 in tax savings per household in 2017; an offset generated by visitor spending. Oneida County contributes 62.4% of the Central New York Vacation Region’s tourism tax base in 2017 which totaled $276.7 million.
“Oneida County has always been known as a haven of natural beauty and outdoor recreation, but as these numbers reflect, it is establishing itself more and more as a premier entertainment destination,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “With major draws like the Turning Stone Resort Casino and the Utica Comets leading the way, tourism dollars continue to energize our local economy and lead to more development and opportunity. This winter, the Adirondack Bank Center welcomes the addition of Major Arena Soccer League, as Utica City FC begins its inaugural season, and the U-District moves forward with the Nexus Center project that will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to our community in the future through youth sports tournament play.”
Ed Welsh, Chair - Economic Development & Education Committee, Oneida County Board of Legislators stated, “Oneida County continues to be a tourism magnet. The close partnership between County government, the private sector and Oneida County Tourism has produced a winning strategy that continues to produce results. Kelly Blazosky and the entire Oneida County Tourism should be congratulated on the successful execution of that strategy.”
“We are pleased to see another year of healthy growth for the local tourism industry,” stated Kelly Blazosky, President of Oneida County Tourism. “Travel and tourism is economic development and plays a significant role in the local economy supporting more than 21,000 jobs in Oneida County. The wide variety of quality attractions, events and lodging availability offered throughout the County continues to grow making the region an ideal getaway destination.”
Len Cross, Fort Rickey Children’s Discovery Zoo, stated, “As Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oneida County Tourism, I am proud of these numbers and the success of our volunteer board and professional staff. We represent all aspects of the travel and tourism industry throughout the county and work hard to maximize the economic impact of travel to our county and region.”
The Economic Impact Study of Tourism in New York for 2017 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 2017:
- Lodging $413.7 million
- Recreation $376.4 million
- Food & Beverage $273.1 million
- Retail & Service $376.4 million
- Transportation $42.6 million
- Second Homes $21.6 million
New York State’s tourism economy expanded 4.4% in 2017. Traveler spending in New York reached a new high of $67.6 Billion. Key industry data of the expansion include room demand grew 3.8% in 2017; passenger counts at all NYS airports increased by 2.3%. Tourism-generated income grew 5.4% as a function of both employment growth and pay increases, registering $36.5 billion in 2017. The Central New York Vacation Region captures 3% of the state visitor spend annually.