New York State, Oneida County Set Unprecedented Tourism  Records in 2022, Boosting Local Economies
Sep. 22 2023

New York State, Oneida County Set Unprecedented Tourism Records in 2022, Boosting Local Economies

Last week, Governor Kathy Hochul released the Economic Impact of Visitors 2022 Report completed by Tourism Economics. New York State welcomed a record 291.5 million visitors in 2022, the largest number of visitors in New York State’s history, generating more than $78.6 billion in direct spending and $123 billion in total economic impact. These figures represent staggering increases over 2021 and surpass the previous records set in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, following the Governor’s historic investments in tourism, economic development, public safety, transportation, and other key sectors. The data, released in a series of reports by Tourism Economics, is available here.

Oneida County, located in the state’s Central New York (CNY) region, is doing exceptionally well in its recovery and exceeding 2019 levels in several categories.

Key takeaways:

  • Oneida County represents 75% of the region’s tourism sales, with $3.5 billion in direct tourism spending.
  • Relative to 2019, traveler spending was up 30% in Oneida County at 214% of 2019 levels – the highest of any county in the state.
  • Tourism in the CNY Region generated $1.2 billion in direct labor income and $1.9 billion including indirect and induced impacts.
  • Total labor income including indirect and induced impacts was the most significant in Oneida County at $1.4 billion.
  • Oneida County produced the most tourism-related jobs in the CNY region (37,030 jobs).
  • Tourism in CNY generated $482 million in state and local taxes in 2022. Sales, property, and hotel bed taxes contributed $229 million in local taxes. Oneida County constituted 71.3% of the region’s tourism tax base.
  • Were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in Oneida County would have to pay an additional $1,637 to maintain the same level of government revenue, already hard hit by the pandemic.

Click here to view the full Central New York report –

“Oneida County is a major tourism destination, and more visitors are flocking here than ever before,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “Thanks to draws like the Turning Stone Resort Casino, the Adirondack Bank Center and host of outdoor recreation and multi-ethnic dining options, we accounted for the vast majority of Central New York’s tourism sales last year and our traveler spending saw the largest increase in the state. With the Utica University Nexus Center now welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors from all across North America, those numbers will skyrocket even further. We can’t wait to welcome them all and show off what we have to offer.”

Sarah Foster Calero, President of Oneida County Tourism, said, “Tourism is booming in Oneida County and across New York State, and we are so excited to continue to grow and promote ourselves as a destination that travelers want to visit. From our world class attractions and incredible signature events, to unique places to stay and year-round outdoor adventures, we’re able to offer every type of visitor a unique experience. Additionally, the Utica University Nexus Center is allowing us to delve into sports tourism, and the events taking place there have a tremendous economic impact on Oneida County. Families come for a tournament, and in turn spend money at our great local restaurants, coffee shops, and other businesses while exploring all we have to offer.

“New York’s pandemic recovery has been one for the history books, and by welcoming an unprecedented 291 million visitors and generating billions of dollars in direct investment to our state, we’re writing the next chapter in our success story,” Governor Hochul said. “In the three years since the pandemic ground tourism to a halt, we have made transformative investments to uplift businesses, support workers in tourism and hospitality, and build a stronger, more welcoming New York. Now, from bustling New York City to the breathtaking Adirondack Mountains, visitors are confirming what we’ve known all along – New York is the place to be…”

Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, “The fact that New York State tourism has bounced back so strongly and quickly from the devastation of COVID is a testament to the collaborative efforts between New York State government and its public and private tourism partners. Even with some regional nuances, and some travel segments still trailing their pre-pandemic levels, this shows what can be achieved through a collective focus on the state’s vital tourism sector to bring back visitation and spending.”