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Report: Oneida County visitor spending rose nearly 9 percent to $1.4 billion last year

By Journal Staff


UTICA, N.Y. — Tourism is on the rise in the Mohawk Valley. 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 8.8 percent to more than $1.4 billion in 2016.

Oneida County represents 64 percent of the Central New York vacation region’s travel and tourism sales. The Central New York vacation region is comprised of Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie, Broome, Chenango, southern Herkimer, Madison, and Montgomery counties.

Visitor spending across the Central New York vacation region totaled $2.2 billion in 2016, supporting 35,609 jobs. Traveler spending in the 7 1/2 county region rose 6.4 percent in 2016, representing the largest regional growth reported for New York state, per the study.

Tourism supported 19,214 direct and indirect jobs in Oneida County in 2016 —generating $810 million in household wages. Travel and tourism sustains 18.5 percent of all jobs in Oneida County. State tax coffers gained $79 million while local tax revenues reached $87.7 million in 2016 from tourism-generated spending in Oneida County.

“We were thrilled to see the growth reflected in the 2016 research. An 8.8 percent increase in visitor spending is remarkable growth across the industry sustaining jobs, sales tax receipts and household wages in Oneida County,” Kelly Blazosky, president of Oneida County Tourism, said in a news release. “Tourism is economic development. Recent investments in new lodging facilities, restaurants, expansion at the AUD, coupled with successful regional campaigns like and will continue to position Oneida County a rising destination and a leader in the state’s travel industry.”

In Oneida County, all industry sectors realized an increase and generated the following visitor spending in 2016: Lodging $411 million, Recreation $375 million, Food & Beverage $253 million, Retail & Service $316 million, Transportation $42 million, and Second Homes $21 million.

The “Economic Impact Study of Tourism in New York” for 2016 was conducted by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company of Oxford, United Kingdom with U.S. offices in Wayne, Pennsylvania.


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