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Tourism on the rise in Greene County

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    In this Dec. 18, 2018 file photo, an aerial photo of the village of Tannersville shows Rip Van Winkle Lake, left, and the nearby village Main Street, right. Greene County mountaintop officials are working to promote less-visited locations to draw tourists away from overcrowded attractions.
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    In this Aug. 10, 2017 file photo, Gov. Andrew Cuomo makes his way to the gazebo at Dutchmen’s Landing in Catskill with Greene County Tourism Marketing Manager Heather Bagshaw, left, and DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, right. The state’s annual survey of the economic impact of tourism across the state shows Greene County has seen steady growth in tourism since 2014. Bagshaw has said tourism is integral to the economy in Greene County and the county government because of the sales tax revenue it generates.
October 10, 2019 05:29 pm

CATSKILL — A recent study shows that tourism and visitor spending is increasing in Greene County.

The state as a whole had a good year for tourism, according to the 2018 report. More than 250 million visitors passed through the state generating a whopping $114.8 billion. This is the fifth consecutive year the revenue figure has exceeded $100 billion, according to governor.ny.gov.

“Without tourism and tourism-generated state and local taxes, our Greene County residents would have to pay an additional $1,291 to maintain the same level of government revenue,” Deputy County Administrator and Economic Development, Tourism & Planning Director Warren Hart said in a statement. “We are committed to continuing to market Greene County as a premier tourism destination for New York and the world.”

In Greene County, travelers spent over $185 million in 2018, representing an 8.4% increase over 2017’s reported figures. The Catskills Region as a whole experienced an 11.3% increase in 2018 in traveler spending — the most significant growth of any region in the state, according to the report.

The state experienced a 5.6% increase from last year’s spending and a 3.7% increase in visitors, according to the report.

“We’re very fortunate in our amenities, attractions and lodging partners,” Greene County Tourism Director Heather Bagshaw said in a statement. “We welcome travelers from around the world to explore in the mountains, boat on the Hudson, stay in a unique lodging property and enjoy a meal at one of our incredible restaurants. We love sharing Greene County’s treasures.”

Tourism in the Catskills is a $1.5 billion industry that supports nearly 20,000 jobs. Labor income in Greene County was up 13.8% year-over-year and tourism-generated employment was at 22.9% for the county, according to the study. Because 22% of all jobs are in the tourism sector, Greene County is the most dependent region on tourism income in the Catskills.

Tourism is the third largest private sector employer in the state, according to the state Department of Labor. The industry accounts for 957,800 of the state’s jobs, according to state labor statistics from 2018.

Hotel room demand increased by 4% and passenger counts at state airports increased by 4.5%, according to the report.

“New York State’s significant investments in tourism coupled with the efforts of tourism partners all across the state make for an unstoppable combination,” state Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said in a statement. “These historic numbers are evidence that our strategic efforts are succeeding like never before in positioning New York State as the ultimate vacation destination for visitors from around the world.”

Tourism statistics were provided by Tourism Economics, an internationally recognized travel data firm, using the Impact Analysis for Planning, or IMPLAN, input-output model. This model is used worldwide by governments, universities, and public and private sector organizations. The model follows the flow of sales through the economy to the generation of GDP, employment, wages and taxes.