September 12, 2019

State Report Finds that Tourism Spending Continues to Grow in Schenectady County

Empire State Development ’s Division of Travel and Tourism has released its annual report on the economic impact of tourism spending in New York State. The report showed a significant increase in traveler spending in Schenectady County in 2018 marking the second consecutive year of substantial growth. The annual study is conducted by Tourism Economics based in Philadelphia. The company is part of Oxford Economics based in Oxford, England.

The new report showed that traveler spending increased by 10.5% in Schenectady County in 2018 ranking first in the Capital Region. Other counties also saw increases including Fulton County up 10%, Saratoga County increasing by 9%, Rensselaer County up by 7.2%, Washington County up by 4.4%, and Albany County with a 3.2% increase. Overall, New York State saw an increase in traveler spending by 6.2% with the Capital Region average also at 6.2%.

In 2017, Schenectady County led the Capital Region with an increase in traveler spending of 16 percent. “These are solid numbers that speak well of our efforts to promote Schenectady County as a great place to live, work and visit. For two years in a row, we have seen increases that exceed both statewide and regional totals,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature. “We thank all of our tourism partners including Rivers Casino & Resort, Proctors, ViaPort Rotterdam and so many others that work with our tourism promotion agency, Discover Schenectady County, to showcase all that we have to offer.”

“We are excited to see an increase in tourism spending,” said Cathy Gatta, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature’s Committee on Tourism, Arts & Special Events and Discover Schenectady Board Member. “We will continue to promote all our venues and special events in a coordinated manner to maximize visitation to Schenectady County.”

“With the opening of Rivers Casino & Resort, the construction of several new hotels and tourism attractions, and the continued development of our dining and craft beverage offerings in the County, the County Legislature saw a need to further invest in tourism promotion to drive continued positive results for our residents and visitors,” said Jeff McDonald, President of the Board of Discover Schenectady and Vice-Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “In 2017, we created Discover Schenectady County and assembled a staff and Board of Directors to help us create and implement a strategic plan to increase tourism in the County.”

“The new report reflects well on the collaboration and hard work of a number of organizations within the County, including the Metroplex Development Authority, the County’s Special Events Office, the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation as well as the City and County of Schenectady. These partnerships are what truly makes us special. Our hotels, entertainment venues, restaurants and breweries work together to promote Schenectady County,” said Becky Daniels, Executive Director of Discover Schenectady. “The way so many of our partners came together to welcome visitors here for the recent run of Hamilton at Proctors is a great example of what tourism can do for our community.”