In Westchester County, visitors are dropping by more often and spending extra dollars when they do.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer reported Aug. 17 that visitor spending reached a record $1.9 billion last year, up 3 percent from 2016 numbers. The county’s tourism industry is the third largest in the state, behind New York City and Long Island.
Latimer said in the press release that the county “continues to shine as a premier regional destination for business and leisure travelers in New York State. With the building of new hotels and upgrades being made by existing properties, new restaurants, breweries and attractions, we are excited to see the tourism industry continue to flourish here in our beautiful county.”
Last year’s visitor spending supported 24,527 jobs in Westchester, about 5 percent of all jobs in the county. Travel and tourism generated $227 million in tax revenue for state and local municipalities.
The county spotlighted growth across the food and beverage, recreation, and lodging sectors. Spending on food and drink in the county increased 3 percent. Spending on recreation, which includes museums, performance arts, sports and adventure parks, climbed 4 percent. Meanwhile, spending on lodging in the county reached $424 million, up 2 percent from 2016. Room demand, measured by hotel room nights filled, was up 4 percent.
Statewide, 243.8 million visitors last year spent $67.6 billion, almost $14 billion more than in 2011. The tourism industry is the state’s third-largest employer, according to numbers from the Empire State Development agency.