The travel and tourism industry in Westchester County saw another year of growth in 2016, with visitor spending reaching a record $1.82 billion during the year.
The figure marks a 31 percent increase since 2009 and is up from $1.8 billion in 2015.
“Once again, these numbers show that tourism continues to be an economic driver for Westchester County,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “Year after year, more visitors come here for business and pleasure. More visitors mean more jobs for our residents. It’s great news for our county and it’s only getting better.”
In 2016, visitor spending supported more than 24,000 jobs in Westchester, down slightly from 24,036 in 2015, and generated $221.8 million in tax revenues for state and local municipalities.
Westchester’s tourism industry ranks third in the state behind New York City and Long Island and represents 52 percent of all visitor spending in the Hudson Valley region.
In total, travel and tourism has contributed $13.3 billion to Westchester’s economy since 2009, something the county’s director of tourism and film attributes to industry partners who offer “top-notch accommodations, restaurants and cultural and entertainment attractions for every age and budget.”
Spending in the food and beverage sector increased 5 percent to $526,885,000. The increase was credited, in part, to the opening of new bars and restaurants throughout the county.
The recreation sector also posted gains in visitor spending last year, rising 4 percent to $171,905,000. The sector benefits from “lively” arts and culture venues, visual and performing arts events and year-round attractions, county officials said in a release.
Spending in the lodging sector totaled $416,281,000, up 1 percent year over year. Hotel activity in the county flattened in 2016, with room demand as measured by hotel room nights filled was down 1 percent to 1.7 million. The transportation and retail sectors showed little or no growth in 2016.