In 2021, tourists spent $2.7 billion in Oneida County

A recent study by Empire State Development and the I Love NY Division of Travel & Tourism shows that visitor spending in Oneida County will reach $2.7 billion in 2021, according to Oneida County Tourism.

Oneida County accounts for 74% of Central New York’s tourism sales.

Oneida County saw the biggest increase in traveler spending at 164% from 2019 levels, the highest of any county in the state, according to the county’s tourism office.

“We are excited to see the travel industry recover and see a significant increase in economic impact from visitor spending in Oneida County in 2021,” Kelly Blazoski, president of Oneida County Tourism, said in a statement.

“This study confirms that tourism is an important part of the Oneida County and Central New York economy. Year-round and seasonal outdoor adventures, quality attractions and events combined with our ideal location and great value continue to establish Oneida County as a great vacation destination.”

In Oneida County, all industries remained stable or experienced slight growth and generated the following visitor spending in 2021:

  • Housing – $1.2 billion
  • Rest – $645 million
  • Food and beverages – $365 million
  • Retail trade and service – 460 million dollars
  • Transport – 42 million dollars
  • The second home is $31 million

Visitor spending of $2.7 billion is well above previous years.

Oneida County visitor spending was $1.5 billion in 2020, $1.7 billion in 2019, $1.6 billion in 2018 and $1.5 billion in 2017, according to the Oneida County Tourism Authority.

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The hierarchy of where money is spent has actually not changed over the past five years. Accommodation and recreation always top the list, with transport and second homes rounding it out.

Blazoski said residential growth in 2021 — the largest growth sector — directly correlates with the opening of Home2 in north Utica in August 2020 and the Hampton Inn in Verona at Turning Stone in April 2021.

Those openings added 199 rooms (72,635 room nights), bringing the total to 3,320 rooms in Oneida County, she said. At the same time, the Oneida County Legislature increased the occupancy tax from 2% to 5%, effective February 1, 2020.

“Also, Oneida County benefited from our central geographic location and great open spaces for people to explore,” Blazoski said.

About research

The 2021 New York Tourism Economic Impact Study was conducted by Tourism Economics, an Oxford economics firm based in Oxford, United Kingdom, with US offices in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

The economy of visitors to New York spans several industries, and the economics of tourism has studied several sectors of the tourism industry, including those listed above.

Last year was a period of recovery for the visitor economy, as direct visitor spending reached $52 billion. According to statistics, this comes after a severe drop due to COVID in 2020.

In 2021, visitor spending in the Central New York region totaled $3.7 billion, creating 33,630 jobs.

The Central New York vacation region includes Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie, Broome, Chenango, Herkimer, Madison and Montgomery counties.

According to the study, direct spending growth of 80% compared to 2020 was the fastest in New York State, leading to the best performance compared to the pre-pandemic period (142% from 2019 levels).

What does this mean for Oneida County?

In 2021, visitor spending supported 19,939 people directly, indirectly or through incentivized employment in travel and tourism in Oneida County and generated $1.2 billion in household income, according to the tourism center.

Tourism provides 22.7% of all employment in Oneida County. State tax coffers received $134.3 million, while local tax revenues reached $123.7 million in 2021 from tourism spending in Oneida County.

Oneida County residents saved $2,846 in taxes per household in 2021; compensation generated by visitor spending. In 2021, Oneida County accounted for 68.5% of the Central New York tourism region’s tax base of $376.4 million.

Although the county currently brings in more tourism money than the rest of the state, some officials see that gap widening as more attractions are slated to open in Oneida County later this year and next.

“Tourism is critical to Oneida County’s economy, and this study shows that we are now in an incredibly strong position with visitor spending growing at a faster rate than anywhere else in the state,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente. junior in application.

“Our current success is due in large part to our strong partnership with the Oneida Indian Nation and the many investments they have made in our region. The future is even brighter as we prepare for the blessing that the Nexus Center will bring in the fall, as well as the development of the rest of the U-District that will follow, including the District Food Center in the REA Union Station wing. »

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