Cortland County tourism continues to grow

Tourism remains a critical component to the Cortland County economy and New York State’s recently released tourism data backs it up with encouraging numbers. The Cortland County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the official Tourism Promotion Agency for Cortland County, is pleased to report a 2.4% increase in traveler spending in Cortland County in 2018 versus 2017.

According to the state’s recently released data from Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company, New York State’s tourism economy expanded in 2019 with 6.2% growth in traveler spending, reaching a record high of $71.8 billion – 35% above the state’s pre-recession peak set in 2008. Tourism in the Finger Lakes Region, where Cortland County is located, is a $3 billion industry, increasing 4.0% over last year and supporting 58,853 jobs.

“Tourism is economic development,” said Meghan Lawton, Executive Director of the Cortland County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “I would like to recognize all the tourism businesses and the owners across Cortland County who have invested their time and efforts and who work tirelessly to continue growing their businesses. I would also like to recognize the efforts of the CVB staff and the Board of Directors who put together a very strong tourism program for our county. We also acknowledge Governor Cuomo and state leaders for the continued investment in a statewide tourism program that is a real economic driver, and thank the Cortland County Legislature for continuing to support our efforts to strengthen this critical sector of the Cortland County economy.”

The latest Tourism Economics report shows that Cortland County’s tourism impact is up 2.4% over 2017 levels, representing $73.5 million in traveler spending. Travelers are spending in several categories with Food and Beverage leading the way at $32 million, Lodging at $15.3 million, Retail Sales at $13.8 million, Recreation at $5.7 million, Second Homes at $5.3 million, and Transportation at $1.3 million.

“This is all excellent news for Cortland County,“ Lawton states. “The continued efforts of the CVB to promote our tourism partners is reflected in the results of this study. Because of the hard work that all of our attractions, accommodations, and county partner organizations do in developing such interesting and engaging destinations, we are able to offer experiences for visitors and tourists from all over the world. The CVB has been working hard on new initiatives to promote tourism, many of which will be coming to fruition this fall. Cortland County has a great story to tell, and we are happy to be able to tell it.”

The report also details the effect of tourism employment on the county and shows that between direct, indirect and induced, Cortland County’s total labor income is $34.1 million. Further, the impact of tourism on the Cortland County tax base is very important. Between state and local taxes generated from tourism, Cortland County is collecting $8.6 million, which translates to savings for county taxpayers. Were it not for tourism generated state and local taxes, the average household in Cortland County would have to pay an additional $475 per year to maintain the same level of government revenue.

Tourism Economics, headquartered in Philadelphia, is an Oxford Economics company dedicated to providing high value, robust, and relevant analyses of the tourism sector that reflects the dynamics of local and global economies. By combining quantitative methods with industry knowledge, Tourism Economics designs custom market strategies, project feasibility analysis, tourism forecasting models, tourism policy analysis, and economic impact studies. Oxford Economics is one of the world's leading providers of economic analysis, forecasts and consulting advice. For more information email: info@tourismeconomics.com.

The Cortland County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s purpose is to enhance the general economy of Cortland County, its cities, towns and villages, through promotion of tourist activities, conventions, trade shows, special events and other directly related and supporting activities.