FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 19, 2020
TOURISTS SPENT MORE THAN $1 BILLION IN ALBANY COUNTY LAST YEAR
Albany Experiences Record-High Visitor Spending in 2019
ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 19, 2020) – According to the most recent report released by Governor Cuomo, visitors to Albany County support 15,479 local jobs and generate $577 million in labor income annually.
In the Capital-Saratoga Region, tourism is a $2.2 billion industry, up 3.3% from last year. Not surprisingly, Albany County makes up the bulk of that industry with 46% of those sales, or just over $1 billion in direct visitor spending, with the counties of Saratoga, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Fulton, and Washington splitting the remainder.
“Albany County remains the main draw for our region’s thriving tourism sector,” said Jill Delaney, President and CEO of Discover Albany. “We are thrilled to see growth in visitation and spending in Albany and in our neighboring counties with whom we partner throughout the region.”
In 2019, Discover Albany helped secure many major events and conferences, including the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Regional, (20,000) the first ever Hudson Valley GamerCon (8000), the Representative Assembly for NYS United Teachers (2000) and the American Volksport Association’s Biennial Convention (500). These events mean big business for Albany, with attendees spending money at hotels, restaurants, and local businesses and attractions.
According to the report, which reflects 2019 tourism data, visitors spent $237 million on lodging, $241 million on food & beverage, and $35 million on recreation in Albany County. Tourism statistics were provided by Tourism Economics, an internationally recognized travel data firm, using the Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN) input-output model for New York State, utilized worldwide by governments, universities, and public and private sector organizations. The model follows the flow of sales through the economy to the generation of GDP, employment, wages and taxes.
Another important impact of tourism: reduced taxes. Last year, tourism in the Capital-Saratoga Region generated $266 million in state and local taxes with Albany County producing 48% of the regions tax base. In fact, without tourism, Albany County residents would have had to pay an additional $1,029 in taxes last year.
“We are very proud of the numbers our destination put forth in 2019. Collectively, we were on our game and breaking records, and 2020 was expected to be more of the same – another record-breaking year for tourism in Albany County,” said Delaney. “Obviously, that is not how this year is playing out, but we know that our team, our board, our partners, have all worked tirelessly through the pandemic to ensure that we come back strong. I don’t know exactly when we will start seeing direct visitor spending written in billions of dollars again, but the bar is set, and that’s the goal we’re striving for as soon as we can get there.”
About Discover Albany: The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. Today, the organization is known as Discover Albany. Discover Albany currently represents more than 300 member-businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. Discover Albany also operates the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center and the Albany International Airport Information Center. The Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau Foundation was established in 1993 to provide educational opportunities and work with other organizations to secure grants and funding to advance regional travel and tourism projects. For more information, call 518-434-1217 or 800-258-3582 or visit www.albany.org.