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Aug. 25, 2017

Oswego County's Visitor Spending Saw Record High in 2016

OSWEGO COUNTY - Oswego County's tourism industry set new records for economic impact, direct spending and tourism employment in 2016, County Legislator Roy Reehil, chairman of the County Legislature's Economic Development and Planning Committee, announced today.

"From 2015-16, visitor spending in Oswego County increased 6.8 percent to $146,013,000, with tourism employment growing 8.5 percent," said Legislator Reehil. "That shows that the County is doing a great job in support and promotion of our tourism industry and that the sector can be a growth industry in the future. With nearly 10 percent of all Oswego County employment generated by visitors currently, my hope is that those numbers will grow and the sector can provide new business and employment opportunities for many years to come."

The data is included in the 2016 "Economic Impact Study of Tourism in New York" conducted by Tourism Economics, an internationally-recognized travel data firm based in Philadelphia. The organization was hired by Empire State Development to study the economic impact of visitor spending across all counties of New York State.

In Oswego County, nearly all segments of traveler spending increased during 2016. Food and beverage spending continues to be the largest segment, up 9 percent to $46,306,000; spending on second homes was up 5.9 percent to $31,740,000; retail and service stations increased 5.4 percent to $21,405,000; lodging was up 11.6 percent to $16,296,999; and recreation was up 7.8 percent to $12,291,000. Transportation services, comprised of bus, taxi, rental cars, and airport fuel and landing fees, showed a slight decrease across the Thousand Islands - Seaway Region and in Oswego County was down 0.2 percent to $17,974,000.

"Oswego County is blessed with an abundance of natural resources and unique attractions that inspire visitors from around the world," said David Turner, Director of the County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning. The department's Promotion and Tourism Office markets Oswego County as a visitor destination.

"Our legendary fishing attracts anglers from every state and more than 20 different nations," said Turner. "We're seeing increased recognition of Oswego County's historic landmarks, such as Fort Ontario and Safe Haven, and recreational activities like paddling and multi-use trails. Recent investments in new lodging and restaurant facilities, and successful events such as Harborfest and Super DIRT Week, all contribute to the county's economic development and enrich our quality of life in Oswego County."

Visitors to Oswego County generated $8.8 million in local tax revenue, and $8.1 million in state tax revenue in 2016. The state and local taxes generated by visitors represent a savings of $372 to the average Oswego County household, according to the study.

The tourism industry supported 3,153 direct and in-direct jobs in Oswego County in 2016, up 8.5 percent and generating $63.4 million in wages across the county.

"We're pleased to be able to help sustain these jobs and market the many businesses and attractions that make up the backbone of our tourism industry," said Turner.

In addition to Legislator Reehil (District 5, Constantia), members of the Economic Development and Planning Committee are Legislators Morris Sorbello (District 23, Granby), committee vice chairman; Shane Broadwell (District 17, Scriba); Shawn Doyle (District 3, Pulaski); Daniel Farfaglia (District 24, Fulton); Daniel LeClair (District 8, Pennellville); and Tim Stahl (District 20, Town of Oswego).

To view the 2016 "Economic Impact of Tourism in New York" report, visit http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/NYS-Tourism-Impact-Thousand-Islands-2016.pdf.

For Oswego County visitor information, go to http://www.visitoswegocounty.com.

Oswego County's outstanding fishery attracts visitors from around the world, including Jan Hrdlicka (left) and Olaf Johann, from "Am Haken" magazine in Germany, fishing on the Oswego River last fall. (Photo courtesy of Catch the Drift guide service Capt. Kevin Davis and Chasin' Tail Adventures guide service Capt. Andy Bliss.)

Unique museums and historic sites, such as the H. Lee White Maritime Museum, are part of Oswego County's diverse attractions and draw thousands of visitors annually. Oswego County saw record spending by visitors in 2016. (Photo by David Owens, Oswego County Tourism Office.)

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