Reaping Tourism Benefits
(GENESEO, NY - November 7, 2007) Tourism is a $1.3 trillion dollar industry in the United States, $37 Billion in New York State and $200 Million in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. Livingston County is reaping the benefit of tourism and at the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce 1st Annual Tourism Harvest Luncheon the local Festivals and Events in the county were highlighted for their major contribution to attracting tourists into our communities.
"When a visitor stays overnight in a community they, on average, contribute $192 per day into our local economy," according to Lisa Burns, Livingston County Tourism Director as she addressed the attendees during the luncheon. "A one day visitor spends $94 and based on numbers submitted by several of our local events, this year alone we saw over 130,000 visitors with roughly half coming from outside Livingston County and approximately 20% of those visitors stay for more that one night at our local accommodations," she continued. "Tourism works for Livingston County and is a great economic driver."
The newly remodeled Valley Oak Event Center at the Quality Inn Geneseo hosted the tourism event with over 80 attendees, including a large contingency from Dansville present to help Dorothy Hotchkiss celebrate being awarded the "William Pryor Letchworth Award for Excellence in Tourism." The award was named and sanctioned by the Letchworth family and honors its namesake and recipient as "tourism advocates." Ms. Hotchkiss conveyed her honor to be in such fine company as Mr. Letchworth and encouraged the group assembled to help promote our beautiful county and spread the word about our attractions and events.
In addition to the award and report on the benefits of tourism for our county the event showcased Mike O'Brien, Rochester's RNews "Getaway Guy" as the keynote speaker. Mr. O'Brien spoke about the many tourism attributions of Livingston County, including the Abbey of the Genesee which proved to be one of his most successful featured stories. Additionally he highlighted many other destinations and spoke about the process of taking a great destination story and making it fascinate its viewer in just three minutes.
The tourism office of the chamber produces the county's visitors guide and tourism website and administers the I Love New York Matching Funds Grant Program. The local festivals and events apply for marketing assistance under this grant and in 2006 the tourism office awarded over $26,000 in grants.
Mike O'Brien, Rochester's RNews "Getaway Guy"
Lisa Burns, Livingston County Tourism Director