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New Report Shows Cortland County Tourism Numbers Continuing To Grow

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According to a new report, Cortland County tourism numbers are continuing to grow, with the most recent data showing last year’s economic impact up 2.4% over 2017 levels, representing $73.5 million in traveler spending.

Food and Beverage spending led the way at $32 million, followed by 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.

Statewide, New York’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.

CVB Executive Director Meghan Lawton, Executive Director:

“Tourism is economic development. 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 great story to tell, and we are happy to be able to tell it.”

The new 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.

In terms of the impact of tourism on the Cortland County tax base: Between state and local taxes generated from tourism, Cortland County is collecting $8.6 million, which translates to savings for county taxpayers.

According to Lawton, 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.

The report was based on data released by  Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company headquartered in Philadelphia.

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