Officials tout ‘Roam the Empire’ for tourism turnabout

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In a statewide coordination spearheaded by the New York State Tourism Industry Association, New York State residents are being asked to “Roam the Empire” in 2021 — hoping for a swift turnaround after the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the state’s tourism industry due to lockdowns and restrictions.

In a remedy, “Destination marketing organizations, museums, attractions, and other tourism related businesses are rallying New Yorkers to ‘Roam the Empire’ and choose their home state when making their 2021 travel and vacation plans,” a release states.

Locally, Oneida county Tourism President Kelly Blazosky said in a statement, “Tourism promotion agencies across New York state are encouraging New Yorkers to safely and proudly ‘Roam the Empire,’ and choose to explore everything their home state has to offer. It’s more important now than ever before to explore New York’s family-friendly destinations, plan outdoor adventures, or escape for a memorable spring, summer or fall getaway, while supporting local communities and New York businesses.”

In 2019, the state tourism industry attracted 265 million visitors, generating: $72 billion in spending at large and small businesses, $39 billion in disposable income, over 961,000 jobs for state residents and over $9 billion in state and local taxes. However, in 2020 average annual employment figures declined 34% translating to a loss of over 330,000 jobs, a 56% loss in travel spending and a 45% drop in related tax revenues.

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