The Sullivan County Visitors Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce that spending by visitors to the Sullivan County Catskills grew another 2.5 percent, up from $363.1 million in 2013 to $372.1 million last year. The 2014 numbers were released in a report by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company providing analyses of the tourism sector around the world.
Tourism spending was up across all measured sectors: second homes, lodging, food and beverage, transportation, retail and service stations, and recreation. Second homes and lodging made up the majority of total moneys spent. In Sullivan County alone, spending on second homes totaled $125.8 million, while spending on lodging totaled $143.4 million, up $4 million from 2013. Second Home expenditures are based on stock of seasonal inventory. The annual average expenditures for housing are pro-rated to the season length to account for various levels not accounted in visitor surveys.
“Our goal as a Board is to create top-of-mind awareness among travelers by using a variety of strategies that include everything from social media enhancements to print and digital marketing,” said Elaine Fettig, Co-Chair of the SCVA Board. “Those efforts are making a difference; we’re very happy that these numbers show such measured growth.”
“The numbers stand to grow exponentially with the development of the Montreign Casino Resort at Adelaar, Z-Living/Veria Nature Cure & Wellness, and numerous other opportunities on the horizon,” Fettig added.
Tourism in Sullivan County generated the second highest percentage of state and local taxes in 2014 in the Catskill region, at $44.9 million – 32 percent of the total region share. Were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in Sullivan County would have to pay an additional $1,520 to maintain the same level of government revenue.
“Tourism continues to do great things for our county and our neighbors,” said Scott Samuelson, Chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature. “It not only puts people to work and brings in visitors; it lessens the tax burdens on those of us who call this wonderful travel destination home.”
“This $9 million increase in overall travel expenditures demonstrates the fact that Sullivan County is ready for the new developments coming to the County, and this growth will spread across the entire Catskills and Mid-Hudson Region,” Samuelson added.
The tourism sector supported 18.3 percent of all Sullivan County employment, both directly and indirectly, in 2014. More than 4,500 local jobs were sustained by traveler activity across every sector of the economy, either directly at tourism businesses or indirectly through ancillary supplier businesses.