Travel & Tourism Committee Update
August 8, 2011
The Business Council's recent Travel & Tourism Survey confirmed that improved marketing efforts are seen as key to generating increased economic activity for the State and this sector. We believe there is a real opportunity for The Business Council to join with other organizations to advocate on behalf of the Travel and Tourism Industry.
Based on our survey results and statistics reinforcing the sector as a catalyst for economic development, The Business Council's Travel & Tourism Committee will focus on increasing communication among state agencies, elected officials and Travel & Tourism related businesses; educating government officials about the return on investment of marketing funds; advocating for an efficient and stable statewide marketing plan; and focusing on other general business and economic development issues that will affect Travel & Tourism businesses.
The survey results are based on responses from Travel and Tourism-related businesses from across New York State.
- 74% of respondents said Marketing & Promotion support & services were lacking in NYS. Other significant needs identified by respondents include:
- Economic Development Assistance (61%)
- Investment Attraction (47%)
- Overall Industry Coordination & Alignment (45%)
- Government Relations & Legislative Policy Advocacy (39%)
- When asked in an open-ended question about major barriers to product development, a majority of the responses focused on two issues:
- State regulations and lack of incentives to lure new businesses to NYS.
- High property taxes that erode communities and prevent businesses from thriving or opening.
- Many see the biggest challenge the sector will face this year is an insufficient marketing budget (40% of respondents). Other major concerns were:
- Poor Economy (21%
- High Business & Property Taxes (14%)
- 72% of respondents believe the primary focus in promoting tourism should be improving state and regional marketing efforts and 46% support better promotion of the “I Love NY” brand.
- In addition, 78% of respondents feel “I Love NY” is not used as effectively as it could be and that if it were it would help promote NYS Tourism (no graph included).
While 63% of respondents say Travel & Tourism development is something the government needs to be involved in, respondents overwhelmingly found that there is insufficient state support for Travel and Tourism development, with 49% saying such support was insufficient, and none ranking communication and collaboration between the Industry and Government officials as “Excellent”.
The Business Council is looking forward to working with our Travel and Tourism members and other Travel and Tourism advocacy groups to make New York State a top tourist destination in the United States. Other states, such as California and Florida, prioritize Tourism development in recognition of this sector as a major source of job growth and tax revenues.
The return on investment in the Travel and Tourism Industry is almost immediate from tourist spending in local hotels, restaurants & retail shops to the tax revenues generated and the jobs created. In 2009, the NYS Travel and Tourism Industry was responsible for generating $6.2 billion in state and local taxes; over $45 billion in tourists' direct spending; and 660,915 jobs sustained by the Industry. According to a recent study by On Numbers, New York gained over 67,000 leisure and hospitality jobs since 2006, second to Texas.
With statistics like this, state support of Travel and Tourism is not just about increasing the state's marketing budget. It needs to be part of the state's overall economic development strategy, supporting a business sector that can help improve our communities, create jobs and make new investments in New York State.