The Business Council supports the Executive Budget’s continuing funding for the Tourism Matching Grants program. However, proposed at $3.8 million for FY 2021, we recommend that this program be funded in the amount of $4.4 million – the level that was agreed to in the current state budget. Note that the $3.8 million figure is the same amount proposed in last year’s Executive Budget.
This grant program has substantial positive impacts as it allows regional tourism groups, or TPAs (Tourism Promotion Agencies), to promote new market areas and increase visitation through advertising, research and tourism promotion.
The grants are a business catalyst with long ranging impacts that are a major part of New York’s economy and assist in making our state a primary tourist destination. It leverages private investment with state matching grants to market our wonderful destinations. The tourism industry continues to attract visitors from around the nation and around the world, and these grants assist in the planning and marketing of different areas and attractions. It helps to strengthen local economies and to increase the economic impact of tourism in New York. As result, the tourism industry is the state’s third largest employer, providing jobs to nearly one million New Yorkers.
The work of our TPAs have helped in promoting a positive image for the state that have reaped positive benefits. Their efforts have not only increased overnight visitations to numerous areas from the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes to the Hudson Valley, but also generated billions of dollars in revenue.
Tourism has a significant place in New York and this grants program supports the industry’s efforts to continue and expand its positive impact. For these reasons, The Business Council supports this grants program and urges its continued funding at the $4.4 million level.