New York State has awarded more than $90 million to tourism-related projects statewide.
The announcement was made yesterday (Dec. 20) by the Empire State Development's Division of Tourism during Round VIII of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) awards.
Included in the awards was nearly $15 million for 60 projects through the state's Market New York grant program, which is designed specifically to strengthen tourism and support projects that benefit world-class museums, infrastructure, arts and music venues, festivals, agritourism (craft beverage producers) and other attractions.
"Tourism is a great success story and tremendous economic engine across New York State. When domestic and international visitors travel to our communities to enjoy our world-class attractions, they are spending billions of dollars and supporting our small businesses and tourism industry jobs," stated Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development president, CEO and commissioner, in a release.
Latest figures show that tourism is now New York State’s third largest employer, responsible for 938,800 jobs annually. Last year, the state welcomed a record-high 243.8 million visitors, who spent $67.6 billion, supporting a total economic impact of more than $100 billion for the fourth straight year.
This year, several projects from across the state were awarded to coincide with WorldPride 2019 and Stonewall50. WorldPride, the largest international LGBT Pride celebration, is coming to New York in 2019, marking the first time it has been held in the United States.
Information on all REDC Round VIII Awards, including tourism-related and Market New York-supported projects, is available online here.