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New York State To Award More Than $14.2 Million To Support 30 Tourism Entities

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Funding Made Available Through Federal American Rescue Plan Grant Will Support Efforts of State’s Destination Marketing Organizations

New York State will award more than $14.2 million to 30 tourism partners through the New York State EDA Tourism Partner Sub-Awards Grant Program. This federal COVID-19 recovery funding, made available through the United States Economic Development Administration, was awarded to New York State to support the post-pandemic recovery of the State’s travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation sectors.

Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism competitively sub-awarded the funding to Destination Marketing Organizations throughout the state for tourism marketing projects based on the Division’s EDA grant focus areas: outdoor recreation, international tourism, and travel trade including Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions, amateur sports and group travel.

No Rockland County entity made the list.

“With our breathtaking views and landscapes, vibrant arts and culture, thriving business community and more, New York is proud to welcome visitors from all over the world to experience what our state has to offer,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Thanks to the Biden administration and New York’s Congressional delegation, these sub-awards will help our tourism partners reach new audiences on a global scale and attract even more travelers to our state.”

State leaders agree that New York’s travel and tourism industries are the beating heart of the state. “This critical funding creates a unique opportunity for the federal government to boost tourism across New York by supporting small businesses, creating jobs, and investing in our local economy,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer. “The recovery from the pandemic has spurred a newfound demand for travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation throughout the state, and this vital $14.2 million of funding will accelerate that economic recovery and allow us to come out of the pandemic even stronger than we were before.”

New York draws millions of tourists from across the country and the world. Rockland too depends on tourism to keep its economy healthy, each year awarding local organizations tourism grants.

The program’s goal is to positively impact New York State’s tourism industry by making strategic investments in programs and organizations that are working to generate economic growth for New York State and its vacation regions. Using a competitive grant process, ESD ensured that the awarded funding is impact-driven, and the awarded projects are responsive to the program’s intended focus. New York State is concentrating on sectors most in need of help, or areas representing the most promising opportunity for growth.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Under the leadership of Governor Hochul, New York State is rebuilding and revitalizing its vibrant and vital tourism industry. The funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration will help I LOVE NY and other tourism organizations throughout the state promote targeted activities and engage new visitors, supporting tourism’s continued revival.”

The United States Economic Development Administration made $750 million in funding available from the American Rescue Plan to states and communities through its Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program. New York State applied for, and was awarded funding, with ESD designated as the agency to oversee and administer the grant. Of the $510 million allocated specifically to states, New York was awarded nearly $45 million – the second highest amount of any state. Other funding from this award will enhance I LOVE NY’s programmatic work and efforts in the identified EDA areas of focus and will support similar tourism-related efforts of other specified New York State agencies.

Awardees include:

  • Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus of New York State, Inc.: Generate a collaborative statewide sales and marketing approach to sell the many attributes of New York to meeting planners, tour operators, travel writers and amateur athletic rights holders.
  • Capital-Saratoga Region Tourism Association: Highlight outdoor vacation opportunities to new domestic and international audiences, and target meetings and conventions focused on cutting-edge industries.
  • Destination Niagara USA: Engage travel trade, promote international tourism, and promote outdoor recreation to grow new business and job opportunities.
  • Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council: Utilize a strategic marketing campaign to promote the outdoor recreation activities available throughout the region, with an emphasis on first-time visitors.
  • NYC & Co.: Invest in international business-to-consumer campaigns, and business-to-business campaigns that promote New York City as a meeting and event destination.
  • Thousand Islands Regional Tourism Development Corp.: Re-establish international market share and outdoor leisure demand by promoting lesser-known assets and attractions, while supporting overall regional economic health.
  • Underground Railroad Consortium of New York State: Promote a driving tour of Underground Railroad sites in New York State connected with other travel opportunities.

A full list of awardees is available here