Continues to Surpass Pre-Pandemic Levels of Visitor-Generated Revenue
SULLIVAN CATSKILLS — [September 22, 2023] — The Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association is thrilled to announce a significant increase in tourism spending that has invigorated the region’s economy and positioned it as a premier travel destination. Sullivan County has witnessed a remarkable surge in tourism, highlighting its enduring appeal and unique offerings to visitors from near and far.
According to recent data compiled by Tourism Economics, traveler spending in Sullivan County in 2022 (the most recent data available) grew 25.8 percent, an increase of 154.4 percent over 2019 spending. These figures represent staggering increases over 2021 and surpass the previous records set in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, the average Sullivan County household saved $3,370 in taxes due to state and local tax revenues generated by tourism, the report states.
This boost has brought about a myriad of economic benefits, including increased employment opportunities and support for local businesses. In 2022, total tourism-generated employment registered 4,701 jobs, 16.3% of all jobs, according to Tourism Economics.
“It’s heartwarming to see so many people discovering the natural beauty and vibrant culture that our county has to offer,” remarked Sullivan Catskills President/CEO Roberta Byron-Lockwood. “The economic impact of this surge in tourism spending is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our local businesses and tourism industry partners.”
As the tourism sector continues to thrive, Sullivan Catskills remains committed to preserving its natural beauty, fostering sustainable tourism practices, and ensuring a memorable experience for all who visit. With an exciting lineup of events and activities planned for the upcoming year, including the much-anticipated Catskills Cuisine, the County is poised to build on its newfound momentum.
“The fact that tourists are coming to the Sullivan Catskills and choosing to spend their discretionary income here is not an accident,” said Eric Frances, SCVA Chairman and CEO of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. “Businesses in this community do an extraordinary job working together to create exceptional programming and unique experiences that attract visitors near and far. With exciting new events like Catskill Cuisine returning next year, there is the potential for even more explosive growth on the horizon.”
“The report from Tourism Economics verifies what those of us who live and work in the picturesque Catskills already know – tourism and the associated businesses are critical to our local economy,” said State Senator Peter Oberacker. “The positive growth experienced throughout the region is proof that we must continue to invest in our infrastructure while advancing government policies that will support this key sector. I am honored to represent a large section of the Catskills as part of the 51st Senate District and stand ready to partner with local government officials, business leaders, and advocacy groups to protect our natural resources, promote our unique offerings, and further develop our winning tourism industry.”
“I recently read the Tourism Economics report detailing the fantastic redevelopment of the tourism economy of the Catskills. Our region is famous for hospitality, and I am so happy to see the resurgence of this vital part, not just of our local economy but of our history, and the fabric of our community,” stated Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. “This dramatic, and fantastic resurrection is no accident, congratulations to the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association, and their CEO, Roberta Byron Lockwood, for their unwavering dedication to promoting tourism, bolstering tax revenue, and fortifying our Sullivan County community. I have worked with Roberta for years and she and her team have been steadfast supporters of the Sullivan Catskills, we must all stand together to support them and ensure they can continue their great work.”