For Immediate Release:

August 29, 2017

Media Contact:

Nicole Mahoney

Regional Director, FLRTC


Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council Supports Tourism Industry
59,000 Jobs, $3 Billion Spent in 2016 by Visitors to Region 
Pittsford, N.Y. - 
As Americans get ready to hit the road for Labor Day, the Finger Lakes Vacation region releases 2016 economic impact results. Visitor spending in the Finger Lakes Vacation region grew by 2.1% in 2016 to a total of $3 billion, which supported 59,236 jobs across 14 counties - including big cities like Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y. with direct and indirect labor income totaling nearly $1.5 billion dollars and representing 6.5% of the total labor income for the region.
" The Economic Impact of Tourism in New York" report recently released by I Love NY, announced the significant economic and employment impact of the tourism industry in the Finger Lakes region for 2016. The Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council (FLRTC), the official tourism promotion agency for the Finger Lakes Region, assisted in bringing $3 billion in traveler spending to the region last year- which accounted for 18% of traveler spending in Upstate New York and 5% of all traveler spending in the entire State in 2016.
The annual study conducted by Tourism Economics stated that in 2016, tourism in the Finger Lakes: 
  • Supported 59,236 jobs
  • Generated $1.5 billion in direct & indirect labor income
  • Generated $219 million in local taxes
  • Generated $166 million in state taxes
According to the report, "Were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in the region would have to pay an additional $484 to maintain the same level of government revenue."
" Travel: America's Unsung Hero of Job Creation," a study released earlier this week by U.S. Travel,  analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to showcase the significant economic power of the travel industry in America-particularly the quality of the industry's jobs, and the large number that are created by small businesses. Highlights of the study include:
  • The leisure and hospitality sector, which is heavily dependent on travel, is the No. 1 small business employer in the United States.
  • Overall, Americans whose first job was in a travel-related industry obtain an average career salary of $81,900-significantly higher than those whose first jobs were in manufacturing, construction, healthcare and most other U.S. industries.
  • The travel industry also offers a statistically better career starting point for Americans with less education: workers with a high school degree or less whose first jobs were in travel reached an average career salary of $69,500, five percent greater than the average salary attained by workers who started off in other industries.
"A 2.1% increase in tourism spending in 2016, is good for our entire region. Especially those small businesses that rely on visitors for their on-going viability. We are proud to see continued growth in jobs, traveler visitation and spending year-over-year," says Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council Chair, Rebecca Maffei.  
The Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council supports tourism through the administration of region-wide programs and marketing efforts. This year, the FLRTC created a Finger Lakes Top 50 Guide, outlining 50 must-sees and top attractions within the 14-county region. Another key element of the organization's programming is a public relations program. Now in its 7th year, the program uses direct pitching, media familiarization tours (FAMs), and face-to-face interaction with journalists at deskside visits to gain attention for the region. In 2016, it accounted for over 1.7 billion media impressions - including a national segment on the TODAY Show with Al Roker, to highlight the 70th anniversary of It's a Wonderful Life in Seneca Falls.

The Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council

The breathtaking Finger Lakes takes its name from eleven lakes spanning the region like a giant handprint, stretching from its easternmost point in Onondaga County to its westernmost border in Livingston County, near Letchworth State Park. Boasting a mix of nature trails and natural beauty, wineries and breweries scattered across the region, and quaint villages close to large metropolitan areas, the Finger Lakes Vacation Region has a plethora of tourist attractions within its borders.

In January 2014, the 14 Official County Tourism Promotion Agencies of the Finger Lakes Vacation Region formed a 501(c)(3) organization known as the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council (FLRTC). The FLRTC Board includes representation from all 14 TPAs and counties: Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Livingston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne and Yates. For information about attractions and events throughout the Finger Lakes region, visit or call 1-888-408-1693.