SCHENECTADY — New York’s tourism trade has bounced again considerably because the coronavirus pandemic restricted journey and shuttered parts of the economic system again in 2020.
Greater than two years into the pandemic, some would-be vacationers are looking for to lastly take that trip they’ve been planning, and with journey restrictions lifted for probably the most half and companies absolutely operational, there are indications that the tourism economic system will proceed to rebound heading into summer season.
The New York State Tourism Trade Affiliation launched a report this month that discovered journey spending throughout New York has elevated considerably since dropping 84% under 2019 ranges in March of 2020, the identical time the economic system shut down and restrictions had been applied.
The trade began to recuperate in 2021, rising from 65% under 2019 ranges in January to 33% in December that very same yr, which represented an almost $2.5 billion decline in income.
Bob Provost, president of the Tourism Trade Affiliation. stated there may be cause for optimism heading into this summer season season. Journey spending throughout the state has continued to extend and was simply 16% under 2019 ranges as of March, a niche of $1.28 billion.
However Provost pointed to quite a few points that can seemingly hold individuals from touring, together with skyrocketing gasoline costs which have elevated by greater than 50% within the previous yr, rising inflation and the battle in Ukraine. He stated it’s seemingly people will likely be seeking to keep native or journey to locations inside a couple of hours’ drive versus internationally or throughout the nation.
“Staycations are going to be large this yr, however they don’t seem to be going to maintain individuals from making modest journeys from house,” he stated.
Todd Garofano, government director of Uncover Schenectady, a nonprofit selling tourism all through the county, agrees.
“It has to do with excessive gasoline costs and inflation in addition to COVID. There’s loads of pent-up demand, however of us are staying nearer to house with out taking the longer journeys,” he stated.
Garofano stated the pandemic has modified how the group promotes the area and has offered a chance for people to rediscover the points of interest and occasions taking place of their communities.
The group has additionally been concentrating on people inside a three-hour driving radius that want to expertise one thing completely different with out having to go too far.
Schenectady County, Garofano stated, is the proper place.
He pointed to the county’s shut proximity to locations such because the Hudson Valley, Syracuse and Springfield, Massachusetts, in addition to the assortment of actions that vary from free to extra expensive, like an in a single day keep at Rivers On line casino & Resort or a present at Proctors.
He additionally famous that quite a few free occasions happening this summer season, together with the return of concert events at Music Haven in Schenectady’s Central Park, in addition to the Freedom Park live performance Collection in Scotia. Rivers On line casino can even be bringing again its Harbor Jam live performance collection, Garafano stated.
Low-cost points of interest at miSci, ViaPort Aquarium and the Empire State Aerosciences Museum additionally supply enjoyable and fascinating actions for all the household, and the quite a few biking and jogging trails that run by the county, together with the Empire State Path, Indian Kill Nature Protect and the Alco Rail Path, supply free leisure choices, in line with Garofano.
“There’s a ton to do in Schenectady County and also you don’t really want to spend some huge cash,” he stated.
Garofano additionally famous that the county is situated near different fashionable vacationer locations, together with Lake George and Saratoga Springs, which creates a chance to attract guests from close by communities which have but to find the county.
“We’re actually centered on who we’re and what now we have to supply,” he stated.
Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected]. Observe him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.