If you’re thinking about taking a vacation, or would like to just get out and explore a new place, you might want to consider doing it in New York State. Over 300,000 tourism related jobs have been lost during the pandemic, and staying local will help bring them back. The Oneida County Tourism Director of Communications Sarah Foster says a new campaign called ‘Roam the Empire’ is aimed at revitalizing the tourism industry.
"When we as locals are out spending our money, we’re automatically revitalizing our communities. We’re helping the small businesses, the larger businesses, the restaurants, hotels, attractions," said Foster.
Tourism is the third largest industry in the State totaling over $9 billion in tax revenue in 2019. Since the pandemic, the State has seen a 45% drop in tax revenues, and that impacts everyone.
"We definitely believe that by doing something like this and encouraging it. You know posting it on social media, letting people know what we’re doing, that it will revitalize these communities and hopefully start bringing everything back to life," she said.
The ‘Roam the Empire’ campaign is primarily being promoted through social media and tourism websites, because those platforms can specifically target the message to New Yorkers.
"That could be everywhere from Long Island and New York City to the Adirondacks, the Catskills, to Niagara Falls, obviously Oneida County, everywhere in between because I think that these businesses: the hotels, the restaurants, the shops, everyone appreciates it, and we will directly impact our state, and that will help us moving forward," said Foster.