May 5, 2021
- A Letter From
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul
New York State Tourism Industry Association
As Lieutenant Governor for the past six years, I have made a point of visiting all 62 counties annually. I use this opportunity to act as a local ambassador, highlighting the countless gems that make our state so unique, and persuading tourists to visit.
From wineries, hiking and biking trails, historic sites and monuments, world class performances and entertainment venues, and museums——there's so much to do in New York, and there never seems to be enough time. Until now.
You as professionals know that much of last year, people stayed very close to home. Still not necessarily ready for national or international travel, we now have another season, another opportunity to entice New Yorkers to fall in love with their own state, with endless options for staycations, road trips, family fun, educational experiences and more.
This past year has been incredibly difficult for New York State's tourism industry. New York State -- normally a thriving center for tourism -- was the 3rd most severely impacted state in the country. Tourism spending dropped by 56%, and New York's tourism industry workers were hit hard.
Last summer, I launched a “Staycation" statewide tour to encourage New Yorkers to vacation in New York State as a way to keep infection rates down and help our state's regional tourism industries. I also held roundtables in every corner of the state and met with industry heads, including many of you, to listen to your concerns.
That's why this week, National Travel and Tourism Week, I'm traveling from Western New York to New York City once again to visit some of our state's great attractions, open new sites, and encourage New Yorkers to safely explore the Empire State.
I want to thank everyone at the New York State Tourism Industry Association for being steadfast partners during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for understanding and reacting quickly and effectively to shutdown and reopening guidelines.
We'll be encouraging New Yorkers to support the tourism industry -- and our state's economic recovery -- by vacationing and exploring New York State.
Your hard work is essential for our recovery, as tourism brings support for our main streets and communities, and restores sorely needed tax revenues to help fund New York's economic recovery.
Tourism is a huge revenue generator for New York, and we will continue to promote and invest in this industry as we reopen safely.
Thank you for your continued hard work, and happy National Travel and Tourism Week!