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Economic Impact of Tourism Continues to Soar Visitor Spending in Dutchess Up 25% Over Last 5 Years

Aug 17, 2018

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY– Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company, recently released their report “The Economic Impact of Tourism in New York" which showed 2017 tourism spending in Dutchess County increased 5.9% over 2016 to more than $601.5 million. This is the eighth consecutive year spending has increased and marks a 25% increase since 2013.

More than 4.75 million people are estimated to visit the county annually. In addition to spending over half a billion dollars on lodging, dining, shopping, area attractions and transportation, tourism generated $43 million in local taxes and $33 million for New York State. According to the report, were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in Dutchess County would have to pay an additional $711 to maintain the same level of government revenue.

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI), an independent 501c6 non-profit organization, is the officially designated destination marketing organization for Dutchess County and is responsible for promoting the area. According to DTI President & CEO Mary Kay Vrba, that growth is expected to continue. “Anyone who has tried to book a hotel in the fall or during major event weekends knows rooms can be hard to come by. With four new hotels being built in Dutchess, we will be able to better accommodate those additional visitors and eliminate the need for them to look outside the county."

Tourism is New York's fourth largest industry and employs 11,239 people within Dutchess, up 7.2% over 2016. Vrba added, “The addition of these properties and other tourism related businesses in the works, will provide new job opportunities at all levels for our residents."

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “Year after year, countless visitors continue to show Dutchess County is a worldwide tourist destination. From our scenic vistas and historic venues, to world-class eateries and one-of-a-kind breweries, we are distinctly Dutchess and offer something for every visitor." He added, “Tourism remains an economic driver, and our local residents and businesses benefit greatly from Dutchess Tourism's continuous efforts to promote our region – strides that continue to bring revenue into our county. We look forward to welcoming visitors from around the globe and helping them make memories they'll long cherish."

To attract visitors, DTI utilizes a multi-pronged, research-based, and targeted marketing strategy to raise awareness of Dutchess County and its tourism assets. This includes digital, print, television and radio advertising, primarily in the New York City-metro area as well as ads and articles in national magazines and international publications. DTI also prints and distributes 90,000 copies of their free Dutchess County Destination Guide annually along with a number of other publications available by request.

DTI is active on social media, attracting thousands of followers across all the major platforms, and produces videos to highlight events as well as experiences. Their Virtual Reality Video has won Gold Awards from the Service Industry Advertising (SIA) Awards, the Hermes Creative Awards, and the AVA Digital Awards. These, and their other award winning videos, can be viewed on DTI's YouTube channel. DTI also recently won a SIA Gold Award for their first Facebook Live video filmed at The Culinary Institute of America.

Last year, almost 1.5 million people visited the organization's website,, where they found full details on the tourism assets of the county as well as events, itineraries, spotlights and more.



Dutchess Tourism, Inc. is the officially designated destination marketing organization for Dutchess County and is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of Destinations International. It is an independent 501c6 non-profit organization that works to bring tourism dollars to area businesses by marketing and promoting the assets of Dutchess County to the nation and the world.

The office is located at 3 Neptune Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie with 18 Tourist Information Centers located around Dutchess County. The website is and they can be reached at 845-463-4000. Dutchess County Tourism was founded in 1984 under the umbrella of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, became incorporated as Dutchess Tourism, Inc. in 2014 and is partially funded by monies received from the County of Dutchess.


Tourism Economics, headquartered in Philadelphia, is an Oxford Economics company dedicated to providing high value, robust, and relevant analyses of the tourism sector that reflects the dynamics of local and global economies. By combining quantitative methods with industry knowledge, Tourism Economics designs custom market strategies, project feasibility analysis, tourism forecasting models, tourism policy analysis, and economic impact studies.


Oxford Economics is one of the world's leading providers of economic analysis, forecasts and consulting advice. Founded in 1981 as a joint venture with Oxford University's business college, Oxford Economics is founded on a reputation for high quality, quantitative analysis and evidence-based advice. For this, it draws on its own staff of 40 highly-experienced professional economists; a dedicated data analysis team; global modeling tools; close links with Oxford University, and a range of partner institutions in Europe, the US and in the United Nations Project Link.

The Walkway Over the Hudson, photo by: Fred Schaeffer