In 2018, New York State as a whole had nearly 253 million visitors, a new record up 4% from 2017. It generated an economic impact of $114.8 billion, exceeding $100 billion for the fifth straight year. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that it’s an upward trend. Upstate as a whole, and the Finger Lakes, also had strong numbers regionally.
“I think that the things that we as Upstate New Yorkers have always known are great, people are starting to learn about,” says Chris Clemens who writes the Exploring Upstate Blog. He says a combination of things are drawing people in via social media, a solid economy, and good old fashioned word of mouth.
“When you have people who live here, who are really happy and excited about the things that are happening, they’re going to tell other people,” adds Clemens. He went on to talk about the seemingly endless amount of trails, parks, and other recreation available.
Governor Cuomo championed the State Fair as a massive draw, and it was, breaking more records. But ask many in the region, and they’ll no doubt tell you restaurants, wineries, and craft brew houses are a solid part of drawing those record crowds in. Some have done so well the past few years, they’re expanding.