By Bernadette Starzee
Tourism spending on Long Island in 2018 exceeded $6 billion for the first time, according to a newly released report.
The New York State Economic Impact of Tourism reported a 4.5 percent increase in visitor spending on the Island over the prior year, pushing the total to $6.1 billion, which generated more than $740 million in state and local tax revenues.
New York State tourism numbers also broke records. Nearly 253 million visitors traveled to New York State, generating an overall economic impact of $114.8 billion, exceeding $100 billion for the fifth straight year.
“These record-breaking numbers for Long Island and across New York State amplify the importance of the tourism industry for our region and our residents,” Kristen Jarnagin, president and CEO of Discover Long Island in Hauppauge, said in a statement. “Promoting the endless positive aspects of Long Island through tourism marketing initiatives not only speaks to the incredible quality of life that we as residents enjoy but raises awareness of Long Island as an ideal place to visit, conduct business or relocate. These historic numbers are evidence that our strategic efforts and tactical collaborations are succeeding in raising destination awareness and positioning Long Island as an ideal destination for travelers and locals alike.”
Tourism-generated employment also increased for the region, with the Long Island visitor economy supporting about 81,735 local jobs, according to Discover Long Island.