New York’s Tourism Soars to New Heights in 2022, Setting Records Amidst Pandemic Challenges

New York has always been an iconic destination for tourists worldwide. The city that never sleeps has long been a magnet for travellers, with its towering skyscrapers, bustling streets, and a culture as diverse as its people. In 2022, despite the ongoing pandemic challenges, New York’s tourism industry reached unprecedented heights, surpassing previous records and solidifying its position as a global tourist hotspot.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that New York State welcomed a record-breaking 291.5 million visitors in 2022. This remarkable achievement marked the highest number of visitors in the state’s history. Even more astonishing is that this influx of tourists resulted in over $78.6 billion in direct spending and a staggering $123 billion in total economic impact. These numbers not only exceeded those from the pre-pandemic year of 2019 but also demonstrated the resilience and vitality of New York’s tourism industry.

The road to this remarkable recovery was not without its challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic had brought the tourism sector to a standstill, affecting businesses, workers, and the overall state economy. However, Governor Hochul’s strategic investments in various sectors, including tourism, economic development, public safety, and transportation, laid the foundation for this remarkable resurgence.

Tourism Economics released the data showcasing these extraordinary accomplishments in a series of reports. The figures released reflect a 22% increase in visitation, over 50% growth in spending, and an impressive 43% surge in economic impact from 2021 to 2022. It is evident that New York’s pandemic recovery has been historic, setting records that will be remembered for years to come.

Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, “The fact that New York State tourism has bounced back so strongly and quickly from the devastation of COVID is a testament to the collaborative efforts between New York State government and its public and private tourism partners. Even with some regional nuances, and some travel segments still trailing their pre-pandemic levels, this shows what can be achieved through a collective focus on the state’s vital tourism sector to bring back visitation and spending.”

The economic significance of tourism in the state cannot be overstated. Last year’s $123 billion economic impact represents a 4% increase over the pre-pandemic year 2019. Direct visitor spending also rose by 7% to $79 billion. These numbers reflect New York’s tourism resilience and the commitment to building a more vital, welcoming state.

Beyond the economic impact, tourism was vital in saving New York State households money. On average, households saved $1,300 in taxes due to the tax revenues generated by tourism. This not only highlights the industry’s economic importance but also its contribution to the well-being of New York’s residents.

Through transformative investments, Governor Hochul’s dedication to revitalizing the tourism industry has been evident. Initiatives like the “Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs” recovery package, a $450 million investment to support travel industry workers and small businesses, have been instrumental in the industry’s revival. Additionally, investments in tourism infrastructure, such as the $104 million renovation of the Lake Placid Olympic Center, demonstrate a commitment to providing visitors with world-class experiences.

Marketing efforts like the “I LOVE NY” campaign have encouraged travel throughout the state. Specialized campaigns, such as the I LOVE NY Black travel initiative and partnerships highlighting New York’s rich history in baseball and hip hop, have helped diversify and expand the visitor base. As travellers worldwide flock to the Empire State, New York’s tourism industry remains a vital economic growth and prosperity driver.