Tourism Spending in Schenectady County Grows by Sixteen Percent in 2017 for Largest Increase in the Capital Region

Tourism Spending in Schenectady County Grows by Sixteen Percent in 2017 for Largest Increase in the Capital Region

(Schenectady County, NY)  The annual tourism economic impact study released by Empire State Development’s Division of Travel and Tourism showed that traveler spending increased by 16 percent in 2017 in Schenectady County while the regional average growth rate was 4.6 percent. The rate of increase in Schenectady County was more than double that of any other county in the Capital Region.  In addition, local taxes generated by tourism spending increased by 18.5 percent in Schenectady County again more than double the rate of increase in nearby counties and more than triple the regional average of 4.8 percent. The study was prepared by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company.

Schenectady County leaders today welcomed news of double-digit increases in tourism spending. “These tourism impact numbers for 2017 bode well for our efforts to promote Schenectady County as a place to live, work and visit,” said Legislator Cathy Gatta, Chair of the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Special Events and Discover Schenectady board member.  “The opening of the new Rivers Casino & Resort has certainly boosted our standing as a regional tourism attraction.  This coupled with new hotels, the continued growth of downtown and our new County tourism promotion efforts all translate into more visitor spending here in Schenectady County.”

According to the new study, total tourism spending in Schenectady County including lodging, recreation, food & beverage and transportation totaled almost $280 million in 2017.  Tourism tax revenue in Schenectady County increased to almost $17.8 million.

In 2016, the Schenectady County Legislature created a new tourism promotion agency, Discover Schenectady, with the goal of attracting more visitors and meetings to the County.  Legislator Jeff McDonald, Chair of Discover Schenectady said, “We are pleased to see this increase in tourism activity and we will continue to do everything we can to promote Schenectady County as a great place to visit, stay and hold a convention or meeting.”

Discover Schenectady County’s Executive Director Becky Daniels noted, “We thank our destinations and hospitality partners for their ongoing support and investments that continue to make Schenectady County an attractive destination. We also thank the County for funding our efforts to build tourism spending here as part of the County’s successful economic development efforts.”

Overall, the new report showed that New York State’s tourism economy expanded in 2017 with 4.4 percent growth in traveler spending, reaching a new high of $67.6 billion, 27 percent above the state’s pre-recession peak set in 2008. New York State tourism generated $8.5 billion in state and local taxes in 2017.

About Discover Schenectady County
Discover Schenectady is a non-profit organization responsible for promoting travel, tourism, conference and convention assets and opportunities in Schenectady County.  Discover Schenectady County’s board and staff work collaboratively with businesses, destinations, County and local government to attract visitors to the region and experience everything that the County has to offer. For more ways to Discover Schenectady County all year long, visit

Joe McQueen
Director of Communications, Schenectady County
(518) 388-4772