Tourism Takes Tumble
Janet Clerkin, tourism and public information coordinator for Oswego County. “It is hard to predict anything relative to an economic environment that none of us have ever experienced,” she says.

Tourism Takes Tumble

COVID-19 takes toll on Oswego County’s tourism industry By Lou Sorendo The tourism sector is one of the hardest-hit in the nation by the outbreak of COVID-19, and Oswego County is no exception. The sector is one of the most lucrative in the county, generating in excess of $300 million per year. Janet Clerkin, tourism and public information coordinator for the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism & Planning, said of the typical revenue streams that Oswego County relies on in terms of its tourism industry — the “bed” or occupancy tax — will be significantly lower this year as a result of COVID-19. The occupancy tax paid by visitors is the main revenue stream for the county’s tourism marketing program, Clerkin said. She said the county does not have occupancy tax numbers yet for the three-month period of March through May. However, the New York State Association of Counties estimates a loss in occupancy tax of between $97,316 and $162,237 depending on the length and severity of the COVID-19 recession, she noted. “This would have a serious impact on the county’s tourism marketing program. We are also concerned about the status of our New York state tourism matching

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