Saturday August 26, 2017

Oswego County’s Visitor Spending Saw Record High in 2016

Tourism sector flourishes, remains key driver of local economy

    H. Lee White Marine Museum in Oswego

    Oswego County’s tourism industry set new records for economic impact, direct spending and tourism employment in 2016, said Roy Reehil, chairman of the Oswego County Legislature’s Economic Development and Planning Committee.

    “From 2015-16, visitor spending in Oswego County increased 6.8 percent to $146,013,000, with tourism employment growing 8.5 percent,” Reehil said. “That shows the county is doing a great job in support and promotion of our tourism industry and that the sector can be a growth industry in the future.

    “With nearly 10 percent of all Oswego County employment generated by visitors currently, my hope is that those numbers will grow and the sector can provide new business and employment opportunities for many years to come.”

    The data is included in the 2016 “Economic Impact Study of Tourism in New York” conducted by Tourism Economics, an internationally recognized travel data firm based in Philadelphia, Pa.

    The organization was hired by Empire State Development to study the economic impact of visitor spending across all counties of New York state.

    In Oswego County, nearly all segments of traveler spending increased during 2016. Food and beverage spending continues to be the largest segment, up 9 percent to $46,306,000; spending on second homes was up 5.9 percent to $31,740,000; retail and service stations increased 5.4 percent to $21,405,000; lodging was up 11.6 percent to $16,296,999; and recreation was up 7.8 percent to $12,291,000.

    Transportation services, comprised of bus, taxi, rental cars, and airport fuel and landing fees, showed a slight decrease across the Thousand Islands–Seaway Region and in Oswego County was down 0.2 percent to $17,974,000.

    “Oswego County is blessed with an abundance of natural resources and unique attractions that inspire visitors from around the world,” said David Turner, director of the county Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning. Turner’s office markets Oswego County as a visitor destination.

    “Our legendary fishing attracts anglers from every state and more than 20 different nations,” said Turner. “We’re seeing increased recognition of Oswego County’s historic landmarks, such as Fort Ontario and Safe Haven, and recreational activities like paddling and multi-use trails.

    “Recent investments in new lodging and restaurant facilities, and successful events such as Harborfest and Super DIRT Week, all contribute to the county’s economic development and enrich our quality of life in Oswego County.”

    Visitors to Oswego County generated $8.8 million in local tax revenue, and $8.1 million in state tax revenue in 2016. The state and local taxes generated by visitors represent a savings of $372 to the average Oswego County household, according to the study.

    The tourism industry supported 3,153 direct and in-direct jobs in Oswego County in 2016, up 8.5 percent and generating $63.4 million in wages across the county.

    “We’re pleased to be able to help sustain these jobs and market the many businesses and attractions that make up the backbone of our tourism industry,” said Turner.

    For Oswego County visitor information, go to

Oswego County Business Magazine
Issue 158

Issue 158
October/November 2018

Cover Story


Nancy Fox

On The Job

What’s Your Must-Ask Job Interview Question?

Success Stories

The Good Guys Barbershop

My Turn

Free Speech in a An Era of Racist, Vulgar Comments



Economic Trends

The Impact of Manufacturing and Power Generation on Oswego County

Last Page

Shonna Sargent