‘This Year is Horrendous …’
Exposition Center at the Great New York State Fair. Cancellation of the fair, with an attendance of more than 1 million people, is a blow to the local tourism industry.

‘This Year is Horrendous …’

President, CEO of Visit Syracuse characterizes how COVID-19 has decimated tourism industry in Central New York By Lou Sorendo June is a month when occupancy rates in the Syracuse region hotels are about 70% collectively. “We’ll be lucky if we broke the 20% mark in June. It’s very, very dire.” Danny Liedka, president and CEO of Visit Syracuse. When it comes to discussing COVID-19 and its effect on the Greater Syracuse region’s lucrative tourism industry, Danny Liedka does not mince words. Liedka is the president and CEO of Visit Syracuse, an organization that plays a key role in Onondaga County’s economic development strategy through its efforts to grow the area’s tourism industry. Liedka said travelers’ confidence is “not very high. We have seen some folks visiting from some drive-in markets, which is encouraging.” However, a glance at the metrics that area tourism is measured by will reveal a future that is at best rocky. Typically, June is a month when occupancy rates in hotels in the region are about 70% collectively, Liedka said. “We’ll be lucky if we broke the 20% mark in June,” he said. “It’s very, very dire.” “We’re hoping this trend turns around soon, but as it

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