Tourism is Big Business in Westchester County

Real Estate In-Depth | August 2018

Playland Park in Rye

WHITE PLAINS—Numbers don’t lie and the latest statistics prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that tourism is a major revenue producer for Westchester County. Tourists have flocked to Westchester to enjoy the Long Island Sound and the Hudson River. They also come to the county to hike its mountains, tour its museums and ride the Dragon Coaster at Playland, as well as enjoy its top-rated restaurants and cutting-edge breweries.

Westchester County’s tourism industry, which ranks third in the state behind New York City and Long Island, represents 51% of all visitor spending in the Hudson Valley region, according to a report released on Aug. 14 by the Westchester County Tourism & Film Office.

The county’s travel and tourism industry continued to grow in 2017 with visitor spending up 3% to a record of $1.9 billion. Last year visitor spending directly and indirectly supported 24,527 jobs in Westchester, 5% of all jobs in the county. And, at the same time travel and tourism generated $227 million in tax revenue for state and local municipalities.

“Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved in this ever-growing sector of our economy, Westchester County continues to shine as a premier regional destination for business and leisure travelers in New York State,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “With the building of new hotels and upgrades being made by existing properties, new restaurants, breweries, and attractions, we are excited to see the tourism industry continue to flourish here in our beautiful county.”

Spending in the Food & Beverage sector increased 3% to $543,284,000, a testament to the exceptional hospitality and quality of dining throughout the county. Notable newcomers in this emerging growth sector include Southern Table in Pleasantville and Fin & Brew, a New American restaurant overlooking the Hudson River in The Factoria at Charles Point in Peekskill.

The recreation sector also posted gains in visitor spending last year, rising 4% to $178,330,000. This sector benefited from lively arts and culture venues, visual and performing arts events and attractions taking place year-round throughout the county. New attractions include Boundless Adventures, an outdoor adventure park set on the campus of SUNY Purchase College and the New York Liberty, New York’s very own WNBA team that now plays its home games at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.

“These numbers are great news for the hotel industry here in Westchester,” said Sean Meade, president of the Westchester Hotel Association and General Manager of Cambria Suites in White Plains. “Our members work hard to put forth their very best and attract new business to the region. Features like Westchester County Airport and our proximity to New York City help us continue this growth year after year.”

Spending in the lodging sector totaled $424,056,000, up 2% from 2016, with room demand, as measured by hotel room nights filled, was up 4% to 1.6 million. Most recent highlights in the lodging sector include major renovations at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown and the Hyatt House in White Plains, and the opening of the Hilton Garden Inn Westchester in Dobbs Ferry.