ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a $450 recovery package Monday aimed at revitalizing New York’s tourism industry which was severely hit by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The recovery package, which coincided with the reopening of international borders Monday, will deliver $100 million in one-time payments to support the hardest-hit tourism workers, $100 million in grants to encourage tourism employers to rehire staff, $25 million to attract convention center and hotel events, an additional $25 million for global and domestic marketing efforts, and more, according to officials from the governor’s office.
“Our tourism industry represents the essence of what sets New York apart from the rest. New York can’t come back from this pandemic unless our tourism industry and its workers come back,” Gov. Hochul said. “Our nation-leading $450 million recovery package not only helps tourism industry workers get back on their feet, but will also help small businesses and venues reopen their doors. Our message to the world is clear: New York is coming back and we welcome you with open arms.”
The governor made the announcement Monday at the Museum of Natural History, joined by representatives from I LOVE NY, NY Forever, tourism and business groups, as well as labor groups representing workers in the tourism industry. Officials from the governor’s office say the package represents a “multi-faceted approach to revitalizing the industry through assistance for workers, investments in small businesses, and consumer-focused marketing around the nation and the world.”
State officials say the economic impact of COVID-19 on New York’s tourism industry has been severe, adding that in 2019 the tourism industry supported one of out of 10 jobs and generated more than $100 billion in economic impact.
Last year’s international visitation was down 86% from 2019 due to the pandemic, according to the governor’s office, and domestic visitation was down by 37%. All told, officials say the drop in tourism resulted in a nearly 55% loss in direct spending and an almost 50% drop in economic impact.
According to the governor, the new tourism package will support the tourism and hospitality sector, which was the state’s third largest industry prior to the pandemic, and will incentivize the rehiring of workers to jumpstart the demand for tourism and attractions.