What does this measure?
The amount of money (in 2015 dollars) spent by visitors while in the region. This includes recreation, hotel bookings, fuel purchases, and other visitor expenditures.
Why is this important?
Tourism brings external money into a region's economy, fueling the development of new industry and attractions. The sense that a region is a tourist destination also increases regional pride.
How is Ulster County performing?
In 2015, Ulster County had $2,957 per resident in tourism revenue, over $1,000 greater than the state (excluding NYC) rate of $1,930, Dutchess at $1,786, the region at $1,780 and Orange at $1,213. Since 2005, Ulster has consistently had the highest rate of tourism revenue spending by visitors among regional counties.
Despite sharp declines in tourism spending in 2008 and 2009, Ulster's rate increased 15% from 2010 to 2015, and matched its peak rate of $2,960 in 2007. Ulster's increase was almost double the increase of 8% in both Dutchess and Orange over the same time period.
Notes about the data
The figures are presented per county resident to allow comparisons among counties of different sizes, but the spending is by tourists. New York State data excludes the heavy concentration of tourism in New York City. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the third quarter.