Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council.Over 58,000 Jobs, over $3 Billion Spent by Visitors to Region in 2017

Pittsford, N.Y. - The newly released "Economic Impact of Tourism in New York" report by I Love NY announced the significant economic and employment impact of the tourism industry in the Finger Lakes region for 2017.

The Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council (FLRTC), the official tourism promotion agency for the Finger Lakes Vacation Region, assisted in bringing an over $3 billion in traveler spend to the area last year - which accounted for 17% of traveler spending in Upstate New York and 5% of all traveler spending in the entire State in 2017.

The annual study conducted by Tourism Economics stated that in 2017, tourism in the Finger Lakes:

  • Supported over 58,000 jobs
  • Generated $925 million in direct labor income
  • Generated $229 million in local taxes
  • Generated $167 million in state taxes

Traveler spending in the Finger Lakes region grew by 2.4% in 2017, with the cities of Rochester and Syracuse generating a large portion of traveler spend - at 35% and 29% of total revenue generated, respectively. Spending at restaurants comprised 31% of all tourism spend, and lodging accounted for 25% region-wide.

According to the report, "Were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in the region would have to pay an additional $495 to maintain the same level of government revenue."

The Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council supports tourism through the administration of region-wide programs and marketing efforts. This year the organization embarked on a complete re-creation of their regional tourism website, funded with a grant awarded by New York State's Empire State Development and the I LOVE NY Division of Tourism under Governor Andrew Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. The new website will launch in late August and feature engaging imagery of the region, while directly tying into the state's tourism website,

Another key element of the organization's programming is a public relations program. Now in its ninth year, the program uses direct pitching, media familiarization tours (FAMs), and face-to-face interaction with journalists at deskside visits to gain attention for the region. In the nine years of this PR initiative on behalf of the entire Finger Lakes Vacation Region, it has accounted for over 2020 media placements in noted publications such as the New York Times, U.S. News, Conde Nast and the Huffington Post and has generated over 12 billion cumulative media impressions.

"The FLRTC works around the clock to advocate for the tourism virtues of the Finger Lakes. We are proud to see continued growth in jobs, traveler visitation and spending year-over-year - a true testament to the efforts of this organization and to the local business owners who make this a great place to visit," says Finger Lakes Executive Director, Lisa Burns.



The Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council

The breathtaking Finger Lakes takes its name from eleven lakes spanning the region like a giant handprint, stretching from its easternmost point in Onondaga County to its westernmost border in Livingston County, near Letchworth State Park. Boasting a mix of nature trails and natural beauty, wineries and breweries scattered across the region, and quaint villages close to large metropolitan areas, the Finger Lakes Vacation Region has a plethora of tourist attractions within its borders.

In January 2014, the 14 Official County Tourism Promotion Agencies of the Finger Lakes Vacation Region formed a 501(c)(3) organization known as the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council (FLRTC). The FLRTC Board includes representation from all 14 TPAs and counties: Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Livingston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne and Yates. For information about attractions and events throughout the Finger Lakes region, visit or call 1-888-408-1693. 

Media Contact:

Lisa Burns

Executive Director, FLRTC

O: 585-484-8844

C: 585-410-1528