albany.jpgALBANY, N.Y. -- To celebrate Travel Rally Day, May 12, the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACCVB) is launching a series of activities highlighting the importance of travel and tourism, including meeting business. Organized by the U.S. Travel Association, Travel Rally Day demonstrates the value of travel and tourism at the local level. It takes place during the 26th Annual National Travel and Tourism Week. As industries struggle nationwide, the ACCVB reports that the Albany County travel business sector saw modest growth in 2008, with 2008 revenues estimated at $908.7 million -- a 3.9% increase over 2007. "As of April 30, 2009, statistics show that the number of travel inquiries received by the Bureau has increased by 47% over 2008, which is a very encouraging sign" said Michele Vennard, President of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau.  "Many factors are influencing travel business this year. While many of them beyond our control," Ms. Vennard said,   "At the Bureau, we believe it is most important to inform many audiences about the economic importance of the travel and tourism business we represent daily, how it works, the jobs it creates and the ability each of us has to attract new business to the area." Figures from 2008 further illustrate the importance of travel and tourism spending, including meetings, in Albany and the local area.
  • Travel and tourism account for 16,373 jobs (FTE) with $488,146 in labor income.
  • Travel and tourism generate $61.3 in local tax revenue.
  • Travel and tourism generate $56,595 million in state taxes.
  • Travel and tourism generate $197,836 million from lodging/accommodations.
During 2009 -- Albany's Quadricentennial year -- the Bureau is initiating new programs to influence both leisure travel and meeting business. These include:
  • Regional Marketing. This Bureau effort has been increased to highlight Quadricentennial/ Hudson 400 events. "It's a great year to explore your own backyard" noted Christine Miles, Director of the Albany Institute of History and Art and an ACCVB Board member. The Institute is home to the special Quadricentennial exhibit, Hudson River Panorama: 400 Years of History, Art and Culture.
  • "Host It Here." This Bureau-created initiative includes advertisements to encourage local citizens to host the meetings of organizations they belong to here in the Capital. "This helps our economy, shows community pride and with the services of the Bureau, it's a snap," Ms. Vennard said. The Bureau will take the "Host It Here" message to local groups and hold several meetings at local colleges.


The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. ACCVB currently represents more than 300 member businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. ACCVB also operates the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Henry Hudson Planetarium and the Albany International Airport Information Center. For more information, call 518-434-1217 or (800) 258-3582.




CONTACT:  Michele Vennard, President and CEO

(518) 434-1217 x300,