The first ever New York state Tourism Summit was held Wednesday at the Hart Lounge in Albany.
The event spanned throughout the day and focused on ways for New York state to improve its tourism industry. The summit was hosted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo who wished to hear ideas from industry leaders, business owners and other stakeholders on how to improve New York's tourism outside of New York City.
Cuomo noted during his presentation at the summit that one out of every twelve jobs in New York was created by the tourism industry, saying "we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of the potential" of New York state tourism.
Cuomo also said that tourism is New York state's fifth largest employer with more than 700,000 people from across the state holding a job under the tourism umbrella.
Three "break-out" sessions at the summit covered the topics of sports and event-driven tourism, interest based and niche tourism, and international tourism. The break-out sessions allowed professionals in the various subjects to come together and discuss how to improve these fields in the New York state. Their ideas for improvement within the tourism industry will be presented to Cuomo and taken to the New York State Tourism Advisory Council for consideration.
The summit concluded with Kenneth Adams, the Empire State Development President and CEO, announcing that Cuomo will allocate a "historic level of funding for tourism in New York state" with $60 million.
The money will primarily be used for an increased advertising campaign promoting tourism in New York state this summer, particularly within the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.
"Sixty million in advertising is significant," Cuomo said at the summit event. "It will create a much larger presence than New York has probably ever had … this is going to make a tremendous difference in and of itself."