Region Sees Record-High Annual Economic Impact and Direct Visitor Spending in 2018


LONG ISLAND, NY (September 4, 2019) ­– Statistics from the New York State Economic Impact of Tourism report showcase record breaking highs across the state and Long Island in visitation, economic impact, and direct spending. For the first-time tourism on Long Island has exceeded $6 billion, with an increase in visitor spending across the region topping 4.5%, generating an economic impact of $6.1 billion annually and more than $740 million in state and local tax revenues.

“These record-breaking numbers for Long Island and across New York State amplify the importance of the tourism industry for our region and our residents,” said Kristen Jarnagin, President & CEO of Discover Long Island. “Promoting the endless positive aspects of Long Island through tourism marketing initiatives not only speaks to the incredible quality of life that we as residents enjoy but raises awareness of Long Island as an ideal place to visit, conduct business or relocate. These historic numbers are evidence that our strategic efforts and tactical collaborations are succeeding in raising destination awareness and positioning Long Island as an ideal destination for travelers and locals alike.”

Tourism-generated employment also increased for the region, with the visitor economy supporting over 81,735 local jobs. New first-time initiatives and key collaborations have been pivotal in raising Long Island’s profile amongst visitors and the travel community including Discover Long Island’s award-winning partnership with the Long Island MacArthur Airport on new campaign “Short Flight. Long Island” in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore markets, the launch of “BeLONG on Long Island,” the region’s new branding effort that builds upon the emotional connection that draws visitors and locals to the region and the historic collaboration with the region’s IDAs to enhance business attraction and retention efforts for the destination.

The 2018 results are historic with nearly 253 million visitors traveling to New York State, generating an overall economic impact of $114.8 billion- exceeding $100 billion for the fifth straight year. In addition, state visitors generated an all-time high of $71.8 billion in direct spending.

Tourism statistics were provided by Tourism Economics, an internationally recognized travel data firm, using the Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN) input-output model for New York State, utilized worldwide by governments, universities, and public and private sector organizations. The model follows the flow of sales through the economy to the generation of GDP, employment, wages and taxes.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, “With renowned attractions including NYCB LIVE’s Nassau Coliseum, miles of pristine beaches, the historic Gold Coast, prestigious golf courses and more than 9 million visitors to Long Island annually, it is no surprise that our region is welcoming record breaking tourism numbers,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.  “Tourism is a vital component of our economic development and success including job growth, the support of small businesses and over $740 million annually in local and state tax revenues for our region.  With the addition of the Belmont Arena and ongoing efforts to fiercely protect our natural environment, we continue to build a County that is a fantastic place to live, work - and of course – play.”

 Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “Strategic investments in our world-class attractions are the cornerstone to growing our nearly $6 billion tourism industry on Long Island. The more we promote our beaches and top attractions, the more our local businesses and communities will benefit.”




Discover Long Island is the official regional organization charged with furthering the $6.1 billion tourism economy. The organization contributes to the economic development and quality of life on Long Island by promoting the region as a world-class destination for visitors, meetings and conventions, trade shows, sporting events and related activities. For more information, please call 631-951-3900 or visit DiscoverLongIsland.com.