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The Partial Observer by Ryan Geraghty

County Residents Dodge Additional Tax Bill

In the picturesque landscapes of Otsego County, a financial savior quietly looms, often adorned with a camera and a sense of adventure—the tourist. A recent, eye-opening tourism impact report unveils a staggering reality: Without the robust $352 million injected into the county by eager visitors in 2022, every household would be grappling with an additional $1,665.00 tax burden just to sustain the current government revenue.

This isn’t merely a statistic; it’s a testament to the silent yet profound economic shield provided by the tourism sector, safeguarding residents from a hefty financial weight and propelling the region into a future of economic stability and growth. As Otsego County basks in a surge in tourism spending since the pre-pandemic days of 2019, it’s not merely the breathtaking vistas that residents can be grateful for, but also a fiscal buffer that spares them from digging deeper into their pockets.

Recent data from a comprehensive tourism impact report confirms that the visitor economy is not just flourishing in the Central New York region, but it’s also proving pivotal for Otsego County. With a strong focus on evolving destination branding and marketing strategies, the region stands to benefit immensely from the tourism boom.

“Tourism, in its vibrant and dynamic essence, transcends mere statistics; it embodies community development, opens doors of opportunity, and seeds prosperity. Otsego County, already a distinguished hub for baseball fans and adventurers, will remain steadfast in its commitment to not only sustaining but amplifying its status as a premier destination. Our unwavering investment in tourism—spanning marketing, infrastructure, and beyond—will perpetually weave benefits through the region, enriching the experiences of tourists while simultaneously elevating the living standards and economic vitality for our residents,” affirmed Cassandra Harrington, chief executive officer of Destination Marketing Corporation.

Key findings from the tourism impact report include:

  • Visitor spending increased 162 percent from pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
  • Without tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in the county would have to pay an additional $1,665.00 to maintain the same level of government revenue.
  • The Central New York region saw a direct tourism spend of $3.5 billion in 2022.
  • Within the county, travelers spent a noteworthy $352 million, with lodging and second homes accounting for $174 million.
  • Significant spending was also noted in the food and beverage sector, registering $105 million, retail and service stations $52 million, and recreation amassing $17 million in tourism spending.
  • The tourism sector directly bolstered labor income in Otsego County, recording a healthy $80.6 million, a 10 percent share of the Central New York region.

The Destination Marketing Corporation for Otsego and Schoharie Counties was established in 2014 as a not-for-profit 501c6. By contract with Otsego and Schoharie counties, the DMC has been designated the Tourism Promotion Agency under the New York State Tourism Matching Funds Program. The DMC is funded by a portion of the occupancy tax revenues collected in contract with Otsego County; cooperative marketing investments with tourism partners; and annual grants from the New York State Division of Tourism/Matching Funds Program.

For more details on the tourism strategies and the complete impact report, e-mail

Ryan Geraghty is the marketing and communications director for Destination Marketing Corporation.


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