Survey looks for ways to improve Oswego County tourism

The New York Sea Grant and SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations, in conjunction with several other Oswego County groups, are launching a business retention and expansion program throughout Oswego County.

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The program is part of an initiative to help boost tourism throughout Oswego County. Nearly 600 businesses in the county will be taking part in a survey that will evaluate the local business climate and assist existing companies with expansion.

“Our goal is to increase communication between businesses and local and county governments,” Mary Penney, Coastal Community Development Specialist for New York Sea Grant, said in a release.  “Existing businesses create up to 86 percent of all new jobs, so it’s important to examine the needs of those locally-owned businesses already committed to Oswego County.”

According to a study by the New York State Department of Economic Development, about 2,400 jobs in Oswego County are supported by direct and indirect tourist expenditures.  Tourism labor income totaled $47,006,000 in 2010 in Oswego County. Kiana Racha, a SUNY Oswego student, said she believe the city could draw more tourists to the city by holding  more events “Like Harborfest, which attracts one of the biggest crowds that Oswego sees, maybe holding events that incorporate the lake would definitely help build tourism,” Racha said.

[su_heading size=”13″ margin=”20″]New York State Tourism by the Numbers…[/su_heading]

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(Chart compiled by Tourism Economics)
(Chart compiled by Tourism Economics)

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Tourism's ranking as a NYS employer (Chart compiled by Tourism Economics)
Tourism’s ranking as a NYS employer (Chart compiled by Tourism Economics)

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Traveler spending in New York since 2005. (Chart compiled by Tourism Economics)
Traveler spending in New York since 2005. (Chart compiled by Tourism Economics)

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If the program is successful in increasing communication between government and local businesses, Officials say they will be expanding their survey to other counties along Lake Ontario. The survey will be conducted through early May.