Report: Tourists spent $51B in NY in 2007

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Tourism spending was up 9 percent in New York state in 2007, according to a new report by Empire State Development.

ESD said visitors spent $51 billion in the local economy. The study was commissioned by the state Department of Economic Development’s Division of Tourism. Much of that increase was the result of overseas and Canadian visitors traveling to New York as a result of a favorable exchange rate. Overseas visitors spent 15 percent more in New York in 2007 compared with 2006. Canadians’ spending was up 11 percent in 2007 compared with 2006. Foreign spending represented 28 percent of all visitor spending in 2007.

The report said tourism contributes $44 billion to the state’s gross domestic product. Tourism generated $6.8 billion in state and local taxes in 2007.

The report said tourism supports 672,000 New York jobs, or 6 percent of all New York jobs in 2007.

The results support Gov. David Paterson’s plan to expand marketing New York tourism, ESD said. The state expects tourism spending to increase to $60 billion by 2020.