There have been other voices closer to home who are emphasizing tourism in the Empire State. They say their invitation to others to love New York is paying off. Innae Park has more.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- People have seen the iconic heart in the New York tourism logo. Now the love for the Empire State is being proven in the numbers, with 218 million people visiting New York sites in 2013, spending $57 billion.
“That goes directly to benefit not only the economy of the state but also local communities,” said Ross Levi, the Empire State Development Marketing Initiatives Vice-President. “The ‘I Love New York’ campaign is sort of a gold standard when it comes to tourism across the nation.”
At the national level, tourism is also soaring.
Dr. Patrick Gallagher is the Acting Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
He said, “In 2013, we've never had such a successful year, with total amount of spending in travel and tourism topping $1.5 trillion. It's never been that high.”
“By relying on tourism, you're really doing good for the state and national economy. These are jobs that can't be outsourced,” said Levi.
Many of those jobs are provided by small business owners, according to Bill Brigham, the executive director of the Capital Region Small Business Development Center.
“There are so many segments of the tourism industry and I don't think people realize that trickles down into our general economy,” he said. “It's small business that really has the quaint characteristics to it that attract people.”
Brigham wants to ensure those business boosters aren't forgotten. Just like some of New York's most beloved attractions.
“While the entire world is familiar with our most famous destinations like New York City, by showcasing the Hall of Fame museum for baseball in Cooperstown, which identifies with something that's so uniquely American, the president is also advocating for locations around the country,” said Gallagher. “The United States is open for business.”
Just last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he plans to up tourism funding by 50 percent next year.
Time Warner Cable News has also been told the President is holding a roundtable discussion Thursday morning with travel and tourism leaders to brainstorm ways to make the U.S. even more open to visitors.