Tourism spending is growing fast in Columbia County, supporting more incomes and jobs than any other county in the Hudson Valley, according to a recent study titled, “The Economic Impact of Tourism in New York State.” The state-commissioned survey, conducted by Tourism Economics, analyzed 2015 data and found that 10 percent of jobs in Columbia County are supported by tourism, generating 7.2 percent of all labor income.
While Westchester attracts more than half of total visitor spending in the Hudson Valley, Columbia experienced the fastest regional growth in 2015, with a 5.7 percent increase in tourism revenue. (Though Ulster officials would rightly point out that their county’s doing quite well itself.) In that year alone, Columbia tourists spent more than $130 million on items like food and beverage, transportation, lodgings, retail and recreation, and the second-home market. In fact, second homes accounted for 24 percent of total Columbia tourism revenue, the highest of any other tourism sector in the county.