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Cuomo announces state tourism summit in Albany for May 8th

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A state summit on the tourism industry will be held on May 8 in Albany, the governor’s office announced Wednesday. The event is described as a forum for industry leaders, business owners and other stakeholders.

The governor’s office says there will be breakout sessions related to sports and event-driven tourism, and sessions on niche markets like agriculture and heritage.

Speaking on The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter about the summit, Governor Cuomo said: “Tourism is a big business for this state." He also conceded, “this state has not done what it needs to do when it markets itself.”

Since taking office, Cuomo has rebooted the ‘I Love NY’ brand and held a summit for the state’s wine beer and spirits industry. A major platform in Cuomo’s tourism strategy is a push for additional non-Indian run casino operations in upstate New York as a way of drawing more of the huge pool of New York City visitors to upstate regions.

“I believe if they visit, they will come back and they will stay but we have to get them there,” Cuomo has said previously.

A number of key tourism initiatives allocated in the 2013 Executive Budget Summary include these tourism marketing programs administered through the state’s Business Council:

  • $713,000 to the New York Wine and Grape Foundation for research, promotion and education to strengthen New York’s Wine and Grape Industry.
  • $2.5 million in funding for “I Love NY” programs.
  • $3.8 million to the Matching Funds Program.

In a written release the governor says:

This summit will continue our dialogue with the business community so that we can find ways to boost the tourism sector, create jobs, and better market all the Empire State has to offer.

Tourism is the fifth largest employer in the state, and generated $16.6 billion in wages in 2011, according the office of the governor.

$2 million of funding for a program called Taste-NY to  promote state produce to visitors didn't make it into the final version of the executive budget.

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