The New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) announced in May the recipients of the 2022 NYS Tourism Excellence Awards.
Among them was the Save Our Locals program of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, created to bring awareness to community members on how crucial it is to shop at local, independent businesses to help ensure their survival as restrictions on businesses due to COVID-19 continues to take a toll.
The campaign encouraged residents and out-of-town visitors to spend at least $20.21 at any locally owned Saratoga Springs business.
The outstanding work of New York State’s destination marketing organizations, attractions, and other tourism-related businesses in all forms of marketing, destination management and stewardship are recognized through the state’s annual awards program.
Those organizations, businesses, institutions, and individuals will receive their awards and be honored at a special ceremony at the New Yorker Hotel in New York City on Oct. 27.
“We are honored to be recognized with a New York State Tourism Excellence Award for our Save Our Locals campaign,” said Todd Shimkus, president, Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. “Keeping the doors open at our local businesses throughout Saratoga County during the pandemic was a top priority for us, and we could not have accomplished this without our community who supported our local businesses and the local economy by participating in this campaign.
“Through Save Our Locals, residents and out-of-town visitors spent nearly $173,000 at local businesses, helping to aid in our county’s economic recovery.”
In 2022, the New York State Tourism Excellence Awards in particular acknowledge the work done in contributing to the recovery and resurgence of the state’s tourism industry and the communities that they serve.
“Travel and tourism was the industry most adversely affected economically by COVID-19. Despite the many challenges the pandemic presented to the industry, the new technologies, techniques, and strategies adopted by New York’s tourism professionals have contributed to a resurgent industry embracing best practice destination marketing, management, and stewardship,” said Dana Krueger, board chair of the New York State Tourism Industry Association.
The awards are juried by an impartial panel of industry experts under the auspices of the tourism association. Nominees spanned every corner of New York state, and the judges were challenged by the diversity and quality of the entries.
“Working collaboratively in New York State’s tourism community enables you to network with some of the best minds, most experienced individuals, and trendsetting thought leaders in the global tourism industry,” said Bob Provost, president of the New York State Tourism Industry Association. “The individuals, campaigns, initiatives, and projects being honored are world- class. I am humbled by their achievements and service to their communities.”
The association said tourism was the third largest industry in New York State in 2019 and it has paid dividends for years to New York’s economy, setting new records for economic benefit in each of the previous five years.
According to the association, in 2019, New York’s tourism industry attracted 265 million visitors and generated record high levels of impact, including $72 billion in spending at New York state businesses large and small; $39 billion in disposable income and over 961,000 jobs for New York state residents; and $9+ billion in state and local taxes, the equivalent of $1,248 for every household.
Its website is www.nystia.org.