ITHACA, NY — The first draft of the new Tompkins County Strategic Tourism Plan is available for public comment. The Strategic Tourism Plan guides the county’s values, goals, and proposed actions regarding tourism over through 2027. This draft represents the third update to the Strategic Tourism Plan. Work on the plan began in August 2018 with the establishment of the plan update steering committee. The draft plan was prepared with the help of many people who live and work in Tompkins County. A community survey was conducted in late 2018 and early 2019 – this survey gathered feedback from 309 people regarding their ideas for tourism development. A facilitated “focus search process” stakeholder meeting with 21 representatives of local non profit organizations was held in April 2019 to determine how our community can advance tourism. In addition, numerous small group meetings have been convened to examine specific topics. The draft Strategic Tourism Plan considers our current conditions as well as many emerging issues which have the potential to impact travel and tourism in our county. The plan was informed by the findings of the recently completed Visitor Profile Study – an in-depth analysis of people who recently visited Tompkins County. Nearly 2,100 visitors participated in this study through online or in-person surveys. The draft plan proposes eight overall goals and additional goals in fifteen distinct focus areas. The plan proposes specific actions and measures for each focus area. Tompkins County residents are encouraged to review this draft plan and provide feedback. Comments may be submitted online (see link below) or via US mail (address above) by November 11, 2019. Tourism Program staff are seeking to present a draft plan for endorsement by the County Legislature in early 2020.
The Tompkins County Tourism Program annually invests over $2.5 million in local hotel room occupancy tax dollars in community-based tourism to promote economic development and enhance quality of life. In 2018 tourism in Tompkins County supported 3,700 local jobs, generated $227 million in visitor spending, and raised more than $16.6 million in local tax revenues. Learn more at www.tompkinscountyny.gov/tourism.