Neuhaus announces impressive economic growth of tourism in Orange County

Total increase in tourism spending in 2014 grew by more than $15 million

Goshen, N.Y. ”“ Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus announced on Friday that revenue for the County’s Department of Tourism continues to grow, injecting even more life into the economy.

According to New York State, Orange County’s tourism increased 3.5 percent in 2014 from the previous year. The total spending in 2014 was $450,399,000, an increase of $15,129,000 from 2013 ($435,270,000). In addition, the County’s hotel’s sales tax increased from $2,965,586 in 2013 to $3,085,121 last year ”“ an increase of four percent.

It served as the fifth year that Orange County’s hotel sales tax has increased.

“I have been a strong advocate of promoting tourism in Orange County since I took office,” Neuhaus said. “The continued success of our Tourism Department has helped economic development in the County and strengthened our economy.  It creates and sustains jobs, and supports a vibrant business environment.”

Orange County offers a variety of tourist attractions, including unique restaurants, parks, golf courses, biking trails, museums, craft fairs, wineries, farmers markets and historic sites. The County is home to popular landmarks West Point and Woodbury Common Premium Outlet. Susan Hawvermale, Orange County’s Director of Tourism, and her staff continues to develop the brand ”“ and launched a fully redesigned website, www.OrangeTourism.org, last month.

The new-look, user-friendly OrangeTourism.org features an innovative reservation system, allowing users to search lodging properties by travel dates, immediately view amenities at each property, find lowest available rates and availability, refine the lodging list using easy-to-use sorting and filtering mechanisms, and book directly with participating Orange County properties via the online reservation system.

“Our rise in visitors each year comes as no surprise,” Hawvermale said. “People are discovering Orange County’s international destinations as well as the wide range of places and pursuits that appeal to everyone from hikers to historians.”

Added Neuhaus: “Orange County has become a tourist attraction for people from around the world and for good reason. We have so much to highlight and showcase to visitors. We have become an attractive tourist destination and we expect to continue to flourish.”

For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or jrodriguez@orangecountygov.com.