Why does tourism matter to Buffalo?

Visit Buffalo Niagara booked meetings, conventions and athletic events generating $164 million dollars in future economic impact.  What this means is for every $1 in grant funding received, $37.75 was returned in contracted visitor spending.  This does not include spending by cultural travelers which is harder to track.  This growing segment of affluent travelers does spend big, about $1,000 per visit.

But return on investment and tax relief is only part of the story. Tourism means jobs for local residents. In Erie County, tourism is the fifth largest industry, employing 32,657 people directly and indirectly.

Economic impact and spending data sourced from the Economic Impact of Tourism in New York, 2017 Calendar Year, by Tourism Economics. Tax relief is determined using a formula of households (all persons who occupy a housing unit as their usual place of residence; 2012-2016, 382,822 households in Erie County).

You can read our 2018 annual report online here, or download it here (the 2019 version will be available soon). Current data on our travel economy is in our monthly Travel Pulse, a document that monitors Erie County hotel occupancy, Average Daily Rate, (ADR), Revenue per Available Room (RevPar), Airport traffic, cross border traffic, Canadian currency exchange and more. Here’s the current issue.

What the experts have discovered

Erie County engaged HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment (HVS) to conduct a market and feasibility analysis related to the potential redevelopment of the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (BNCC). You can read the study here.

HVS has a team of more than 300 professionals located in over 50 offices throughout the world who specialize in all types of hospitality assets, including hotels, restaurants, casinos, shared ownership lodging, mixed-use developments, and golf courses as well as convention, sports, and entertainment facilities. Specific to convention centers, the HVS portfolio includes Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee; Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington; San Diego Convention Center in California; and Albany Capital Center in upstate New York.