Summary of CNY Tourism Regional Visitor Study Presented at TAC

OSWEGO, NY – Oswego County public officials and tourism partners are working together in a new project to increase the number of visitors to the area.

At the start of this year, Berkeley Young, president of Young Strategies, met with Oswego County public officials and tourism partners to discuss a visitor study, which has been conducted this year.

Tourism offices in the five counties that make up the CNY Regional Economic Development Committee (Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego) participated in the regional visitor study.

“The goal of study was to develop a strategic regional tourism plan and apply for grant funding in the future,” said Janet Clerkin, tourism and public information coordinator for the Oswego County Tourism Office. “This project will give us information on where our visitors come from, how long they stay, how much money they spend, reasons for visiting, and more.”

The study was conducted by Young Strategies, a Charlotte, NC, based firm that specializes in research and strategic planning for the travel industry.

Recently, Clerkin shared some of the results of that study with the county’s Tourism Advisory Council.

The tourism promotion agencies in the five counties that comprise the Central NY Regional Economic Development Council conducted the regional visitor profile research study to gather information about visitors to the Central New York region.

During the early stages of the study, the consultants met with business and tourism industry partners and visited sites in each county to learn more about the area.

Surveys were developed and shared with visitors to the five-county area, residents of the five counties, and residents of neighboring counties.

Facebook posts and website links were created by Young strategies Inc. and used by the five county regional partners to distribute the survey.

Results were collected from March until May.

There were 9,305 surveys were collected; about half were responses from CNY residents and the remaining came from visitors outside of the five-county area.

“Our department and seven of our tourism partners deployed the survey in Oswego County,” Clerkin said. “There were 521 responses collected from Oswego County links, with the majority coming from Oswego County Tourism Facebook and tourism website link, Friends of Oswego, and the Tailwater Lodge.”

Young Strategies held a presentation in Syracuse a few weeks ago to review the study results.

The report is 88 pages long and goes into a great deal of detail about the demographics of our visitors, overnight and day trippers, occupations, ethnicity, what they’re doing while they’re here, how long they stay, and many other segments about visitors to the five-county area.

Some of the highlights for the region are:

•    The CNY Region is very diverse, each unique, with spending on the rise
•    Most travelers within upstate NY have visited our region
•    Best demo market is educated couples ages 30 – 60
•    3-nights is typical stay
•    Overnight spending averages $1,000 per visitor party; daytrip averages $350
•    As you would expect, more people came to Oswego County to fish than to any other county in the CNY region. We also rated highly in antiquing, historic sites and museums, events, and snowmobiling.
•    There is a large variety of outdoor experiences in the five-county region. Of 11 amenities which were ranked for visitor satisfaction, the variety of outdoor experiences ranked the highest.
•    Winter recreation is very strong.
•    Airline connectivity is an issue for the CNY region with higher airfares than competing destinations.
•    SUNY Oswego is the 3rd most visited college in the 5-county region.
•    The top 5 activities that residents from our neighboring counties participate in while visiting  Oswego County  are:
1.    Casual dining (982 responses)
2.    Outdoor recreation (763 responses)
3.    Festivals and events (659 responses)
4.    Historic sites (468 responses)
5.    Fishing (367 responses)

To view entire report go here:

For Oswego County visitor information, call 1-800-248-4FUN (4386) or go to