When Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism President Scott Gardner and Olive & Ink owner Rachel Richter found a moment to chat, they didn’t intend on coming up with the idea. However, there are times when out of “great conversation” ideas are born.
The Chamber & Tourism Office recently launched a partnership with the Rural Arts Center in Perry to open a tourism information kiosk. The display is located in the front entrance of the Center at 12 to 23 South Main St., Perry.
The newly-placed racks contain brochures and information on everything Wyoming County — travel guides, tourist attractions, local business brochures and more — and partnering with the Arts Center holds a two-fold benefit. Not only can visitors pick up a travel guide or other material at the kiosk, they can walk through the door of the Arts Center and become immersed in the current art exhibits or visit the gift shop filled with locally-produced arts, gifts and novelties.
“It’s one more resource and outlet for visitors to get information about Letchworth (State Park) and the surrounding area,” Gardner said. “Partnering with the Rural Arts Center is just another way to share the information and show visitors and residents alike all the great things to do in Wyoming County.”
In 2016, tourism in the Finger Lakes region supported 59,236 jobs across 14 counties. It also generated 6.5 percent ($1.5 billion) of the total labor income for the region and generated $219 million in local and $166 million in state taxes. According to data from Tourism Economics, the average household in the region would have to pay an additional $484 to maintain the same level of government revenue, were it not for tourism generated state and local taxes.
Between state and local taxes generated from tourism, Wyoming County is collecting $5.2 million. The tourism-generated taxes save the average Wyoming County household $338 annually.
The county’s tourism impact is up 6.3 percent, representing $43.8 million in traveler spending over 2015 levels, according to the Tourism Economics report. New York State’s tourism economy showed a 2.7 percent growth in traveler spending. This reached a new high of nearly $65 billion, or 22 percent above the state’s pre-recession peak set in 2008. Subsequently, tourism in this region is a $2.5 billion industry.
“The partnership is a great opportunity to make tourism information available to more people,” said Eric Szucs, tourism director for the county. “Not only are we able to promote tourism, ultimately it’s an educational opportunity to show people what Wyoming County is all about.”
The tourism kiosk offers free materials to the public and will be open 24 hours a day.
Hours for the Rural Arts Center are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, and by appointment at (585) 969-4086.