Falling In Love With Hudson Valley N.Y
Okay, confession time. I’ve fallen in love with New York State, more specifically, the Hudson Valley. If you’re not too familiar with the area, the Hudson Valley region stretches along the Hudson River from Westchester to Albany counties. It’s best known for jaw-dropping natural beauty, mountain ranges, and an incredible variety of attractions. You can discover orchards, vineyards, farms, and historic landmarks all surrounded by a bountiful collection of small, quaint, country towns. In total, the region encompasses eleven counties with practically endless culture and history to immerse yourself in any time of year. Even Forbes agreed when they named Hudson Valley as #3 on the list of top 25 best places to visit in 2020. (Looks like Forbes and I share a crush!)
I’ve been blessed to call Ulster county home for over eleven years and have raised my two children here. For those who don’t know me, I’m a passionate tourism and destination marketing specialist. I am uniquely Dutch-American and call both New York and Aruba, my home. You can read more about my story here.
As someone who’s wandered Minnewaska State Park on a warm summer day. Biked and hiked many miles over the Walkway and The Hudson Valley Rail Trail which will soon connect nearly all of New York State through the Empire State Trail!, I’ll let you in on a little secret. A trip out to the Hudson Valley is exactly what the doctor ordered for fresh air and a re-invigorating getaway, as many of us are feeling the effects of “pandemic fatigue.” If you’re not familiar with the term, it basically means you’re sick and tired of COVID-19 and a safe, little escape may be just the remedy you need, while the vaccine distribution takes its course.
Economic Importance of Tourism
While the state’s efforts have kept those of us living in New York safe, it’s no surprise that the travel advisory and New York State on Pause mandate has severely impacted tourism visitation and spending. Forecasts by NYC & Company, predict that the New York State tourism industry may not fully recover until possibly 2025. Visitors from abroad are not likely to return in significant numbers, until after a global vaccine rollout and easing of lockdown and travel restrictions.
New York State Travel Industries
The economic importance of the tourism industry to all of New York is substantial.
Jobs across sectors from accommodations, entertainment, attractions, food and beverage, and niche offerings (ie: weddings, events, theater & arts) are all tied to tourist visitation. In 2019, the state set a record high of 265.5 million visitors spread across its geographically diverse vacation regions, which generated an economic impact of over $116 billion. Because of the effects brought on by the pandemic, initial reports cite combined losses upwards of $38 billion across industries such as hotels, restaurants, attractions, museums, theaters, venues, and much more. It’s also known that international travelers stay longer and spend four times more than a domestic visitor. The State Assembly and Senate are working on ways to get New Yorkers out and about, traveling the state safely in 2021, to help revive the tourism industry crucial to New York State. So, why am I sharing this information with you? Well, for a few reasons and perspectives, honestly.
Safely Ease back into Travel and Support Local
For many businesses, 2021 will be the year they either make it or, unfortunately, give up due to the effects of the pandemic. By proactively having an open, community dialogue on the importance of tourism and easing back into travel, we can all have a hand in bringing back the tourism sectors we know and love. This spring break, actively pay attention to the small business in your area that are opening back up and pay them a visit. After months of being closed or having limited business, every little bit will help. If you can, take a staycation at a local B&B or hotel. Visit the attraction, restaurant or historic site that you have been wanting to (less crowds!). Do it…explore your backyard. In order to restore and reactivate a tourism industry and sector that generates millions of dollars for both government and private business, it is important we all do our small part. Exploring the bounty of our backyard is one of those ways to “support local.”
Become Part of The Tourism Rebound Story
As a resident of this amazing state and passionate tourism advocate, I encourage those who live here, (or anyone nearby ) to get out and explore. By safely experiencing our own towns and contributing to local businesses, we’ll all become part of the rebound tourism story for the state of New York and the Northeast region of the U.S. As a working mom, who’s pandemic fatigue and itch of wanting to get out of the house starts to peak, I’ve never quite looked forward to a spring break like this one before!
Start out with an Easy Drive & Stop to Explore
Now, if you’re slightly wary to get out and about in full swing, you’re not alone. As a way to ease back to travel, consider taking a road trip on one of New York State’s scenic drives and byways. If you’re not familiar with what a scenic byway is, they are officially called transportation corridors. On these roads, you can travel the state through cute little towns or natural wonders that are representative of the region’s scenic riches. Start out with taking a drive and stop at a local shop or restaurant. Take it at your own pace and comfort level. Stay safe and support local. One of my personal “backyard” favorites is the Shawangunk Mountains Scenic ByWay.
During the pandemic, or in the cold winter months, taking a drive and exploring the surrounding area is a great option for getting out of the house. And if you like the brisk air, exploring outdoors in the winter is also a wonderful experience. Come early spring and summer (keeping safe social distances of course), getting outdoors will be easier. Here, in Hudson Valley, I love that there are so many amazing places to discover. Small towns, hiking trails, lakes, animal sanctuaries, nature preserves…yes please! I’m excited to safely ease back into discovering what’s special in my own backyard and contributing to the local tourism industry. It’s just one of the many reasons why, as they say, I Love NY.
Are you looking forward to easing back into travel and discovering what’s special in your backyard?
Until next Time ~ Ayri
Want to chat, send me a note and I’ll happily circle back.