News & Insights


The Sullivan County Visitors Association (SCVA) celebrated National Tourism Week with unprecedented success and tourism growth is at its all-time high in more than 30 years. May 2019 was the 36th year of National Tourism Week – an annual celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of the U.S. travel industry. Industry leaders, tourism organizations and destinations celebrated by holding events that highlighted travel programs that enrich lives and strengthens communities throughout America.

This year’s theme was “Tourism Matters,” a recognition of the countless ways in which travel enriches lives and strengthens communities.

The SCVA celebrated National Tourism Week with several events that included a Media Night in New York City at Taglialatella Galleries and Hospitality Training and Annual Brochure Exchange at The Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark in Monticello. The return on investment paid off, increasing more visibility and excitement for the Sullivan Catskills brand; and fostering the growth of tourism in the county.

On May 7, in New York City, the SCVA organized a Media Night where approximately 50 travel writers, bloggers and social media influencers from Manhattan and the greater metropolitan area attended. The SCVA hosted the event along with its member businesses, showcasing its best-of-the-best legendary and most exciting Makers, Chefs and Proprietors while highlighting the 50th Anniversary of the Original 1969 Woodstock Festival.

Businesses and attractions such as Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Roscoe Beer Co., Java Love Coffee Roasting Co., Scancarello & Sons, Villa Roma Resort & Conference Center, Resorts World Catskills, Stickett Inn, Forestburgh Playhouse, Foster Supply Hospitality, Prohibition Distillery, Catskill Brewery, Catskill Provisions, Catskill Distilling Company, Bashakill Vineyards, Party Master, Hennings Local, The Heron Restaurant, SUNY Sullivan and The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark attended and exhibited.
The excitement of the Sullivan Catskills resurgence was exhilarating for all who attended. The media was delighted with the abundance of endless and flourishing tourism opportunities in our county. Writers tasted local farm-to-table creations of brews, wines, spirits, coffee, and culinary treats – all were impressed with the distinctive flavors and products.

As a result, they posted featured Instagram stories about the new and reemerging Sullivan Catskills. The Door, the SCVA’s Public Relations firm, is currently working with journalists who attended the media showcase such as, Metro Source, OUT, Sherman’s Travel, Blackbook, and The Manual.
These sources will publish articles on the Sullivan Catskills set to run throughout the course of the 2019 summer highlighting restaurants, breweries, distilleries, resorts, etc. Media exposure of this event with published stories will reach 6 million people.

Later in the week, on May 8, the SCVA experienced record-breaking attendance at its hospitality training and annual brochure exchange. Over 70 front-line staff and managers attended the afternoon hospitality training and 160 businesses showed up at the Brochure Exchange.

The Hospitality training was designed to educate staff on how to be tourism ready, using customer service best practices to entice visitors to stay longer and spend more money while in the Sullivan Catskills. The brochure exchange is where SCVA members shared tourism literature to gear up for the 2019 Summer season.

The SCVA is moving into the 2019 Summer Season with substantial tourism growth.
“All of our efforts are focused on bringing jobs, development and new and returning visitors to the Sullivan Catskills and it is paying off,” Roberta Byron Lockwood, CEO/President of the SCVA, said. “We are experiencing substantial increases in visitor spending, job growth and visitation and the numbers keep escalating every month.”

Sullivan Catskills Growth Statistics:
• Over $450 million in Visitor Spending
• Generated over $34 million in Local Sales Tax. Sales tax increased 18% , Bed tax increased over 15% — $1.3 million
• Over 5,000 jobs created in direct and indirect jobs (March of 2019 shows there was a 131% increase in leisure and hospitality jobs from 2016 to over 7,400 direct tourism jobs in 2019)
• Were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in the region would have to pay an additional $1,922 to maintain the same level of government revenue. (State average is $1,192).

The SCVA team has new marketing strategies to continue the excitement and further the awareness of the Sullivan Catskills. For more information on the SCVA and its plans for the future, contact [email protected].