State’s tourism funding slashed; regional fees increased

NORWICH – One arm that promotes tourism in New York has considerably less money to grant Chenango County this year while another arm has asked for more.

The amount of ‘I Love New York’ funds, granted annually for Chenango County’s festivals, events and other tourism-related activities, has been chopped by more than half. Tourism Director Audrey Robinson told members of the Chenango County Planning & Economic Development Committee last week that the amount, just $27,300, must be shared among approximately 20 entities.

What’s more, a portion of ‘I Love New York’ funds must also be applied to afford the county’s membership in the Central Leatherstocking Region, an amount that has increased by 6 percent this year. The organization produces region-specific marketing campaigns for Chenango and seven surrounding counties.

“That leaves me with less than $20,000 for the county,” Robinson said.

State funds decreased this year because the program’s qualifications have become more stringent and because fewer local tourism groups have been able to afford the 100 percent match that is required in order to receive them.

About $15,000 remains to be matched from last season’s allotment of $65,000.

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