Episode 18: Attracting Visitors to All of New York State, with Gavin Landry
In this episode, you will learn about how New York is consistently growing their tourism efforts from Gavin Landry, the former Executive Director of Tourism at Empire State Development.
Gavin Landry joined Empire State Development (ESD) as the Executive Director of Tourism in March of 2013. Mr. Landry’s appointment came at a time of continued tourism growth across New York State and amidst the launch of a series of new tourism initiatives by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Thanks to the support of Governor Cuomo, tourism has become the fourth largest employer in the State.
As former Executive Director, Mr. Landry lead the iconic I LOVE NEW YORK marketing campaign where he developed and implemented new initiatives to further the State’s positive tourism growth. Mr. Landry also worked closely with the New York State Tourism Advisory Council, which provides input and advice regarding the state’s tourism efforts.
Before joining Empire State Development, Mr. Landry ran Landry Hospitality Consulting Services, where he provided full-service hospitality consulting to hotel developers and owners. Mr. Landry ran commercial hotels for a professional management company in markets such as Detroit, MI; Columbus, OH; Charlotte, NC, and Somerset, NJ. He has also served as president of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau, a post he held for 12 years. During that time, he served as the President of the NYS Association of CVB’s (2000-02). Gavin was the recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Leadership Award by the NYS Tourism Industry Association. A graduate of Cornell University, Mr. Landry served as an adjunct professor at New York University’s (NYU) Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management for five years where he taught graduate courses in various disciplines of the tourism industry. In February of 2013, Mr. Landry was the recipient of an award for teaching excellence from NYU, one of 20 given across nine teaching disciplines. Mr. Landry is a member of the Cornell Hotel Society.
What you’ll learn about in this episode:
- “It’s all here. It’s only here.”: How Empire State Development gets visitors that could travel anywhere to come to New York
- Using the “I LOVE NEW YORK” brand to attract visitors beyond New York City and into all of New York state
- The support the New York tourism industry has received from Governor Andrew Cuomo (including $55 million in 2017)
- ESD’s experiential marketing team’s I LOVE NEW YORK “traveling pod” that includes interactive digital experiences to help raise awareness for events and attractions all over New York State
- The impact of ESD’s digital initiatives like the I LOVE NEW YORK app that has been downloaded over 100,000 times since 2015
- ESD’s social media efforts that have resulted in I LOVE NEW YORK being the #1 most followed state tourism office on Twitter and one of the top state tourism offices on Facebook
- ESD’s partnership with Beautiful Destinations on Instagram where they’ve created some amazing video content
- How ESD uses a matching funds program and tourism grants for funding local efforts in the different regions across New York
- The recent growth of the agritourism industry under New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
- Leveraging partnerships to attract International travelers
- The incredible return on investment New York State has seen in the tourism industry (an investment of $170 million became nearly $8 billion!)