by Loren G. Edelstein | May 09, 2013

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the launch of the state's largest tourism campaign in decades, committing nearly $60 million to grow the industry, create jobs and attract more visitors. Last year, the state invested $19 million.

The plan was revealed at the conclusion of the New York State Tourism Summit, held yesterday in Albany. As the fifth largest employment sector in the state, tourism supported 714,000 jobs and generated more than $29 billion in wages in 2012. One out of every 12 jobs in New York is tourism-related. The more than 202 million international and domestic visitors to the Empire State last year resulted in $57 billion in direct tourism spending, and generated $7 billion in state and local taxes.

Among details:

• A new "I Love NY" marketing campaign in concert with the Port Authority and the Metropolitan Transit Authority will promote Upstate New York tourism destinations. The MTA and Port Authority will provide $2 million worth of advertising space on subways, bus and commuter rail systems and at airport arrival points and kiosks specifically to promote Upstate tourism.

• New initiatives will welcome visitors to the Empire State and inform them about the state’s many assets and attractions. This will include on-site greeters and welcome centers at New York’s airports.

• The state will create a Sports and Special Events Commission, charged with recruiting sporting and other special events for venues across the state, and competing for part of the $600 billion global sports tourism industry.

• New international tourism campaigns — "I Love NY Asia" and "I Love NY South America" — will aim to boost visitors from emerging markets in those regions, including China and Brazil.