(Albany, NY)- Senator José M. Serrano, Chair of the State Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks & Recreation expressed enthusiasm regarding the announcement that State Parks welcomed a record-breaking 74 million visitors in 2018. Visitors to State Parks increased 4 percent from 2017, with the total number of visitors increasing from 71.5 million to 74.1 million. This represents seven years of visitor growth and an increase of 28 percent or 16.2 million visitors from 2011. Sales of the New York State Empire Pass also increased 31 percent from 2017.
"New York’s State Park system is among the best in the nation, so it’s no surprise that it continues to break attendance records," said Senator Serrano. "State Parks offer significant recreational opportunities for both residents and visitors, and foster an important appreciation for the great outdoors. For families, our parks, historic sites, trails, and campsites offer a quality, affordable local alternative to costly travel plans. Offerings like the Empire Pass have made it easier than ever for New York's families to enjoy all that our parks have to offer.
"Our State Parks and historic sites serve as a major economic engine for New York, and generate billions of dollars in economic activity well beyond the cost of admission. Studies have shown that State Parks produce $5 billion in annual economic activity, supporting more than 54,000 jobs. As we look to the future, I remain committed to working with my colleagues in government to support State Parks as a proven investment in the environmental and economic health of our state."
Senator José M. Serrano is the Chair of the Senate Democratic Conference and Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks & Recreation. He represents the 29th Senate District, which covers neighborhoods in the South & West Bronx, East Harlem, Upper Yorkville, Roosevelt Island, Central Park and the Upper West Side.