Bell-Meyer brings with her over 10 years’ experience working with chambers of commerce and economic development initiatives.
Federal Grant to Fund Major Westchester County Tourism Study
WHITE PLAINS—Westchester County Tourism & Film was awarded a $400,000 federal Economic Development Administration grant as part of the American Rescue Plan to support the development of a Westchester County Tourism Recovery Plan.
Westchester County officials stated that the plan will produce professional documentation of short, medium, and long-term actions and priorities that should be taken to recover and grow the tourism sector for maximum economic benefit in the region.
Once implemented, the recovery plan will help encourage new business opportunities to develop in the tourism sector, particularly focusing on new business models and improving the attractiveness of the county as a destination, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency in the area.
The plan calls for the collection of tourism research, stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, and prioritization of initiatives and projects that will help the tourism sector recover from adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Westchester County.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer launched the initiative at the Guiding the Future of Tourism forum that was held recently at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown and attended by tourism partners from hotels, arts and cultural attractions, transportation companies, chambers, and others.
“The hospitality and tourism sector has shown remarkable resilience during the past few years. This unprecedented project will guide us to take our economic recovery to a new level, bringing jobs and economic benefits to the entire region,” said Westchester County Executive Latimer. “When one attraction succeeds, we all succeed as a destination. We are stronger together.”
Westchester County Tourism & Film has engaged with a team led by Chicago-based Hunden Strategic Partners, a full-service, national destination development advisory practice, to support the post-pandemic redevelopment and revitalization needs of the region’s tourism sector.
Director of Westchester County Tourism & Film Natasha Caputo said of the initiative, “Westchester County Tourism & Film is excited to work on this comprehensive tourism action plan to help boost tourism, support workforce development, and emphasize diversity and inclusion, benefiting local businesses. I look forward to collaborating to gain sector insights that are essential to the plan’s success.”
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo added, “The Economic Development Administration believes that regional collaboration is essential for economic recovery as regions are the centers of competition in the new global economy. Travel and tourism play an important role in that process by attracting fresh energy and investment to the region.”