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Warren County tourism growing

What was the most searched word on the Warren County Tourism Department’s visitlakegeorge.com website last year?

“Fireworks.”

Summer fireworks displays, the weekly Lake George offering in particular, were the most popular feature on the website, even as visits to the site have risen sharply in recent years.

“We have a whole landing page on fireworks,” said Warren County Tourism Director Joanne Conley. “It’s quite a draw.”

Conley released a plethora of data points to the county Board of Supervisors Tourism Committee this week about how last year was for the tourism industry in Warren County.

And the numbers seemed to show that 2019 was a good year for those who cater to the tourists who descend on Warren County by the hundreds of thousands, according to data from the county Tourism Department.

Smith Trend Reports, which surveys select hotels and motels, reported a slight increase in room demand in the county, from 1,020,841 rooms rented to 1,029,362 last year. Average room rates rose $3 to $152 a night. Occupancy tax receipts were up over 7%, with more payments for 2019 still coming in.

Visitlakegeorge.com had 1,853,801 visits last year, a 30% rise from 2018 and a 73% increase over 2017. Eighty-one percent of those visits came from smartphones or tablets.

The most visited event on visitlakegeorge.com was the Adirondack Balloon Festival, followed by the Americade motorcycle rally. The most visited attraction page was the Million Dollar Half Mile outlets page, while the events section of the site drew nearly 40% of all visitors.

Airbnb demand in the county grew by nearly 20%, with the short-term home rental market generating an estimated $27 million in the county.

Seventy-five percent of the Tourism Department’s Facebook followers are women, and 56% of the followers are from New York while 10% are from New Jersey, 8% Massachusetts and 6% Connecticut.

Conley said metrics show that fall tourism has been a growing sector.

“Fall is almost become an extension of summer,” she said.

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