It already seems like a lifetime ago, when Buffalo was at the top of its game, filling up its hotel rooms, issuing in new restaurants, announcing and unveiling development projects. To attest to the magnitude of the resurgence before COVID-19 struck, Visit Buffalo Niagara (VBN) has released its annual report of operations in 2019.
With 166,140 hotel rooms booked, and Erie County hotel revenues reaching $266,269,853, it was easy to see that Buffalo continued to draw tourists and conventioneers from all over the world. To think that Lonely Planet named Buffalo one of its Top Destinations in 2020… this city was just getting its mojo going.
Typically, Buffalo weathers the storms pretty well, literally and figuratively. In recent years, we didn’t see the big ups and we didn’t see the big downs. We just kept on chugging right along, making incremental advancements, which just about everyone celebrated. Even though the refugee valve got shut off for the most part, and NIMBYs tried their hardest to block developments left and right, somehow we managed to persevere… and the stats show it.
So much of the 2019 success can be traced to the grit, determination and perseverance of Buffalonians who made a difference in their city.
“During these uncertain and challenging times, it’s worth reflecting on how much progress we had made as a destination over the last decade,” said Patrick J. Kaler, VBN’s President & CEO. “Visit Buffalo Niagara’s 2019 Annual Report provides a snapshot of our local tourism industry reaching new heights last year. So much of that success can be traced to the grit, determination and perseverance of Buffalonians who made a difference in their city. That same spirit of resilience will guide us through this current crisis and help us to continue to build on our collective progress.”
As we are all aware, the 2020 VBN stats will look pretty dismal, unless a miracle is waiting in the wings. But for now, we can at least revel for a moment that we were beating the odds, quelling the naysayers, proving the non-believers wrong, and doing our best to rally behind the city that we love and continue to fight for, despite cities all over the world now being dealt fouled hands by an invisible dealer.
Click here to see VBN’s 2019 Annual Business Review.