Empire State Development has announced that Ross Levi has been promoted to executive director of tourism.
He will lead the iconic I Love New York tourism program and help coordinate marketing efforts to increase awareness and promote state-wide tourism visitation.
In 2016, New York State welcomed a record 239 million visitors, who between them spent nearly $65 billion, generating a total economic impact of more than $100 billion for the third straight year.
Additionally, tourism remains the state’s fourth largest employer, supporting more than 914,000 jobs annually.
Empire State Development president, Howard Zemsky, said: “For the past five years, Ross has been a crucial member of our tourism division, bringing a creative passion for travel and a commitment to promoting New York State as a world-class destination.
“He understands the important role tourism plays in supporting jobs and growing our economy, and we are very proud to have him lead our state-wide tourism efforts.”
Levi joined Empire State Development in 2012, serving as vice president of marketing initiatives, where he was instrumental in launching and coordinating a number of new tourism efforts established by governor Andrew Cuomo.
Levi said: “I’m excited for the opportunity to serve as executive director, which allows me to continue working with the dedicated I Love New York staff.
“I look forward to building even stronger relationships with the Tourism Advisory Council, our state government colleagues and our talented industry partners, to further realize governor Cuomo’s vision of tourism serving as a pillar of economic development in New York State.”