Submitted by Destination Niagara USA
With access to the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, Niagara County is home to some of the best freshwater fishing in the country. In fact, Bassmaster Magazine has ranked the area in the top 10 places for bass fishing two years in a row.
“Niagara County is known for the varieties and size of fish, in addition to high catch rates, making this a desirable destination for anglers from all over the country,” said Frank Campbell, outdoor promotions director for Destination Niagara USA.
Recognizing the significant year-round effect on tourism, Destination Niagara USA commissioned a study by Young Strategies Inc. to explore the visitor profile and economic impact of fishing in Niagara County in 2022. The most notable finding from the study was that fishing generated an estimated $58.55 million in visitor spending in the county in 2022, which is 6% of total visitor spending during that timeframe.
The study was based on a survey including 1,165 qualified respondents, with 57% of them indicating that fishing was their primary reason for visiting Niagara County; sightseeing, water activities and camping represented the other most-popular activities for anglers while in the destination.
Niagara County Legislator Shawn Foti said, "As a member of the Niagara County Fishing Development board and representing a major sportfishing port, I am proud of the progress Frank Campbell, Economic Development, and Destination Niagara USA have made in growing the fishing industry across Niagara County. Fishing and marine activities are a huge asset to the county, and we can see from the study that tourists enjoy many different activities while visiting the region. I look forward to working with all stakeholders to continue growing this vital asset to Niagara County.”
The last time a survey of this nature was completed was in 2010, with Niagara University collecting responses from 151 anglers. At the time, the results indicated $30.2 million in visitor spending in the county from fishing. The updated survey shows that many anglers are repeat travelers to the destination, while the first-time visitation is the result of marketing and promotion, as well as word-of-mouth.
Other interesting results of the survey indicate that fishing parties reported staying an average of 3.6 nights in paid overnight accommodations in Niagara County, which is longer than the typical leisure traveler. Outside of New York state, the destination draws large numbers of anglers from California, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, with groups citing Niagara Falls, Wilson, Olcott, Youngstown and Lewiston as the primary destination for their trip.
Destination Niagara USA President and CEO John Percy said, “Our efforts to market Niagara Falls USA as a premier fishing destination have clearly paid off based on the growth we’ve seen since the last study was completed in 2010. We will now analyze the results of the 2022 data to determine where we can continue to grow the visitor spending related to fishing, ensuring the economic impact of the sport continues to grow across Niagara County.”
A full version of the fishing impact study can be viewed here.
The mission of Destination Niagara USA is to expand the economic prosperity of the Niagara Falls USA communities by generating individual and group visitation. For more information, visit www.niagarafallsusa.com.