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Meeting to focus on tourism, airport

Local government and tourism officials will meet over breakfast tomorrow to discuss tourism on Long Island and the economic impact of Long Island MacArthur Airport.

Against a backdrop of ongoing efforts to woo more airlines and international commercial flights to the Ronkonkoma airport, Islip Town, airport and tourism officials will speak at a breakfast hosted by the Hauppauge Industrial Association.

Moke McGowan, president of the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission, will address the impact of international tourism on the local economy and efforts to increase overnight stays on the Island. An international tourist who stays one night here spends roughly three times what a domestic tourist does, officials said.

Islip Supervisor Phil Nolan will highlight a recent state Department of Transportation study that measured the economic value of aviation at airports statewide. He noted that in 2009, MacArthur generated $577 million in economic activity and was responsible for 6,000 jobs.

The study found that aviation has more economic impact than the level of public investment required to maintain it.

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