It has been a decade since former Mayor Michale R. Bloomberg decided to ramp up New York City's efforts to attract more tourists, and city officials say there is no end to the influx on the horizon.
New York is on "Welcome,Tourists!" mode
Fred Dixon, the chief executive of New York’s tourism-marketing agency, NYC & Company, plans to announce a forecast of 59.7 million visitors this year. That would exceed last year’s record of 58.3 million visitors by 2.4 percent and keep the city on pace for a goal of drawing 67 million annual visitors by 2021, Mr. Dixon said in an interview.
The tourists have kept flowing into New York from around the country and the rest of the world despite turmoil in many places, a slowing economy in China and a strengthening American dollar that weakens the buying power of foreigners, Mr. Dixon said. Despite the slowdown in China, the country is expected to be a growing source of visitors to the city in 2016, which has been declared “U.S.-China tourism year,” he said.
NYC & Company is projecting about 920,000 visitors from China this year, an increase of 8.2 percent from the preliminary estimate of about 850,000 in 2015. China is the fourth-largest source of foreign visitors to the city, behind England, Canada, and Brazil.
NYC & Company announced its 2016 tourism forecast while showcasing upcoming and recent developments as part of the “New” New York City. In 2016, New York City is expected to welcome a high of 59.7 million visitors, making it the seventh consecutive year for record-breaking tourism.
“Every corner of New York City is full of diverse cultures, art, entertainment and performing arts,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “It is not surprising – but still exciting – to know that 2016 will be yet another record-breaking year for tourism. I thank the businesses, artists, and all New Yorkers who continue to make our city an attractive place for people around the world to continue visiting.”
“New York City is experiencing an exciting moment in its history, with unprecedented developments and openings debuting across the five boroughs this year and beyond,” says Fred Dixon, NYC & Company president and CEO. It looks like 2016 is slated to be another record year for tourism in New York City, its seventh consecutive year of growth, with 59.7 million visitors anticipated by year’s end.”
Visitation for 2016 is forecasted to comprise of 47 million domestic and 12.7 million international visitors, both all-time highs.
Fred Dixon and Senior Vice President of Global Communications Chris Heywood highlighted significant developments in the City’s five boroughs, including hotels, infrastructure investments, attractions, retailers and more.
New York City has the nation’s most active hotel development pipeline, with 107,000 hotel rooms this year, and a total inventory of 133,000+ rooms expected by the end of 2019. Noteworthy hotel openings in 2016 include Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel (April 2016); The William Vale (May 2016); InterContinental New York Barclay (Spring 2016); The Beekman (Spring 2016); Four Seasons New York Downtown (Mid 2016); Whitby Hotel (Fall 2016); and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge (Late 2016).
New York City is more accessible than ever, with extensive infrastructure improvements throughout the five boroughs. From the recent opening of the 34 St-Hudson Yards subway station on Manhattan’s Far West Side; to the Summer 2016 debut of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub (whose Santiago Calatrava-designed ‘Oculus’ opened last week); to the December 2016 opening of the Second Avenue Subway’s first phase; it is easier than ever to get around the City. By July 2016, 500 state-of-the-artLinkNYC kiosks will come to New York City’s five boroughs, offering free high-speed Internet, phone calls, and device charging for residents and visitors, with another 4,500 coming online by mid-2019.
On March 18, the City will see the opening of The Met Breuer, The Met Museum’s new contemporary art wing in the former home of the Whitney Museum of American Art on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The City’s retail industry is thriving, with the recently-opened Barneys New York Downtown flagship in Chelsea; Westfield World Trade Center debuting in Lower Manhattan this summer; CityPoint opening in Brooklyn this year; and Nordstrom, expected to open in 2019. In years to come, New York City will see the openings of the New York Wheel and Empire Outletsin St. George, Staten Island (2017); Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport (2017); and extensive upgrades on Manhattan’s Far West Side, with the Hudson Yards development (2018).
In 2015, New York City welcomed a record 58.3 million visitors, the City’s sixth consecutive year for record-breaking tourism. Visitation for 2015 comprised46 million domestic and 12.3 million international visitors, both all-time highs.
Welcome to New York!