Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC & Company—New York City’s official destination marketing organization— announced that 2017 was the eighth consecutive year of record-breaking tourism.
This is record-breaking tourism, with the City welcoming an estimated 62.8 million visitors last year, an increase of 2.3 million visitors over 2016.Visitation for 2017 was comprised of 49.7 million domestic and 13.1 million international visitors, both all-time highs.
“We’re keeping our door to the world open,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Even with all the headwinds from the White House, we attracted a record number of visitors to our city. That’s a testament to the strength of our tourism sector and the values of our city.”
“Despite geopolitical challenges and a travel ban that made our task of promoting tourism more challenging than ever, we are pleased to see that we overcame these hurdles to realize a consecutive eighth year of tourism growth in New York City, welcoming an all-time high of 62.8 million visitors last year. The strength from our Asia and South American markets helped offset drops in our traditional European core markets. At the same time, the City continued its constant trend of reinvention, always offering countless reasons to visit and discover all that our five boroughs only can offer, both iconic and new. And campaigns to counter the negative rhetoric such as New York City – Welcoming the World, reaffirmed our commitment to being an open and welcoming global capital,” said NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon.
In 2017, NYC & Company launched two campaigns, “New York City – Welcoming the World” and “True York City”, which helped position NYC as a must-visit destination despite challenges in the geopolitical climate and changes in travel policies. Overall, tourism last year grew 3.8 percent compared to 2016, when NYC welcomed 60.5 million visitors. Domestic visitation grew 3.9 percent, from 47.8 million visitors in 2016 to 49.7 million in 2017. International travel increased by 3.4 percent, from 12.7 million visitors in 2016 to 13.1 million in 2017.
“The world clearly loves New York, and we love our tourists – for the economic boost that comes with their visits as well as the excitement and energy that they bring to our streets. Our world-renowned attractions include the Theater District, Times Square and the High Line – and that’s just in my Council district alone. I thank everyone for coming here and everyone who works to make those visitors feel at home in the Big Apple,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
“Tourism continues to be a centerpiece of New York City’s economy, and we’re fortunate to continue to welcome record visitors year after year,” said NYC & Company Chairman Emily K Rafferty. “Despite headwinds we faced last year, the City’s unparalleled vibrancy and energy endured, drawing record visitors once again. I want to thank NYC & Company’s board and the organization’s 2,000 private member businesses for continuing to power City’s travel and tourism industry and for catapulting us to an eight straight year of growth.”
“New York is the cultural capital of the world, attracting more and more visitors from the US and abroad – tens of millions of whom come specifically for culture – to neighborhoods across all five boroughs, providing a major boost to local economies,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “From the biggest show on Broadway to the most intimate poetry reading, NYC’s diverse arts landscape – and the artists who create it – helps us build important and lasting bridges across cultures and borders.”
“Domestic and international tourism being at all-time highs is a testament to New York City’s reputation as a place for all people. I’m proud that our city not only believes in this sentiment but is also able to successfully communicate this message to the world. More than just an incredible economic driver, tourism is also a mechanism by which to promote diversity and cultural awareness. I applaud NYC & Company on this tremendous accomplishment,” said Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell, Chair of the NY Assembly Committee on Arts & Tourism.
“It would seem to be no surprise that the greatest city would continue to see growth in tourism year after year. However, the reality is that many challenges had to be overcome in order to continue this unparalleled growth,” said Council Member Paul Vallone, Chair of the Committee on Economic Development. “ The real takeaway here is that our city continues to successfully create countless reasons for visitors to come and I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Administration to support initiatives and campaigns that will continue to make New York City the premier tourist destination in the world.”
“The record number of tourists to visit our great city last year is a true testament to the spirit of inclusion and multiculturalism that makes New York City one of the most attractive cities in the world,” said Council Member Mark Gjonaj, Chair of the Committee on Small Business.
NYC has the most active hotel development pipeline in the United States. Even with the 4,000 new rooms added to the City’s hotel inventory last year—bringing the total to nearly 116,500 rooms— demand remained strong. Last year, the City sold a record 36.4 million hotel room nights, a 4.5 percent growth from 2016.
In 2017, 6.2 million meetings and conventions delegates visited the City’s five boroughs, contributing to the total 13 million business travelers that came to New York City.
NYC & Company also signed more international City-to-City tourism partnerships than any other year to boost travel including new partnerships with Cape Town, South Africa; Toronto, Canada; Tokyo, Japan; and renewals with Mexico City, Mexico; and Seoul, South Korea. These partnerships included media exchanges to further promote New York City abroad.
In 2017, the City saw several new Midtown attractions debut including National Geographic’s Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, the NFL Experience, Opry City Stage, Gullivers Gate and Spyscape. In addition, Mayor de Blasio launched the NYC Ferry last May, offering the public more ways to access the City’s diverse neighborhoods through its waterways. NYC & Company continued to promote future developments and cultural offerings across all five boroughs to its global audiences under the banner of the “New New York City.”
In November, NYC & Company unveiled its latest tourism campaign, “True York City,” to promote encourage global travelers to explore deeper and discover NYC’s “true” and authentic culture across the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. Last summer, NYC & Company also commemorated the 25th anniversary of the organization’s signature marketing program, NYC Restaurant Week, the first dining promotion of its kind. NYC & Company also continued building on its popular seasonal programs with the launch of the new NYC Must-See Week to boost business at the City’s attractions during slower periods. The organization also continued its collaboration with Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as the City’s Official Family Ambassadors.
NYC & Company’s 2018 forecast anticipate another year of growth, with a 3.7 percent increase to 65.1 million visitors.
All figures, estimates and forecasts are subject to revision as conditions develop and additional data become available. Due to rounding, there may be minor differences between estimates and final values.
For more information, visit nycgo.com or contact Chris Heywood firstname.lastname@example.org, (212) 484-1270.
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