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PR- 214-04
August 4, 2004


Mayor Opens New CityStore Location at NYC's Official Visitor Information Center

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and NYC & Company President & CEO Cristyne L. Nicholas announced that 2003 saw historic gains in visitors to New York City.  Fueled by record gains in domestic, family and leisure travel, visitors to New York City increased by 7% to 37.83 million.  The Mayor, joined by Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Martha Hirst, made the announcement at the official opening of the new CityStore midtown location at NYC's Official Visitor Information Center at 810 7th Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets. 

"New York City is the 'World's Second Home,'" said Mayor Bloomberg.  "It's no wonder that tourists are coming here in record numbers. Our vast array of cultural and recreational attractions, our standing as the safest big City in America and our excitement and energy make New York the ideal travel and business destination.  Jobs in this vital industry are often the first rung up the ladder that leads to the American Dream. We must do all we can to foster and grow jobs in this industry."

Tourism remained an extremely powerful economic engine for New York City's economy with direct visitor spending forecast at over $16 billion, a 15% increase over 2002.  Visitor spending supported over a quarter-million jobs throughout all five boroughs and generated $3 billion in revenue - with approximately $800 million going to New York City.   Business travel, driven by conventions, trade shows and group meetings, is growing quickly and is the strongest segment of the tourism market.  However, growth in the business sector is limited by the need to enlarge the City's convention center.

  • In 2003, domestic travel to New York City set new records with 33 million visitors - 3 million more than last year and a 9.4% increase over 2002;

  • New York City remained the number one destination for overseas visitors. 

  • New York City remained the number one location for overseas visitors, and international visitor spending is up per person, per day due to the strength of overseas currencies. However, the 4.81 million international visitors who came to New York City, a 5.7% decline from 2002;

  • Supported by NYC & Company's efforts, family travel to New York City soared to new heights topping 12 million, a 13.6% increase over the previous year; 

  • Leisure travel increased to a record 28.2 million visitors, a 9% increase;

  • For the first time since 2000, New York City saw an increase in business travel over the prior year.  Business travel grew by 400,000 trips to 9.6 million visitors, a gain of 4.3%;

  • Overnight stays increased to 20.8 million, up 7% with the average stay climbing from 2 days in 2002 to 2.9 days in 2003. 

  • Hotel room nights sold increased in 2003 to 19.5 million, a 3% increase which generated $205 million in hotel tax revenue, a 9.3% rise

"While New York City made healthy gains in business travel in 2003, the numbers show our need to invest in new and expanded convention facilities such as the proposed Convention Corridor," said NYC & Company Chairman Jonathan M. Tisch. "Meetings and conventions account for more than one-third of our overall business market, proving New York City is a desirable destination for individuals and groups to do business in the Big Apple.  Although this segment has remained steady at 37% over the past few years, even with the fluctuation in the business market, the numbers show that in order to grow, we need to build."

"People are visiting New York in record numbers and experiencing a city that is safer and more exciting to visit than ever before," said Cristyne L. Nicholas.  "Through NYC & Company's creative marketing techniques and New York City's unique tourism product, everyday New Yorkers are feeling the benefits of increased visitor volume and spending.  In addition, I commend Mayor Bloomberg for his support of the city's tourism industry through a number of initiatives that will invest in tomorrow's visitor including the proposed Convention Corridor, new cruise line facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn and expanded public transportation."

The new CityStore midtown location is located in the NYC & Company's Visitors Center.  Store hours are Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.  The City store offers Official New York City gear including manhole cover coasters, authentic taxi medallions, NYPD and FDNY clothing and books on New York City.  The CityStore also sells the Green Book, the official directory of the City of New York as well as publications issued by various City agencies detailing, analyzing and explaining specific areas of City government such as the Building Code and the Electrical Code.  NYC Parking Cards can also be purchased at CityStore.

"We're delighted to work with NYC & Company to bring CityStore to midtown Manhattan this summer," said Commissioner Hirst.  "We invite all visitors to midtown and downtown to shop CityStore and take home an authentic piece of New York."


Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958

Lisa Mortman (NYC & Company)   (212) 484-1270

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