FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES INITIATIVES TO INCREASE TOURISM TO NEW YORK CITY IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, July 31, 2005
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"If you keep bumping into tourists all over town these days, you're not alone. We're on our way to a record-breaking summer tourist season, with 12 million visitors expected by Labor Day. We've just learned that June was the first month ever when New York City's hotel room occupancy rate was better than 90%. In fact, before the year is up, we also expect to break the 39.6-million-visitor record that we set last year.
"All that is terrific news for hotel and restaurant workers, cab drivers, and all the nearly 300,000 hard-working New Yorkers whose wages and tips are supported by our tourism industry. So is the fact that the number of tourists from overseas-who typically spend nearly five times what American visitors do-is climbing. Last year, international tourism to New York jumped by 10%, the first such increase since 9/11. We expect those figures to keep rising straight through the end of this year, too.
"But that doesn't mean we will just sit back and wait for our guests to show up. New York is in an intense, non-stop competition with other cities for tourist dollars. That's why our Administration is continuing to make investments and forge partnerships that will help us hold onto the title that readers of Travel and Leisure magazine just awarded to New York for the fifth straight year: The best city in America to visit.
"For example, we've provided $1 billion in tax-exempt financing for the new American Airlines terminal at Kennedy Airport, which was unveiled last week; it, along with the new terminal that Jet Blue will also build, will make JFK a more efficient and attractive gateway to New York. For just the same reason, we've also committed $158 million to building the new Daniel Patrick Moynihan train station where the Farley Post Office now stands; it will be a grand and graceful portal to New York for the more than half a million visitors who will arrive there by rail every day.
"Tomorrow, The History Channel will start showing television spots promoting history-themed tourism in New York City; they'll broadcast thousands of such advertisements to some 88 million households around the country over the next three years. That's just one element of an innovative $19.5 million partnership that our Administration has established with the History Channel; another is the city's new Heritage Tourism Center that opened last week at City Hall Park. Built and staffed with support from the History Channel, it will be open seven days a week to provide tourists with information about the rich mix of history-themed sites, tours, and events waiting for them in all five boroughs.
"New York really does have something for everyone-and that includes New Yorkers, too. That's why NYC & Company, the city's official tourism marketing agency, has once again worked with the American Express Company and others to arrange "Summer Breaks" discounts at more than 300 hotels, restaurants, museums, and Broadway shows. You don't have to be a tourist to take a summer break. Because after all, New York isn't just the greatest city in the world to visit; it's also the most exciting place to call home.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Edward Skyler (212) 788-2958