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PR- 008-06
January 5, 2006


Mayor Also Announces Record-Breaking Holiday Tourism Season

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and NYC & Company  Chairman Jonathan M. Tisch and President & CEO Cristyne L. Nicholas today announced a banner holiday tourism season in New York City, and kicked-off 2006 with Paint the Town, NYC & Company's annual winter travel savings program. According to NYC & Company estimates, New York City is on track to record one of the best holiday travel seasons in recent history. More than 8.25 million visitors spent their holiday tourism dollars in the City, accounting for direct spending totals of $4.4 billion. Citywide hotel occupancy for December is expected to finish at 86%, up from 83% last year, and 1,896,780 room nights sold in December, up 26%.

"To capitalize on a record-breaking holiday tourism season, we're bringing visitors discounts on attractions throughout the five boroughs as part of Paint the Town, our annual winter tourism promotion," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Our preliminary estimates project an all-time high of 41 million visitors came to New York City during 2005 - this includes an incredible 8.25 million people in November and December. The forecast for 2006 looks even brighter with the opening of our new, state-of-the art cruise terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and the Javits Center expansion project that will roughly double our convention facilities on Manhattan's West Side. In addition, over the next two years, nearly 5,000 new and renovated hotel rooms will open, bringing the City's total inventory to some 75,000 rooms. These new rooms will allow us to continue meeting the demand created by visitors from around the world, which is great news for our tourism industry - the backbone of our local economy, generating $24 billion a year in business and supporting nearly 300,000 jobs."

A preliminary forecast indicates a record 41 million visitors will have taken a bite out of the Big Apple in 2005. New York City hotels sold 22 million room nights, an increase of one million over 2004, pumping nearly $290 million in tax revenue into the City. Attendance at tourism attractions citywide are running an estimated 15% above last year, according to the NYC & Company visitor barometer and passengers flying into New York City airports is running 7% above last year.

"Tourism, an important economic engine for the city's economy, is expected to grow stronger over the next year," said NYC & Company Chairman Jonathan Tisch. "With hotel development on the rise, new productions and attractions opening doors, and key infrastructure projects underway, New York City tourism is setting the stage for new jobs and new opportunities in all five boroughs."

"From Lunar New Year in Chinatown to the Orchid Show in the Bronx and everywhere in between, winter is an exciting time to visit New York City," said NYC & Company President Cristyne L. Nicholas. "NYC & Company's winter savings program gives visitors and residents the opportunity to Paint the Town and enjoy all the exciting events and exhibits taking place this winter in New York City."

Additional hotel development, investments in the City's cruise facilities, and the ground breaking of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center expansion will fuel continued growth of New York City's vibrant tourism industry in 2006. NYC & Company estimates that nearly 5,000 new and renovated hotel rooms will be added to the City's current inventory of more than 70,000 by the end of 2007. In 2006, hotel inventory will grow by 3,300 rooms, with 2,400 located in neighborhoods outside of midtown Manhattan. Development patterns show the strength of downtown Manhattan, Harlem, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens as visitor destinations with 18 properties slated for construction or renovation.

New York City expects to welcome more than one million cruise passengers in 2006 with the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in historic Red Hook will officially opening in April. The economic impact of the cruise industry in the City was $600 million in 2004, which is expected to climb to $900 million by 2011, according to EDC estimates. The industry supported 3,200 jobs in 2004, and the new Brooklyn facility will add another 330 jobs. Based on projections for the industry's growth, New York City's cruise sector is expected to support 5,000 jobs by 2014.

The City's $4.2 billion meetings and convention market will get a significant boost with the highly anticipated ground-breaking for the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center expansion. The expansion is expected to increase convention space to more than one million square feet, grow exhibit space, add meeting rooms and boost ballroom square footage. A 1,500 room headquarters hotel is also planned.

Paint the Town, produced by NYC & Company and American Express, make a tempting New York City getaway easy and affordable with savings on arts, culture, entertainment, cuisine, shopping and hotel stays from January 2nd through February 28th. Offers include special savings and two for one admission on visitor favorites in all five boroughs when paying with an American Express® Card.

Staying in New York City's top hotels has never been more luxurious with Third Night. Visitors paying with an American Express Card enjoy a complimentary third night with a two-night stay at one of NYC & Company's Signature Collection Hotels January 2 through February 28. Participating Signature Collection Hotels include: The Carlyle, The Essex House, The New York Palace, The Plaza Athénée, The Mandarin Oriental New York, The Pierre, The Regency, A Loews Hotel, The St. Regis and The Trump International Hotel and Plaza.

Log onto for a list of offers or call 800/NYC-GUIDE for a free savings brochure. Visit one of NYC & Company's Official Visitor Information Centers or Kiosks to pick up a brochure of offers: midtown at 810 Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street, downtown at City Hall Park at the intersection of Park Row and Broadway, in Harlem in the State Office Building Plaza at 163 West 125th Street at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and in Chinatown at the triangle of Canal, Walker and Baxter Streets, to pick up a brochure. Produced by NYC & Company, Paint the Town is presented by American Express, American Airlines, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and I Love New York. Paint the Town individual offers are available exclusively to American Express Cardmembers.

For more information regarding New York City events, click on or stop by any of NYC's Official Visitor Information Centers located at 810 Seventh Avenue (at 53rd Street), the southern tip of City Hall Park (at Broadway and Park Row) and on 125th Street (at Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard.) and in Chinatown at the triangle of Canal, Walker and Baxter Streets.


Edward Skyler/Jennifer Falk   (212) 788-2958

Lisa Mortman   (NYC & Company)
(212) 484-1287

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