FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES ACCELERATION OF GOAL TO ATTRACT 50 MILLION VISITORS TO NEW YORK CITY
Date for Meeting Goal Moved Up to 2012 from 2015 after Unprecedented Tourism Gains
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that New York City is on track to achieve its goal of attracting 50 million annual visitors three years earlier than anticipated. Since Mayor Bloomberg set the goal of ’50 by 15’ in 2006, New York City has welcomed more visitors than anticipated, including a record 46 million in 2007. Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement in a prerecorded message shown at an event hosted by NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta in Las Vegas at the Travel Industry Association’s (TIA) International Pow Wow conference. NYC & Company is New York City’s official tourism, marketing and partnership organization.
“New York City’s tourism sector is booming, with record numbers of visitors coming each of the last five years, even as the number of international visitors to the rest of the nation has declined,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “That’s why we’re confident we can reach our goal of attracting 50 million visitors to the City by 2012, three years ahead of schedule. George Fertitta and NYC & Company deserve a lot of the credit, but no one has a better city to sell. No matter what your pleasure – from the Broadway lights to Brooklyn Heights, the Bronx Zoo to Jimmy Choo – you can find it in the five boroughs.”
“Never before has New York City been more vibrant, welcoming and easier to navigate,” said NYC & Company CEO Fertitta. “And our five-borough campaigns, including This is New York City and Just Ask the Locals, are really highlighting all the energy, beauty and diversity that New York City has to offer.”
Tourism is one of New York City’s most significant industries, supporting more than 370,000 jobs. A record 46 million visitors came to New York City in 2007, generating more than $28 billion in revenue. The City continues to outpace the nation in tourism growth, capturing an increased share of the overseas market. Since 2000, New York City has seen a 34 percent increase in overseas arrivals while the U.S. as a whole has seen an eight percent decline.
The hotel industry, a strong barometer of the visitor industry’s success, also continues to perform well. New York City’s hotels sold an estimated 5.4 million total room nights in the first quarter of 2008, up 5 percent from the same period last year. Hotel occupancy rates are above 80percent, compared to about 60 percent across the rest the rest of the nation. Employment in New York City’s leisure and hospitality sectors are also running ahead of national trends. For the first two months of 2008, these sectors grew by more than 4.5 percent in New York City versus a national increase of less than 2.5 percent.
Throughout 2008, New York City will continue to offer visitors and residents an unparalleled variety of attractions across the five boroughs, including this summer’s monumental public art project, The New York City Waterfalls, and the Major League Baseball All-Star game—the last to take place at the current Yankee Stadium. For information about these or other events and to book reservations, visit www.nycvisit.com.
Since Mayor Bloomberg merged NYC & Company with NYC Marketing and NYC Big Events in 2006, NYC & Company has successfully increased awareness of New York City through its global expansion plan and strategic marketing campaigns. These include the City’s first-ever $30 million global communications campaign, This is New York City, and the tourist appreciation campaign Just Ask the Locals. Just Ask the Locals just entered its second phase this spring, an expansion that includes 22 new celebrities and local experts, all of whom provide insider tips on what to see and do in New York City.
Over the course of the last year, NYC & Company also opened 10 new international offices, bringing the total to 17. New representative office locations include: Spain (Madrid), the Benelux countries (Amsterdam), Scandinavia/Finland (Stockholm), Russia (Moscow), China (Shanghai), Korea (Seoul), Japan (Tokyo), Brazil (São Paulo), Canada (Toronto) and Australia (Sydney). A new office is planned to open later this year in India (Mumbai).
Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Kimberly Spell / Chris Heywood (NYC & Company) (212) 484-1270