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Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Delivers Remarks at a Virtual Press Conference with NYC & Co.

April 21, 2021

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Thank you so much, Fred. Everyone, I'm really glad you joined us to hear some good news because we all went through so much together in 2020, but 2021 is proving to be a time of just amazing energy and rebirth, especially here in New York City. So, I'm glad you're all gathered to be a part of this. And I want to say, Fred, I'm just so proud of what you've done, and your team has done over years and years. You have done extraordinary work to make New York City one of the greatest tourism destinations in the world. And I think for everyone who's part of this today and who are experts in the field and report on it and think about it a lot, we can safely say for years and years, New York City gave our visitors just extraordinary experiences, a richness of opportunity that is, I think, unparalleled in the world. The fact that you can literally connect with every culture on earth in one place, and the cuisines, the art, the music of the entire world gathered in one place, that you can come someplace with such amazing energy and personality, where so much talent was gathered together, so many amazing cultural institutions, Broadway, you name it, before you even talk about our sports teams and so many other things that draw people here.  

So that will be felt again, starting in 2021, but we knew that we had to invest to make that happen. So, I really appreciating the efforts of NYC & Company to create a campaign that will bring people back to New York City that will remind them this is the place to be. They have loved it more and more in recent years, they will love it again. And that will happen very quickly. It's a place to be because so much is available, and it's being done safely and smartly. Just look at our outdoor dining, which is an amazing result of a crisis actually teaching us to do something better. Outdoor dining has revolutionized the street life of New York City. You walk around the city today, you drive around the city, you see something entirely different. And this incredible energy that outdoor dining has created. People report to me constantly, what a joyous experience it is for them, and that is being done so smartly, so safely. It means that people can come here and know they'll be treated right, and they'll be welcomed, and they can also have a great and safe experience. So, this is the place to come if you want to experience rebirth and energy, again, and it's literally getting stronger week by week. 

We've had so many of our cultural organizations reopening. Just Sunday night, a few nights ago, I was at the first performance of our longest running play, A Perfect Crime. It closed on March 15th, 2020 and reopened on Sunday. And people were there again. And every cultural performance indoor and outdoor, I've been to, people are there with such energy and they are showing that more and more people will be joining them with every passing week. It's just going to be bigger and bigger than just me, exciting, energetic summer in New York City. Tons of outdoor cultural activities. It's going to be great. So, Fred, thank you, I appreciate everything Danny Meyer is doing with us. Such a great business leader promoting this city. Also, to Roger – Roger Dow’s comments right before I came out. I want to thank you, Roger, because you gave some powerful perspective there. There's this interesting kind of historical reality of New York City being counted out. It happened after the crises of the sixties and seventies. It happened after the Great Recession. Once – and again, we see it, people saying, well, maybe New York City's days are behind them. You know what? That means they don't know New Yorkers. There is a resiliency and a life and a vibrancy here that is bringing this place back like never before.  

So, we're putting $30 million behind this effort to reach the whole world and let people know how important it is to come back here, what a joy it will bring, that it's a place you can enjoy the right way, the healthy way, the smart way, but it's also part – an opportunity to be part of a rebirth. It's the opportunity to be part of something really special in a place that was the epicenter in this country for quite a while, and now has fought our way back to being a place of joy again. So, to everyone, thank you for the chance to spend a few minutes with you. I’ll only conclude with this – you know, when tourists come back, so many jobs come back, so much energy comes back. This city is well on its way to regaining everything we lost and then surpassing again, because we just don't know how, as New Yorkers, to sit still. We don't know how to have limited, small goals. We aim high and that's been the greatness of this place for generations. And we welcome the tourists back and we guarantee them an amazing New York City experience. Thank you, everybody. 

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