Number of tourists visiting NYC hits record high despite drop in international visitors

Posted On Mon, November 20, 2017 By

Posted On Mon, November 20, 2017 By In Policy

Photo via pixabay

New estimates from the city’s tourism promotion agency, NYC & Company, show that the number of visitors to New York City will increase again this year, making 2017 the eighth straight year of record-high tourism. As the New York Times reported, the city will take in 61.8 million visitors this year, an increase from 60.5 million visitors in 2016. However, the agency does expect the first drop in international visitors to the city since 2009, due to President Donald Trump’s “America First” rhetoric and his revised restricted travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries.

nyc& company, tourism
New tourism campaign launches Monday, via NYC&Company

Even with this expected tourism boost, NYC & Company will begin a new global campaign on Monday, called “True York City.” Advertisements will be placed at airports and subways around the world, including the city’s LinkNYC screens across the city. The group’s drive to attract more visitors rests on the uniqueness of NYC. According to the campaign, the city is “world famous and one-of-a-kind original, here forever and never the same from day to day. Everybody wants a taste, but it’s better to stop and savor the whole thing.”

The “world famous” New York City might not be enough for foreigners in today’s uncertain political climate. According to Fred Dixon, the chief executive of NYC & Company, a 100,000 fewer foreign travelers will come to New York City in 2017. Still, this remains a significantly lower estimate than from April when the company feared a loss of 300,000 international visitors this year, with a spending loss of $1.4 billion.

According to Dixon, about 30 percent of all foreign tourists to the United States visit New York City and the city attracts the largest number of travelers from the countries listed under Trump’s updated travel ban. “There’s a real concern that this isolationism, this ‘America first’ rhetoric could lead to a decline in international travel,” Dixon told the Times.

International visitors play a vital role in the city’s economy. While making up 20 percent of the city’s total tourists, they account for more than 50 percent of spending, dropping about $2,000 each on average. That is about four times as much as the average domestic tourist, the company says. Plus, city taxes from tourists annually have more than doubled in the last 10 years, raking in $4.2 billion for the city in 2016.

[Via NY Times]

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