Photo by Evan Joseph for Empire State Realty Trust
With the opening of the 80th-floor observatory last week, the $165 million, four-year redevelopment of the Empire State Building is now complete. In partnership with the city’s tourism agency, NYC & Company, Empire State Realty Trust created an interactive, visitor-focused experience, which includes personalized digital itineraries, the building’s classic viewfinders, film, original artwork, and more. The Trust unveiled the 102nd-floor observatory to the public in October, with the second-floor museum opening earlier in the summer.
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NYC & Company, the city’s tourism and marketing agency, announced on Wednesday that the number of visitors to the city rose to a record high of 65.2 million in 2018, as the New York Times first reported. This is a notable jump up from 2017’s 61.4 million and the ninth straight annual increase. Most visitors still come from within the United States, but the number of tourists from China saw an uptick from 1.04 million in 2017 to 1.1 million. The agency was expecting an overall drop in tourism numbers, and particularly from China, due to President Donald Trump’s trade battle with the country and “America First” rhetoric, but the industry continues to thrive in the president’s hometown.
La Perla in San Juan; photo courtesy of Discover Puerto Rico
The tourism agencies of New York City and Puerto Rico are teaming up to boost travel between the two places. At an event on Tuesday hosted by Lin-Manuel Miranda, NYC & Company and Discover Puerto Rico signed a one-year alliance to encourage “reciprocal travel,” with a new advertising campaign and swapping of marketing tips. Miranda is also bringing his award-winning show “Hamilton” to the island from January 8 to January 27 at the Univesity of Puerto Rico’s San Juan campus. All proceeds from the engagement will go toward an art fund on the island founded by Miranda.
New York City is looking to attract more tourists from the Southeast Asian region. NYC & Company, the official tourism agency for the five boroughs, announced on Tuesday plans to open a satellite office in Singapore, to stipulate travel from countries like Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand to the Big Apple. The announcement comes after Singapore Airlines launched this month an 18-hour flight between Newark and Singapore, now considered the longest non-stop flight in the world. According to amNY, this outpost will be NYC & Company’s 17th satellite office.
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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.
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The uncertain political climate and anti-immigrant rhetoric following Donald Trump’s election caused a drop in tourism to New York from many countries, and notably, from Mexico. In an effort to repair its relationship, New York City and Mexico City renewed a city-to-city partnership this week to foster tourism between the two places. As Crain’s learned, NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism agency, collaborated with Mexico City’s Ministry of Tourism, to share best practices in tourism marketing and provide reciprocal promotional support. In Mexico City, billboards and bus shelters will declare “New York City- Le da la bienvenida al mundo,” which means “welcoming the world.”
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For the past decade, the number of Chinese tourists visiting NYC has been on the rise, and of the city’s record-breaking 60.3 million visitors in 2016, more than 950,000 were from China. This is a “sevenfold increase since 2007,” reports the Times, which notes how the city’s tourism department, NYC & Company, is catering to the growing demographic, as they’re spending more freely than visitors from Europe who have seen the value of the euro decrease in comparison to the dollar.
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After our commute this morning we couldn’t help dreaming of getting out of this city for a couple of weeks (or months, who’s counting), but 56.4 million people had the exact opposite idea in 2014. That’s how many tourists visited the big apple this past year, smashing the previous record of 54.3 million visitors in 2013. One country that helped with the increase was China, not surprising considering the growing trend of wealthy Chinese investing in the NYC real estate market. According to the Times, “City officials estimate that more than 740,000 visitors came from China in 2014, almost five times as many as in 2009.”
More on the record-breaking tourism trend