New York City Sets $70 Billion Tourism Goal by 2015

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and NYC & Company have announced that New York City has set a new goal to generate $70 billion in economic impact from travel and tourism by 2015. Building on a new visitation goal to attract 55 million visitors in this same time period, NYC & Company continues to expand its efforts with particular focus on attracting international visitors, who account for 50 percent of direct tourism spending. Based on new programs, the City estimates that, in addition to increasing its economic impact across the five boroughs, the tourism industry will also contribute to $45 billion in direct spending to the City and add 30,000 new jobs to the City’s workforce by 2015 – bringing the tourism workforce to upwards of 350,000 jobs across the five boroughs. In 2011, New York City met and exceeded its goal to attract 50 million visitors by 2012, a year ahead of schedule and a first in New York City history. NYC & Company CEO and Brand USA Vice Chair George Fertitta made the announcement at International Pow Wow in Los Angeles during the same week that Brand USA announced a new international marketing campaign to boost travel to the United States.

“Today’s announcement is another reminder of the important role tourism plays in New York City,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “Every visitor that comes to our City and every dollar they spend are critically important to our economy. After reaching a record-breaking 50 million visitors last year and setting our sights on attracting 55 million visitors by 2015, New York City is working hard to remain the favorite destination for visitors from around the world.”

“Over the past few years the tourism industry has been one of the most vital contributors to New York City’s economy,” said Robert K. Steel, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. “Tourism already supports 320,000 jobs, and this increase in visitor spending is expected to add an additional 30,000 jobs over the next three years. Already our fifth-largest industry, tourism and its continued resurgence under NYC & Company will continue to play a vital role in the City’s economic health over the next few years.”

“New York City continues to hold a majority of the market share for international visitors, and we plan to build on this momentum, growing our industry to an estimated $70 billion industry for New York City,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. “These new projections illustrate just how important future visitors are to the City’s economic well-being and the essential role tourism plays in sustaining the energy and vibrancy of the five boroughs. We have identified key growth markets and will be launching initiatives to keep our record-breaking momentum going through 2015 and beyond.”

The new spending and economic impact estimates are based on the City’s aggressive efforts to attract emerging international markets and new visitor demographics including youth, LGBT and family markets. As the economic issues across Europe currently impact traditional, core markets in this region, NYC & Company continues to invest in these markets, but will also look to develop initiatives in new and emerging markets around the globe—particularly Latin America, China and India. New York City has grown its share of overseas visitors from 28 percent to almost 33 percent over the last five years—with each share point accounting for approximately $600 million in direct spending. In 2011, New York City attracted an record estimated 50.5 million visitors, who generated more than $48 billion in economic impact.

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