Recently, the federal Office of Travel & Tourism Industries released a report showing New York City as the number one port of entry into the United States for foreign visitors. While the report shows that visitation to the U.S. is gradually increasing, New York City — which has seen record-breaking growth over the last two years — continues to be a top draw for the overseas traveler. Over 1.5 million foreign tourists have already come through the City’s ports (air, land and sea) through the first three months of 2008, an 18% increase from this time last year.
The report coincides with NYC & Company — New York City’s marketing, tourism and partnership organization — recent projections showing an increase of 1 million tourists to the City over the first few months of 2008. NYC & Company cites the weakened dollar, improved customer service efforts for visitors and citizens alike, and its aggressive expansion of 18 international offices as major reasons for the success.
“Over the last few years, New York City has seen unprecedented growth in overseas arrivals far surpassing U.S. performance,” said George Fertitta, CEO, NYC & Company. “The federal government’s report is encouraging for the industry as a whole, but it should be noted that New York City has been ahead of the curve in welcoming and encouraging foreign travel for quite some time. The Bloomberg administration has wholeheartedly supported marketing the City — its quality of life, encouraging travelers to take advantage of the depressed dollar and increasing our international presence in 25 global markets. The recent numbers only highlight what we have already been telling the global audience: New York City, and all it has to offer, is open and ready to welcome the world.”
Coming off the heels of a record-breaking 46 million visitors in 2007, tourism — which supports more than 370,000 jobs and generates over $28 billion in revenue — has been one of the City’s fastest growing industries. Encouraged by latest projections, NYC & Company and Mayor Bloomberg recently announced their new aim to reach 50 million visitors annually by 2012.
“Our goals are very ambitious,” said Fertitta. “But we are extremely confident that we will meet the Mayor’s new mandate. Certainly, the weakened dollar has been a great help to the industry, but the fact remains that this is a wonderful moment in time for New York City. We are the greenest big city in the country, the safest big city in the country and an internationally renowned center for shopping, dining, sports, arts & entertainment and culture. More people are using our ports to come into the U.S. and many are choosing to stay and experience all we have to offer. We believe this is a sign that our message, amplified through international marketing efforts, is reaching the global audience; people know we are the greatest city in the world and are coming in droves to experience all we have to offer.”
More information on New York City’s travel and tourism industry is available at nycvisit.com.
About NYC & Company:
NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism, and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide.