New tourism target of 67 million annual visitors by 2021 unveiled at NYC & Company annual meeting

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon, and NYC & Company Board of Directors Chairman and President of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Emily K. Rafferty today announced that New York City is on the ‘Road to 10 Million More Visitors,’ sharing the next tourism forecast of 67 million annual visitors by the end of 2021. The announcement was made during NYC & Company’s Annual Meeting of more than 800 tourism and hospitality industry members at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. NYC & Company previously achieved its goal of 55 million visitors one year ahead of its 2015 schedule by welcoming an all-time record 56.4 million visitors last year. 

“From the North Bronx to the South Shore, New York City is home to thousands of diverse neighborhoods and communities—and we’re proud to welcome visitors from across the globe to our vibrant and ever-growing city. This year, we’re committing to attract a record 67 million annual visitors by the end of 2021—and we look forward to working alongside businesses large and small to showcase all that our five boroughs have to offer,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“There's never been a better time to visit New York City and experience the dynamism and diversity that makes it the most exciting destination in the world. We look forward to welcoming 67 million annual visitors by 2021 to explore the boroughs, grow the economy, support the creation of hundreds of thousands of good jobs, and discover all the City has to offer,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.

“Travel and tourism are a cornerstone of the City’s economy—our hotels, restaurants, attractions, retailers, Broadway theaters, performing arts, five-borough cultural organizations and transportation providers continue to draw new and repeat visitors to our City each year. Through the continued support of the de Blasio administration, I am confident we will reach our new target of 67 million annual visitors by 2021, further spreading tourism to every corner of our City, drawing visitors during slower periods, and showcasing the attractive new product in all five boroughs,” said NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon.

“As chairman of the board of directors of NYC & Company, I applaud the de Blasio administration for their continued commitment to growing our tourism industry.  Through our mutual collaboration we will expand tourism opportunities in every corner of this City, and arrive at our new destination of 67 million annual visitors by the end of 2021,” said Emily Rafferty, chairman of NYC & Company’s board of directors and president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

“From our cultural attractions, restaurants, wonderful neighborhoods and friendly people New York is the greatest city in the world, and we want to encourage everyone from around the world to visit. Tourism helps businesses big and small throughout the five boroughs, and by committing to adding ten million more visitors we help create jobs while also showcasing the greatness of New York City,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Each additional million visitors would result in significant economic gains for the City of New York, solidifying the tourism industry as a major engine for the City—including generating more tourism-related jobs and visitor spending.  Of the predicted 67 million visitors expected by the end of 2021, 16 million are forecasted to come from international markets while 51 million would originate from U.S./domestic markets.

In 2014, New York City welcomed 56.4 million visitors to New York City, beating the projection of 55 million visitors by the end of 2015. Visitor spending resulted in an estimated $61.3 billion in economic impact and $3.7 billion in City tax revenues, as well as supported 359,000 tourism related jobs. Total visitor volume for 2015 is projected to rise 3 percent overall to 58.1 million.

As the City’s official destination marketing organization, NYC & Company plays an important role in sustaining and increasing tourism to all five boroughs. NYC & Company recently launched its NYCGO Insider Guides, which highlight a broad and diverse range of neighborhoods across the City. March also marked the release of the first-ever official tourism guide to the Bronx, which the NYC & Company Foundation helped fund. Further, 19 new leaders from the hospitality, restaurant, cultural, and transportation industries were elected to NYC & Company’s Board of Directors. The full board list can be found at

NYC & Company’s strategy to inspire visitation and prepare for 10 million more visitors also includes:

  • Global tourism development in diverse international markets through NYC & Company’s network of 17 international representative offices serving 28 global regions; particular focus on emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and Spanish-speaking Latin America
  • Attracting major sports events to New York City, including the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships, the 2016 and 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships, the Brooklyn Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon and this summer’s WWE SummerSlam.
  • Tourism-Ready seminars hosted in every borough to help tourism-related businesses and attractions increase visitation and expand their economic benefits locally
  • Strategic seasonal and brand campaigns to promote New York City to the world including the new NYCGO Insider Guides highlighting travel to diverse and vibrant neighborhoods throughout all five boroughs (
  • New “Free in NYC” messaging at to highlight free and low-cost activities especially for the upcoming summer travel season, providing more reasons to visit and experience the five boroughs. Free Museums and Attractions; TV Show Tapings; Free for Kids; Free Tours; and Parks and Gardens are all featured content on the new site
  • Global business development including meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions with “Make it NYC” meetings campaign
  • Media missions to developing tourism markets such as Europe, India and South America to promote New York City as a world-class destination

NYC travel forecasts are prepared by NYC & Company’s Research & Analysis division with Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company.



Contact: NYC & Company / Chris Heywood 212-484-1270