—International Travel to NYC Increases 50 Percent While Employment in NYC’s Leisure and Hospitality Sector Grows 25 Percent Since the 2006 Reorganization of NYC & Company—

—Hostel Legislation Targeting Youth Visitors, New Neighborhood Communications Initiative and Future City-to-City Partnerships All Part of 2013 Tourism Strategy—

New York City (February 20, 2013) – NYC & Company today held its Annual Meeting with more than 2,000 influential tourism industry partners and business leaders to discuss the 2012 success of the City’s travel and tourism industry, outline key initiatives for 2013, and discuss how the organization would remain on course to achieve its new goal of $70 billion in economic impact and 55 million visitors by 2015.  Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel joined the 2,000-member-strong business meeting at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, which also included presentations by NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta, NYC & Company Board Chairman Emily Rafferty, Executive Vice President, Membership & Destination Services Kelly Curtin, Executive Vice President, Market Development Fred Dixon, Chief Communications Officer Kimberly Spell and Chief Creative Officer Willy Wong.

“New York City welcomed an all-time high of 52 million visitors last year – a nearly 19 percent increase since 2006. Of those 52 million visitors, a record 11 million were international visitors, a 50 percent jump since 2006. And our City’s share of total overseas visitors to the U.S. has grown substantially from 28 percent of the pie in 2006, to 33 percent today,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

“Mayor Bloomberg has made investing in tourism a critical component of his five borough economic development strategy. Since 2006, when NYC & Company was reorganized, employment in New York City’s hospitality and leisure sector has grown 25 percent while hotel development in the City has grown 30 percent to a record 93,000 hotel rooms. These are just two indicators of our tourism industry’s success under this Administration,” said Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel.

Since the 2006 merger of NYC & Company with NYC Marketing and NYC Big Events and the appointment of CEO George Fertitta, New York City has achieved record tourism levels. Overall, tourism has grown 18.7 percent from 2006 to a record 52 million visitors in 2012. Since NYC & Company expanded its global network in five continents around the world, international travel has grown more than 50 percent from 7.3 million in 2006 to 11 million in 2012.  Employment in New York City within the hospitality and leisure sector has also shown steady growth—growing 25 percent from 285,000 jobs in 2006 to 356,000 jobs now. Tourism is now the City’s fifth largest industry.

“Since 2006, under Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, our tourism industry has achieved record after record. As we look ahead to our new goal of $70 billion in economic impact and 55 million annual visitors by 2015, we will be relentless in our efforts to increase visitation to our City. Through targeted campaigns such as our NYC<30 initiative and our new neighborhoods program focusing on all travel to all five boroughs, we will continue highlighting the unique energy, diversity and excitement of our world-class City,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta.

In 2013, NYC & Company will build on Mayor Bloomberg’s new plan to create the nation’s first-ever licensing model for privately-owned, for-profit hostels by renewing its NYC<30 youth initiative, targeting travelers ages 18-29.  The proposed legislation, unveiled in the Mayor’s 2013 State of the City Address last week, would create and legalize an entirely new form of short-term accommodations by allowing guests to stay with other travelers in shared rooms throughout the five boroughs. 

More international city-to-city partnerships in the City’s growing and emerging markets are also in the works for 2013—these partnerships have been a successful means for NYC & Company to attract more visitors and create urgency to travel to New York City.  In addition, a new neighborhood communications initiative highlighting travel to lesser known areas throughout the City’s five boroughs—from Jackson Heights to Washington Heights to Snug Harbor— will be a key priority. 

Last year, visitors to New York City spent $36.9 billion and generated $55.3 billion in economic impact.

Since 2006, hotel development in New York City has also expanded more than 30 percent from 71,000 rooms in 2006 to 93,000 rooms now.  During this time period, approximately 72 hotels representing close to 6,200 rooms have opened in the City’s boroughs outside Manhattan.

NYC’s share of overseas travel has gone up 18 percent from a 28 percent market share to 33 percent (with each growth in share point representing $750 million in direct spending), making NYC the most popular U.S. destination for overseas travel.

Last April during the IPW International Pow Wow travel trade show in Los Angeles, NYC & Company announced a new goal to achieve $70 billion in tourism economic impact and 55 million annual visitors by 2015—this followed the City’s achievement of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s goal of 50 million annual visitors, which was reached one year ahead of its 2012 schedule.  


Contact:  NYC & Company/ Kimberly Spell   212-484-1270