—Low Crime, Safe Streets and City’s Manageability Continue to Make Five Boroughs Ideal Destination for Global Visitors—

New York City (April 16, 2008)—NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, today released its first-quarter visitor projections, showing an estimated one million more visitors came to the City compared to a year ago, and while here, they spent more money than the previous year. As the nation’s safest large City, New York City continues to benefit from lower crime, safer streets and better manageability—not to mention a weak dollar that continues to draw more international visitors. An estimated 9.5 million tourists visited the City between January 1 and March 31, up from a forecasted 8.5 million during the same quarter a year ago. Visitor spending also climbed to a forecasted $6.3 billion total in the first quarter compared to an estimated $5.6 billion during the same period a year ago. The City expects that approximately 19% of total visitors—or about 1.8 million—will come from international markets, with spending expected to be 20% above forecasts from the same quarter last year.

“New York City is operating on all cylinders, making the destination appealing to visitors from around the globe,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. “The City, under the leadership of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, is in the midst of an extraordinary moment in time: our neighborhoods are cleaner and safer than ever before, and our arts and cultural institutions are more vibrant than ever. The weak dollar also continues to attract international visitors from around the globe—a segment that accounts for more than 50% of total visitor spending.”

NYC & Company has taken a global approach to marketing New York City by focusing on key international markets in order to position the City to capture its maximum share of international travelers—visitors who stay longer and spend more. Since the merger of NYC & Company in 2006 with NYC Marketing and NYC Big Events, and the commitment by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to provide additional funds to expand the City’s global reach, NYC & Company has opened 10 new offices, bringing the total to 17. Representatives on behalf of New York City are in the following locations: United Kingdom (London), Germany (Munich), France (Paris), Italy (Milan), Ireland (Dublin), Argentina (Buenos Aires), Mexico (Mexico City), Spain (Madrid), Benelux (Amsterdam), Scandinavia/Finland (Stockholm), Russia (Moscow), China (Shanghai), Korea (Seoul), Japan (Tokyo), Brazil (Sao Paulo), Canada (Toronto) and Australia (Sydney).

While domestic visitors still dominate, first-quarter 2008 indicators show an estimated 20% increase in the number of international visitors to the City over last year’s figures for the same quarter. New York City continues to garner a 27% market share of all overseas travel to the US With a record-breaking number of visitors projected for 2008, New York City is well on its way to achieving Mayor Bloomberg’s goal of attracting 50 million visitors annually by 2015.

The hotel industry, a strong barometer of the visitor industry’s success, also continues to perform well. New York City’s hotels sold an estimated 5.4 million total room nights in the first quarter of 2008, up 5% from the same period last year, and hotel occupancies are up 2% to nearly 81%. Employment in the leisure and hospitality sectors are running ahead of national trends: for the first two months of 2008, New York City saw a 4.58% growth in the accommodations and food sectors as compared to a national increase of 2.47%.

The growth of New York City’s tourism industry comes on the heels of a record-breaking year in 2007. Last year, the City welcomed an estimated 46 million visitors who spent a projected $28 billion.

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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.