New York City Clinches Top Spot in Tourism Spending

Rise in International Visitors Makes City in the United States

New York City (July 30, 2008) NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, today applauded Global Insight’s recent announcement that New York City jumped two positions from its 2006 standing, overtaking Orlando, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada to capture the top spot in total tourism spending. The influx of international visitors, who stay longer and spend more than their domestic counterparts, is driving New York City growth. In fact, New York gained about 1.5 million overseas visitors last year and increased its share of total international visitors by 3.3%. In 2007, New York City welcomed a record 46 million visitors who collectively spent $28.85 billion, a gain of 16% since 2006.

“Despite the current national economic downturn, New York City’s tourism industry continues to be the silver lining in the City’s economy, sustaining the trend of positive growth” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company.“

Over the last two years, NYC & Company has launched several initiatives aimed at growing its tourism sector including the expansion of its overseas presence, bringing the total number of tourism marketing offices to 18 serving 23 countries; launching the first-ever tourist appreciation and welcome campaign, Just Ask the Locals; and advertising in key overseas markets through a new global communications campaign, This is New York City. These initiatives are now beginning to take real effect. Besides the draw of a weak dollar and low crime, New York City’s five boroughs are as vibrant as ever and offer a wealth of experiences that make the destination a favorite among international and domestic tourists.
International markets represented 19% of all person trips in 2007 but accounted for 54% of total visitor spending, as more visitors with strong currencies experienced all that NYC had to offer. International spending rose to $15.5 billion (up from $12.37b in 2006), a net gain of 25%, while domestic spending gained 8% and reached $13.3 billion.

New York City’s tourism industry impacts more than 414,000 city jobs. NYC & Company is estimating that tourism will continue to rise this year, with 47.7 million visitors expected to come to the City’s five boroughs in 2008. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg also recently announced the acceleration of his tourism goal – stating that the City was on track to achieve 50 million visitors annually in 2012, three years earlier than his initial goal of 2015. Over the summer months of June, July and August, the City is expected to welcome 12.5 million visitors, up from 12 million last year.

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.

Kimberly Spell
NYC & Company
tel 212 484 1270

Chris Heywood
NYC & Company
tel 212 484 5458