Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC & Company—New York City’s destination marketing organization— announced that 2017 was the eighth consecutive year for record-breaking tourism, with the City welcoming an estimated 62.8 million visitors last year, an increase of 2.3 million visitors over 2016.
“We’re keeping our door open to the world,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Even with all the headwinds from the White House, we attracted a record number of visitors to our city. That’s a testament to the strength of our tourism sector and the values of our city.”
President of NYC & Company Fred Dixon said geopolitical challenges, specifically the travel ban, made the city’s task of promoting tourism harder than ever. “We are pleased to see that we overcame these hurdles to realize an eighth consecutive year of tourism growth in New York City, welcoming an all-time high of 62.8 million visitors last year,” said Dixon. “The strength from our Asia and South American markets helped offset drops in our traditional European core markets. At the same time, the City continued its constant trend of reinvention, always offering countless reasons to visit and discover all that our five boroughs can offer.”
Dixon also thought campaigns to counter the negative rhetoric such as “New York City – Welcoming the World,” reaffirmed the commitment to being an open and welcoming global capital.
“Despite headwinds we faced last year, the City’s unparalleled vibrancy and energy endured, drawing record visitors once again,” added Emily K. Rafferty, chair, NYC & Company. “I want to thank NYC & Company’s board and the organization’s 2,000 private member businesses for continuing to power City’s travel and tourism industry and for catapulting us to an eight straight year of growth.”
International travel in New York City increased by 3.4 percent, from 12.7 million visitors in 2016 to 13.1 in 2017.
“The world clearly loves New York, and we love our tourists - for the economic boost that comes with their visits as well as the excitement and energy that they bring to our streets,” said Corey Johnson, speaker, City Council.
Johnson continued, “Our world-renowned attractions include the Theater District, Times Square and the High Line - and that’s just in my Council district alone. I thank everyone for coming here and everyone who works to make those visitors feel at home in the Big Apple.”
“New York is the cultural capital of the world, attracting more and more visitors from the U.S. and abroad – tens of millions of whom come specifically for culture - to neighborhoods across all five boroughs, providing a major boost to local economies,” said Tom Finkelpearl, cultural affairs commissioner. “From the biggest show on
Broadway to the most intimate poetry reading, NYC’s diverse arts landscape – and the artists who create it – helps us build important and lasting bridges across cultures and borders.”
Daniel O’Donnell, Assembly Member and Chair of NY Assembly Committee on Arts & Tourism, believes domestic and international tourism being at all-time highs is a testament to New York City’s reputation as a place for all people. “I’m proud that our city not only believes in this sentiment but is also able to successfully communicate this message to the world,” said O’Donnell. “More than just an incredible economic driver, tourism is also a mechanism by which to promote diversity and cultural awareness. I applaud NYC & Company on this tremendous accomplishment!”
“It would seem to be no surprise that the greatest city would continue to see growth in tourism year after year. However, the reality is that many challenges had to be overcome in order to continue this unparalleled growth,” said Paul Vallone, council member and chair of committee on economic development.
According to Vallone, “The real takeaway here is that our city continues to successfully create countless reasons for visitors to come and I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Administration to support initiatives and campaigns that will continue to make New York City the premier tourist destination in the world.”
NYC & Company’s 2018 forecast anticipates another year of growth, with a 3.7 percent increase to 65.1 million visitors.