New York City is hoping to welcome 3.06 lakh travellers from India this year as the city witnesses economic recovery that has helped the growing momentum in tourist footfalls, said Tiffany Townsend, EVP-Global Communications, New York City Tourism and Conventions.
“The pace of tourism’s rebound helps fuel New York City’s economic recovery, having supported approximately 3.40 lakh jobs in the full leisure and hospitality sector, more than $40 billion in direct visitor spending and approximately $60 billion in total economic impact for 2022. NYC expects to welcome 1.14 crore international visitors this year, including 3.06 lakh travellers from India,” Townsend told PTI in an emailed interaction. In 2019, New York City welcomed a total of 6.66 crore visitors – the City’s 10th consecutive year of record tourism growth, she said, adding that this included 1.35 crore international travellers, with 3.36 lakh hailing from India. She said that India has always been an important inbound travel market for New York City.
“New York City Tourism + Conventions, the City’s official destination marketing organisation and convention and visitors bureau (formerly known as NYC & Company), returned to India in January of this year for a sales and media mission engaging the leading travel trade and media in Mumbai and New Delhi for the first time after the pandemic, alongside a delegation of five NYC tourism businesses,” Townsend said.
Last year, she said, New York City’s economic recovery continued with 56.70 crore travellers arriving in the five boroughs (districts), recovering 85 per cent of the City’s record 2019 visitation levels.
“In 2022, we welcomed 94 lakh international travellers – more than triple the number in 2021 – which is particularly significant as these visitors typically stay longer and spend more than their US counterparts. The city also hosted over 40 lakh business travellers, signaling the return of this important segment,” she noted.
Meanwhile, she said that India is among the top 10 international source markets for New York City ranked at 10th position with the United Kingdom being at the top, followed by Canada, France, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Mexico, Italy and Australia.
“We see great potential in the Indian market, both long and short-term. The Indian visitor market leans heavily into VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) trips, which can be attributed to the high percentage of international students and post-graduate Indian residents in the US and Canada,” Townsend added.
In terms of spending, India ranked as the fourth highest spending international market with a spending of $700 million (approximately Rs 5,798 crore) in New York City, she said.
Indian visitors, she said, mostly spend on a range of activities, hotel accommodations, dining out and shopping, she said.
“Entertainment also plays a vital role, with Indians attending Broadway shows, music concerts, comedy clubs and visiting museums, art galleries and new and iconic landmarks,” she added.
New York City is primarily target leisure and family travellers and during the holiday seasons is promoting its family-friendly attractions, such as SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, Central Park, museums and iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, Bronx Zoo, New York Botanical Garden and many more.
“We emphasise on the diverse entertainment options available, including Broadway shows, live performances, and festivals that cater to all age groups. Recognising the rich heritage and artistic interests of Indian travellers, we highlight NYC’s world-class museums like The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, as well as galleries showcasing contemporary art,” she said.
In terms of food, New York City has a diverse culinary scene, including Indian restaurants, food festivals and food tours, appealing to the gastronomic interests of Indian tourists, she said.
“On the business side, New York City as a meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) destination is of growing interest to the Indian market, with recently expanding venues for networking events like Javits Center and many creative hotel conference facilities and meeting spaces cater to the needs across price points,” she added.