Data released on Wednesday showed a significant increase in tourists visiting the Big Apple.
In 2021, there were 33 million visitors as opposed to 22 million in 2020, according to a new report from NYC & Company, the city’s tourism nonprofit organization.
In 2022, they’re expecting numbers to reach 56 million, still slightly below pre-pandemic levels in 2019 when there were about 66 million travelers in New York City.
What You Need To Know
- Data shows a 50 percent increase in tourists from 2020 to 2021 in NYC
- It's still 100 percent lower than numbers in 2019
- The city is spending $10 million in marketing to attract more travelers to the city
- Tourism numbers aren't expected to match 2019 data until 2023
NYC & Company is expecting 2022 to bring a 300 percent increase in international travelers, particularly from Europe.
“It’s the first time I used my passport since lockdown one in England,” said Wendy Prior, who is visiting from England.
She was in Times Square waiting in line with her daughter to buy tickets to a Broadway show.
“It was just about coming and doing lots of exciting things. I’ve been here before but it’s the first time for her,” she said.
Anne Sullivan also made the trip from England.
“I promised [my daughter] a trip to New York ten years ago and this is the first opportunity we’ve had to do it,” she said.
Getting numbers back to pre-pandemic levels is a big undertaking, said Chris Heywood, the executive vice president of global communications at NYC & Company.
“We’re facing a competitive situation where every tourism destination around the world is courting that international traveler and domestic travelers,” he said. “So what can NYC do to remain top of mind?”
Heywood said the city budgeted $10 million for them to attract tourists, after spending $30 million last year.
International visitors are one of the major focuses.
“You have so many businesses that depend on the international traveler and these visitors stay longer, they spend more,” he said.
NYC & Company launched a new campaign called Get Local NYC to get visitors to explore all five boroughs.
The agency projects 2023 will be the soonest the city will reach the same number of tourists as 2019.