As the chosen hosts of World Pride 2019, new construction underway on a string of luxury hotels, new Michelin-star eateries popping up all over the city, and a host of exciting projects already underway, New York City is set to welcome a monumental year.
In 2017, NYC welcomed record visitation numbers, with 62.8M total visitors, 49.7M of those being domestic, and 13.1M being international.
During a press briefing last week, NYC & Company, represented by Reach Global Marketing here in Toronto, provided a series of key updates coming to all five dynamic boroughs—Queen’s, The Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.
Despite currency fluctuations, NYC proved to be a leading destination last year.
“This year, we’re expecting the upward trend to continue, and while we’ve seen a positive trend in overall growth, we continue to monitor the overseas market, where there seems to be more fluctuation than ever, said NYC & Company’s president and CEO, Fred Dixon. “With that said, we still expect to break records this year, with 65.1M visitors, including 51.4M domestic, and 13.7M international.”
New York City continues to be the number one destination in the U.S for international visitors and the number one destination for tourism spending, which translates to the city being number one in terms of economic impact.
“Canada remains critically important to New York, as our third largest international market, with 970,000 visitors last year,” Dixon said. “After a slight downturn, we expect the numbers to make a comeback this year, and hit that one million mark.”
The most active hotel development in the United States
Many new luxury hotels are breaking ground this year in New York City, with more than 117,000 rooms, which will increase to 130,000 by the end of 2019, and to 140,000 by the end of 2021.
“This year, we think we’ll sell about two million more room nights than we did last year, and the occupancy rate has remained consistently strong, and is actually going up,” Dixon said.
New hotel brands coming into the marketplace include Six Senses, Aman Hotels, Virgin Hotels, and Hard Rock Hotels. The second Ritz Carlton property, the Ritz Carlton NoMad, just broke ground in NYC recently. There are many luxury properties that are also incredibly affordable.
NYC ferry service
To make exploring New York City even easier, the NYC Ferry Service now ferries commuters and tourists alike with routes to neighbourhoods in Queen’s and Brooklyn. The service launched last spring, but this summer, new routes to Manhattan’s Lower East Side and The Bronx. The ferry costs just $2.75, the same cost of the subway, making it one of the cheapest ways to explore NYC in a single day.
Major updates and new projects
New York City is gearing up for an incredible year, with a sling of cultural developments happening all over the city. Here are some of the highlights:
- Major upgrades to the Port Authority of NY & NJ (an $8B investment in La Guardia Airport, $2.4B investment in Newark Liberty International Airport, a $34M investment in New York International at Stewart Field, and a $10B investment at JFK International Airport).
- A new development called Hudson Yards, is set to be the largest, private real estate project on Manhattan’s west side—inside the space, The Vessel, a permanent sculpture that’s free to the public, will open, featuring 154 interconnecting flights of stairs and 80 landings, offering the public incredible views of the city from NYC’s highest observation deck.
- The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)’s expansion debuts in summer 2019, just in time for the museum’s 90th anniversary, which will increase gallery space by 30 per cent.
- The Shed, opening spring 2019, will be the first of its kind, a performing arts centre to commission, produce, and present new work regarding modern popular culture.