Time Square, Central Park, the Empire State Building... places that evoke travel memories - or plans - for many international and domestic tourists. But Cobble Hill, Mott Haven or Flatbush? They are still often unknown to the public and the authorities want to change that.
Like most destinations, New York City's Tourism Office is working to learn from the pandemic and evolve its strategy. “Our goal is to encourage slow tourism," explains Reginald Charlot, NYC's tourism development officer. The main goal is to lure travelers to discover the must-sees, but also the other neighborhoods that are less popular with tourists, but that allow a taste of the spirit of New York.
The initiative is also part of an economic development objective. By deconcentrating the flows, the ambition is to better distribute the financial benefits of the tourism bonanza, create jobs, and ensure that all communities in New York City benefit from the tourism recovery.
Opening up to Plurality
In March 2022, the city launched a marketing and promotional campaign called Get Local NYC, designed to encourage visitors to explore the diversity of the five boroughs and to support local businesses. Travel books in the form of complete digital guides dedicated to Brooklyn and the Bronx have already been unveiled, pending the launch of books dedicated to Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens.
Six months after the reopening of the borders, the indicators seem positive for the destination. "Hotels are telling us that they are full in May, June and July," reports Reginald Charlot. But in New York, too, booking behavior has changed. “Where a trip was most often booked six or nine months in advance before the pandemic, lead times are now generally down to three months."
9000 New Rooms to Lure Travelers
As for the hotel industry, "there have been closures, unfortunately," confirms Reginald Charlot. Most often, these are hotels that were already in difficulty, and that did not resist the Covid crisis. Others have taken advantage of the crisis to completely renovate themselves. “And this year we expect to open 9,000 rooms," he says. Some establishments are expected to open in lesser-known parts of the Big Apple. The city's three main airports will also offer new large-scale facilities to welcome visitors.
"The forecast for tourist numbers in 2022 in NYC is positive, with 56.4 million tourists overall, including 8 million international travelers," reports Mr. Charlot.