NYC invests in tourism for economic comeback

Basmalla Attia, Advertising Director

New York’s economy before the pandemic was heavily reliant on the tourism industry. After the pandemic, New York City businesses and officials are making efforts to help the industry boom and get the city bustling with tourists again.

New York City’s tourism rate was at its highest in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, with 66.6 million visitors, and is expected to grow back to 85% of that total in 2022, should government efforts succeed. New York City generated $19.3 billion in tax revenues in 2019, with $9.1 billion occurring to state and local governments.

However, the pandemic has accounted for an estimated $60 billion loss and has cost 89,000 jobs.

In response, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced a campaign called “Get Local NYC”  and invites visitors to explore the five boroughs of the city.

The campaign, which is being marketed by NYC & Company, will be promoted on nycgo.com, LinkNYC and Taxi TV.

Many people who care about the tourism industry joined the effort and applauded Adams’ decision.

“We are pleased to join Mayor Adams to launch this comprehensive borough-wide initiative that will encourage visitors to ‘New York City Like a New Yorker,’” NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon said.

The purpose of this campaign is to encourage tourism by allowing visitors to visit small businesses in the five boroughs as the city tries to recover from the pandemic.

This campaign is also a part of Adams’ “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery” plan. He made a strong commitment to reviving the tourism industry and the hospitality industry, as both sectors have long been prosperous before the pandemic.

They are also the two industries that suffered the most during COVID-19, hence its revival is essential to New York’s economy.

The campaign will allow visitors to discover “New York like a local,” inviting them to discover the Bronx like a New Yorker and Queens like a New Yorker as two examples. They will get a taste of the best that each borough has to offer, such as the best bagels to eat and the best sights to see.

Airlines — such as JetBlue Inc., which announced it would hire 5,000 more New Yorkers— the hospitality industry and tourism-oriented services will benefit significantly from these efforts and will be rewarded for expansion.

New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul also announced joint efforts with tourism companies to give grants as incentives for each additional worker hired in these industries.

Two tourism grants have been announced by the governor. One grant is for $100 million called the “Tourism Return-to-Work” grant program, and the other grant is the $25 million “Meet in New York” grant program.

In the Tourism Return-to-Work program, qualified businesses may receive grants of $5,000 for hiring full-time employees and $2,500 for hiring part-time employees.

Through the Meet in New York grant, these efforts will be taken to conference venues and help finance overnight lodging facilities.

An optimistic outlook on the future of tourism in New York City is reflected in the recently announced efforts to revive tourism within. The only things that could get in the way of this revival are new COVID-19 variants and fear and restrictions from foreign travelers.

One thing is for sure, now Manhattan isn’t going to be the only borough where local residents complain abouttourists strolling the streets and taking pictures.