Too soon to tell how strike will affect NYC tourism

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NEW YORK -- On the first day of the New York City transit strike, hotels were not suffering from the strike, according to NYC & Co., the New York City tourism marketing organization.

Between the third Saturday of December and Christmas day the occupancy usually drops to 55% from the upper 80s to low 90s, said a spokeswoman. It kicks back up to the low 90s again as we approach [the] New Years [holiday]. A lot of companies have taken corporate blocks for their people to stay in, so the hotels are seeing high occupancies.

It was too early on the first day of the strike, the spokeswoman said, for attractions such as the Circle Line, Gray Line sightseeing tours, the Empire State Building and Broadway to determine the effect of the strike on their business.

While too early for negligible effects to be seen, Cristyne Nicholas, president and CEO of NYC & Co., said she feared the transit strike would jeopardize the citys $24 billion tourism industry, which is on track to set a record of 41 million visitors for 2005.

For details on the Citys Contingency Plan (see box below for some specifics), visit www.nyc.gov/portal/index.jsp?front_door=true; in addition, NYC & Co. posted a list of Alternative Transportation Tips for Visitors, which can be found at www.nycvisit.com/content/index.cfm?pagePkey=1642.

To contact reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].

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