New York launching $30 million tourism marketing campaign

A view of the Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park.
A view of the Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo Credit: NYC & Company

New York is looking to lure tourists back with a new $30 million campaign, which destination marketing group NYC & Company said will mark the city's largest-ever marketing effort.

NYC & Company and mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled plans for the campaign, which is set to roll out in June, during a Wednesday press conference.

"We're putting $30 million behind this effort to reach the whole world and let people know how important it is to come back here [and that] it's a place you can enjoy the right way, the healthy way, the smart way," said de Blasio. "This is the place to come if you want to experience rebirth and energy again, and it's literally getting stronger week by week."

According to NYC & Company CEO Fred Dixon, the campaign's initial investments will focus on domestic travel.

"That is the immediate opportunity," said Dixon. "Eighty percent of our volume in a normal year comes from domestic travelers. We'll be targeting leisure travelers, as well as meeting and event planners in order to stimulate the group market and business travel. But the campaign will also target international travel markets as those begin to open back up."

The marketing push will comprise everything from television, digital and out-of-home components to content marketing, social media and influencer activations. Details on the campaign's name and creative elements will be unveiled at a later date.

The announcement comes as the city's struggling tourism and hospitality sectors start to see some green shoots of recovery.

Dixon reported that New York's hotels have seen occupancies above 50% over the past four weeks, with that number running higher during weekends. Additionally, a growing number of hotels in the city are opting to reopen after extended closures.

He also touted a wave of new hotel openings slated for the spring and summer, with highly anticipated properties like the Aman New York, Margaritaville Resort Times Square, Pendry Manhattan West and Ace Hotel Brooklyn, among others, scheduled to debut in the coming months.

"We're pleased to see that even during a difficult time, several new properties across several brands are beginning to open in the city," added Dixon. "And by year's end, we will have 110,000 rooms, not too far off from the inventory we had pre-pandemic."

NYC & Company predicts that the city will host around 36.4 million visitors in 2021. In 2020, the city reported a total of 22.3 million visitors.

By 2024, the organization hopes to surpass New York's prior record of 66.6 million visitors in 2019 with an anticipated 69.3 million visitors.


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