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Trends in Tourism and the Hotel Industry in New York City

Updated on August 3, 2017
Statue of Liberty: New York City Tourism
Statue of Liberty: New York City Tourism

The US travel and tourism industry is estimated to reach $2.5 trillion by 2025, according to figures released by Statista. In 2014, President Barak Obama initiated a campaign to promote the tourism industry, simplifying procedures to attract more international visitors. The campaign also aimed at increasing spending by international traveler to the country.

New York City: A Premier Tourist Destination
New York City: A Premier Tourist Destination

New York City is a Premier Destination

No doubt, New York city is a globally popular tourist destination. The city’s status as the financial hub of the US, a vast and vibrant metropolis, home to many museums and theatres, and so on make it a magnet for domestic as well as international tourists. The city’s proximity to the natural beauty of the scenic states of New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont make it ideal for those wanting to combine some city sightseeing with some natural beauty.

New York City Tourism: Number of Visitors
New York City Tourism: Number of Visitors
Map of New York with Attractions
Map of New York with Attractions

Record Inflow of Tourists in New York City

Visitor numbers to New York city keep growing every year. In 2015, New York saw 58.3 million visitors, a record high, according to an article by Travel and Tour World. The article reported that NYC & Company, New York’s tourism-marketing company, forecasts 59.7 million visitors for 2016.

According to figures published in March 2016 by NYC & Company, domestic visitors to New York are expected to reach 47 million in the year, and foreign visitors are estimated to reach 12.7 million. The highest number of overseas visitors come from the United Kingdom, followed by Canada, Brazil, China and France.

The number of visitors from China jumped to over 740,000 in 2014, almost five times the number in 2009. According to an article from the New York Times, the Chinese are the largest contingent of foreign visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Visitors from China are expected to hit 920,000 in 2016.

Visitors to New York Between 2000 and 2014

Domestic Visitors
International Visitors
44.5 million
12.0 million
42.8 million
11.5 million
41.8 million
10.9 million
40.3 million
10.6 million
39.0 million
9.8 million
37.0 million
8.6 million
37.6 million
9.5 million
37.1 million
8.8 million
36.5 million
7.3 million
35.8 million
6.8 million
33.8 million
6.2 million
33.0 million
4.8 million
30.2 million
5.1 million
29.5 million
5.7 million
29.4 million
6.8 million
New York Tourism: Empire State Building
New York Tourism: Empire State Building
Most Frequent Foreign Visitors to New York City
Most Frequent Foreign Visitors to New York City
Tourists at Times Square, New York City
Tourists at Times Square, New York City

Tourism Numbers Remain High Despite Headwinds

Tourism numbers remain high despite factors such as muted global growth, a slowdown in China, and the strengthening of the American dollar, according to an article published by Crain’s. The US dollar is not likely to strengthen at the same rate in 2016 as it did in 2015, a positive for tourism. New York’s attraction as a premier business, shopping and sightseeing destination remains unbeatable across the world. New York’s prime attractions include the iconic Times Square, Central Park, Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and many more. Tourists also try to catch a play on Broadway.

New York Tourism: Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York Tourism: Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Hotel Industry in New York is also Booming

According to the Financial Express article, New York has the most active hotel development pipeline in the US, with 107,000 hotel rooms in 2016, and more than 133,000 rooms expected by 2019. There are budget hotels, mid-level hotels, boutique hotels and high-end luxury hotels. A Manhattan location is most sought after, and offered by hotels such as the Kimberly Hotel. There are also hostels for student tourists.

To add to these, various new hotels are expected to enter the city, such as the Renaissance Midtown New York Hotel, the William Vale, Intercontinental New York Barclay, the Beekman, the Four Seasons New York Downtown, the Whitby Hotel, and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.

Hotel Statistics, New York City
Hotel Statistics, New York City

NYC Hotel Industry Trends

Occupancy rates in New York City reached an all-time high in 2014, says a presentation named Hotel Industry Trends & Predictions by the School of Professional Studies at NYU. RevPAR is expected to decline through 2016, with an increase in supply. The presentation goes on to explain that since Manhattan is viewed as the top US gateway city, hotel investors from across the world consider this to be an essential market for their property portfolios.

Not just American and European, but hospitality companies around the globe invest in the Big Apple. Over 2015, Asian companies invested about $280 million in development sites in New York City, according to a report published by Ernst and Young.

New York Tourism: 50 Things to Do

Easier Transportation and Better Security Make New York Attractive

As reported by the Financial Express, many improvements have been made in New York’s transportation infrastructure. A new subway station at 34th Street – Hudson Yard has been opened on Manhattan’s far west side. In addition, upcoming openings of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub and the Second Avenue subway should further ease traveling around New York City.

Security has been beefed up by the formation of the Counterterrorism Respond Command, the Strategic Response Group and the Hercules team at the New York Police Department. Police presence on the subway and at heavily trafficked areas around the city also add to its security.

Bridges of New York
Bridges of New York


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