New attractions, expanding hotels and this summer’s World Pride have helped UK visitor numbers to New York City towards their second highest peak in history in 2019.
Speaking at WTM London, Fred Dixon, president and chief executive of NYC & Company, said the city’s latest data showed UK visitors were on track to reach more than 1.3 million this year, up from 1.26 million in the previous 12 months.
Dixon said the number was particularly significant as the highest ever number of UK visitors had come in 2008, when the currency exchange was much more favourable than it is today.
Key factors in the growth had included new city developments such as Hudson Yards on the Far West Side of Manhattan, as well as more than 20 new hotels in 2019 alone, adding 3,900 rooms to the city.
“In the past decade we have taken the total rooms of San Francisco and moved them into New York,” said Dixon, with rooms across the five boroughs rising from 86,600 in 2010 to more than 122,000 by the year’s end.
UK visitors to New York City include a high proportion of leisure travellers (87% compared with an average 80%), more than 80% of them repeat visitors.