NYC and Company’s senior vice president for global communications has predicted a “monumental year” for the city in 2019 in terms of events, new openings and visitor numbers.
New York anticipates 3 million visitors next June for World Pride, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York. Speaking at WTM on November 5 (stand NA300), Heywood described the Pride celebrations, which the city is marketing as “A Year of Pride” will attract “LGBTQ travellers and their supporters to celebrate a monumental moment for the city’s history.”
New York is expecting 65.2 million visitors this year, including 13.5million international visitors.
The city has the most active hotel pipeline in the country, with more than 117,300 hotel rooms as of October 2018, and another 22,700 rooms planned by the end of 2021.
Heywood said he hoped that with its combination of “historic events and iconic openings”, 2019 would be the year to visit NYC.
The city will also welcome its largest private retail estate development in the US, Hudson Yards, featuring restaurants, boutiques and the Vessel, a vast sculpture created by Thomas Heatherwick. The development will open next spring alongside The Shed, a moveable gallery and venue space.
Additional attractions include the Statue of Liberty Museum, which will open in May and display the statue’s original torch, and the first shopping outlet for Staten Island, Empire Outlets.
Heywood said the openings reflected a desire to promote the city’s five boroughs and encourage tourists to “explore beyond Manhattan.”
Heywood also commented on a new global marketing campaign, worth $13.5 million, with the key messaging: “Famous Original NYC. Welcomes you. Always”.
The campaign hopes to drive visitation with an emphasis on Q1, when Heywood says prices for visitors are favourable and attractions often offer “two for one” deals.
The UK, which remains the city’s number one overseas market, with a record 1,243,000 visitors this year, has been a focus for the new marketing campaign.
New York has partnered with British Airways and British Airways Holidays for the campaign, which launched September 24, and which will promote travel offers and packages until March 2019.