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New York City Tourism + Conventions Sets Sight to Welcome 11 Mn International Visitors in 2023

New York City Tourism + Conventions sets its sight on India, following a versatile strategy and product mix, with an expectation to welcome 306,000 travelers from India and 11 million international visitors in 2023. Makiko Matsuda Healy, Senior Vice President of Tourism Development, New York City Tourism + Conventions talks to T3 on similar lines.

Excerpts from the interview:

How is the performance in terms of arrivals from India and overall, & your expectations from 2023?

The City remains on track to welcome more than 63 million visitors in 2023. The pace of tourism’s rebound helps fuel New York City’s economic recovery, having supported approximately 340,000 jobs in the full leisure and hospitality sector, more than $40 billion in direct visitor spending, and approximately $60 billion in total economic impact for 2022. This year, the City expects to welcome 11 million international visitors.
India continues to be a core market for New York City, with growth over the last decade and further increases in visitation expected. We project that 306,000 travelers will visit NYC from India in 2023.

What new tourism attractions/products are you planning to launch for the winter season?

NYC celebrates winters with style beginning from Thanksgiving to the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square. Annual celebrations include the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (November 23), the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, and festivities ranging from the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes, to the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden.

NYC will also launch its annual NYC Winter Outing, a value-driven program spanning hotels, dining, Broadway shows and attractions, museums, tours and performing arts. The 2024 iteration will take place from January 16 through February. Additionally, we have more offers and elements running throughout like NYC Hotel Week, NYC Restaurant Week, NYC Must-See Week, NYC Broadway Week, and more.

How important are B2B agents for you in India & your plans to connect more closely?

NYC will continue to invest in training our trade partners and work closely to create profitable partnerships that can only benefit the consumer in the long run. The B2B segment allows us to build a strong marketplace through their vast network of Tier 2 and Tier 3 Indian cities – we look forward to visiting Ahmedabad as part of our annual sales mission in early 2024, alongside New Delhi and Mumbai.

New York City Tourism + Conventions is also offering the trade a wide variety of travel planning tools, including the relaunched Travel Trade Academy to educate and empower those to best sell and promote NYC.

What is your take on easing visa processes and air connectivity from India?

Visa processing for first-time applicants remains an issue affecting global travelers to the United States, though it is beginning to improve. We are fortunate that many Indian travelers hold a valid 10-year US visa. We understand that the US Consular Service is setting a target of over 1 million new visas to be issued in India by year’s end, which will, in part, be aided by the positive news that the US Consulate plans to establish a presence in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad.

Air India launched three flights each from Bengaluru and Mumbai, and in February launched seven flights from Mumbai to JFK International Airport. We also have United Airlines and American Airlines offering one-stop connections. We believe that there will be a big push soon for more flights to India from these homegrown US carriers.

What is the contribution of MICE in your overall traffic from India?

MICE events from India to New York City contributed to the city’s overall tourism and economic growth. NYC continues to grow as a MICE destination for Indian groups, particularly following the $1.2 billion expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in recent years, alongside other new venues, hotel conference facilities and meeting spaces which cater to the needs across price points.

What promotional and marketing activities have you planned for the Indian market?

The Indian subcontinent is significant, ranking second in international arrivals to the USA in May. New York City Tourism + Conventions, the City’s official destination marketing organization and convention and visitor’s bureau (formerly NYC & Company), returned to India earlier this year for a sales and media mission engaging the leading travel trade and media in Mumbai and New Delhi for the first time since the pandemic, alongside a delegation of five New York City tourism partners.

With recent initiatives including an event in Hyderabad with the US Commercial Service and United Airlines. We are also engaging with national and international airline partners for strategic promotional initiatives and familiarization trips for the media, influencers, and travel trade, in addition to programs targeting students. We also recently collaborated with Travel Boutique Online (TBO), servicing agents with their many verticals including TBO Air, TBO Academy, TBO DMC, TBO Holidays, etc.

What practices are you planning to adopt on sustainability fronts this year?

Sustainability continues to be a key focus of our work with the travel trade, introducing agents and operations to products including Like A Local Tours, FIT Tours NYC (tour by bike, running or yoga), the 1 Hotels brand which offers properties in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Citi Bike, and the NYC Ferry.

New and upcoming projects on the sustainability front include Beluga24 Zero Mission Ferry and Sustainable Harlem. Besides, Earth Matter NY and The Trust for Governors Island have joined forces to create Zero Waste Island, an initiative with the goal of reducing the island’s waste export to zero.






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