NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization, recently conducted an eight city India showcase to create awareness in the market about their upcoming iconic tourism products. The delegation, led by Fred Dixon, President & CEO, NYC & Company, presented a new global initiative—'2019: A Monumental Year’ describing about new openings and development taking place in the city.
“We are going to see the opening of Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s far west side—the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States; The Shed, a multi-arts centre dedicated to global displays of visual art, design, media; and Vessel, a climbable urban landmark and museum of modern art amongst others,” Dixon said.
New York welcomed 373,000 Indian visitors in 2018. “We are expecting India market to grow in 2019 by about 6 per cent. India has grown by 60 per cent over the last 5 years. So, it is showing very good momentum going forward and we are very optimistic about India,” he said.
Replying to a question over further building up on this high growth, he said that it is always a challenge but we need to always innovate and come up with new ways to stimulate the market. “One of the most exciting things about Indian market is youth which offers a great future opportunity here. Also, with some expanded promotion from members of the trade with us and the dynamic growth in this market, we will continue the momentum,” he added.
Talking about segments in the India market, he said that VFR is the large component from India due to the presence of huge Indian community in New York, followed by business travel, MICE as well. “We are going to be more looking into the meetings and incentives space. The real opportunity on the leisure side is probably going to be in the FIT segment. A lot of new hotels brands like Aman, Six Senses are opening their hotels in New York and these will bring new interest from luxury travelers,” he opined. He said that India has a huge youth population and people are certainly looking for experiences. “New York is well suited for the future growth,” he said.
He also informed that New York is investing an enormous amount in number of areas including airports. “An amount of US$23 billion is going to be invested in the redevelopment of all the airport specially JFK, New York and LaGuardia. We needed expanded airports and it is coming. We are also investing heavily in our train stations,” he said and added New York city ferry launched last year and it is growing and very popular with locals and visitors. “So, we are going to see more this kind of development is happening than before,” he said.
Replying to a question over air connectivity between India and New York, he said that this is an area where we need more investment. “We are hoping to see more attention going forward. Middle East carriers and United have done wonderful job. As the market grows, we do need the more capacity,” he informed.
New York City welcomed a record 65.2 million visitors in 2018, the City’s ninth consecutive year for tourism growth, with 49.7 million domestic and 13.1 million international visitors.