New York will seek its first postcovid foreign tourists in Mexico
New York, Jun 30 (EFE) .- The city of New York will launch this summer in Mexico its first advertising campaign abroad after the pandemic to attract tourists from this country, within the framework of a 30 million dollar initiative that seeks to revitalize this key sector for the Big Apple.
"Latin America is supremely important for tourism in the city (...) For example, if we refer to 2019, I could tell you that about seven Latin American countries were in the ranking of the 30 countries that visited New York the most," he told Efe. Adriana Aristizábal, spokesperson for NYC & Company, the company in charge of promoting tourism in the city.
The plan launched by the city, entitled in Spanish "New York, the moment is now", has already started at the regional and national level seeking to revive local tourism, traditionally the most important for the city of skyscrapers, since it represents almost the 80% of total visitors.
However, the city is looking beyond its borders and will soon begin a campaign in Mexico and later in Canada and the United Kingdom, which will expand to other markets as travel restrictions are lifted, for example, they are still maintained for many countries such as the European Schengen area, where there are important tourist clients such as France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
Beyond Mexico, Aristizábal also highlighted the interest that the city unleashes in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Chile, as well as Spain, which topped the list of Spanish-speaking tourists in 2019 with 546,000.
According to company data, 495,000 Mexican tourists visited New York in the year before the pandemic, in addition to 826,000 Brazilians, 359,000 Argentines, 244,000 Colombians, 79,000 Chileans and 53,000 Peruvians.
THE CRASH OF TOURISM IN 2020
Tough restrictions imposed in New York in March 2019 caused a global drop in visitor numbers by 67%, from 66.6 million in 2019 to 22.3 million in 2020.
Obviously, the restrictions affected travelers from other countries much more and, thus, of the total of 2,250,000 tourists from Latin America who visited the Big Apple in 2019, less than 80% (433,000) came to see its skyscrapers.
Additionally, revenue from the tourism sector fell by around 75%, from $ 80.3 billion in 2019 to $ 20.2 billion last year, according to a report by the state Comptroller's Office.
A big blow for a sector that, according to 2017 statistics, generated 9% of employment in the city.
THE FUTURE PERSPECTIVES
However, the good rate of vaccination, with 65% of the adult population vaccinated, and the drop in the incidence of positivity to 0.5%, has encouraged the authorities to lift the vast majority of the restrictions imposed to avoid spread of the pandemic and to launch this campaign to attract tourism, at a time when all traditional destinations are struggling to recover.
NYC & Company expects the city to receive 10 million visitors in the summer campaign, which would be six million more than last summer, although still seven and a half million below the 17.5 million who visited the city in the summer 2019.
Aristizábal explains that the campaign - which employs influencers and has a tourist guide in Spanish - wants to convey that now there is an "opportunity for anyone to come to New York City and experience and be part of a historical moment that we are living. , the resurgence and return of New York, "says Aristizábal.
But New York has not been immune to the increase in gun violence in many large cities in the United States after the outbreak of crime, and authorities fear it could affect tourism.
In fact, this Monday, after a shooting with a wounded man in the touristy Times Square, the mayor of the city Bill de Blasio promised to increase the police presence in the most touristy areas.
"We cannot allow this to have a negative impact (on tourism). So we are going to be very clear to everyone, we are going to see a lot of police presence and we are going to see how these issues are addressed very aggressively," said the mayor. during his daily press conference.
Aristizábal, without wanting to delve into the matter, assures that the authorities are already taking care of this issue and insists that the progressive increase in the arrival of tourists is already palpable.
Since the quarantine requirement for domestic travelers was lifted on April 1, demand for hotels in the Big Apple has increased from 338,367 rooms for the week ending April 3, to 457,568 rooms for the week ending April 3. July 19, which equates to a 35% increase.
"People keep traveling, keep making reservations at hotels and keep coming because they trust what is being done and that they will have a good time for leisure and healthy recreation in the city that never sleeps," he concludes.