This year, 3.06 lakh Indian visitors are expected to visit New York City.

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According to Tiffany Townsend, EVP, Global Communications at┬áNew York City┬áTourism and Conventions, the city hopes to welcome 3.06 lakh Indian visitors this year as the city experiences economic recovery, which has aided the city’s growing momentum in tourist footfalls.

“The rate of┬átourism’s┬árecovery contributes to New York City’s economic recovery, having supported approximately 3,40,000 jobs in the entire leisure and hospitality sector, more than USD 40 billion in direct visitor spending, and approximately USD 60 billion in total economic impact for 2022.” “New York City expects to welcome 11.4 million international visitors this year, including 306,000 Indian visitors,” Townsend told PTI via email.

New York City welcomed 66.6 million visitors in 2019, marking the city’s tenth consecutive year of record tourist growth, she said, adding that this included 13.5 million overseas visitors, with 3,36,000 from India.

According to her, India has long been a significant inbound travel market for New York City.

“New York City Tourism + Conventions, the City’s official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau (formerly known as NYC & Company), returned to India in January this year for the first time after the pandemic for a sales and media mission engaging the leading travel trade and media in Mumbai and New Delhi,” Townsend said.

According to her, New York City’s economic recovery continued last year, with 567 million visitors arriving in the five boroughs (districts), reclaiming 85 percent of the City’s record 2019 visitation levels.

“We welcomed 94 lakh international visitors in 2022, more than tripling the number in 2021, which is especially significant given that these visitors typically stay longer and spend more than their US counterparts.” “The City also hosted over 40 lakh business visitors, indicating the return of this important segment,” she added.

Meanwhile, she stated that India is placed 10th among the top ten international source markets for New York City, with the United Kingdom at the top, followed by Canada, France, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Mexico, Italy, and Australia.

“We see tremendous long-term and short-term potential in the Indian market.” The Indian tourism market is predominantly based on VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) travel, which can be attributed to the significant number of foreign students and post-graduate Indian residents in the United States and Canada, according to Townsend.

In terms of spending, India ranked fourth among international markets, with USD 700 million spent in New York City, she said.

She claimed that Indian visitors spend the majority of their money on various activities, hotel stays, dining out, and shopping.

“Entertainment also plays a vital role, with Indians attending Broadway shows, music concerts, comedy clubs, as well as visiting museums, art galleries, and brand-new and iconic landmarks,” she continued.

During the holiday season, New York City promotes its family-friendly attractions, including SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, Central Park, museums, and famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, Bronx Zoo, New York Botanical Garden, and many others. These attractions are primarily geared toward leisure and family travelers.

“We place a strong focus on the variety of entertainment alternatives available, including Broadway plays, live concerts, and festivals that are appropriate for people of all ages. We highlight NYC’s world-class museums like The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, as well as galleries presenting contemporary art, in recognition of the rich heritage and creative interests of Indian tourists,” she said.

According to her, the broad culinary scene in New York City, which includes Indian restaurants, food festivals, and food tours, appeals to the gastronomic interests of Indian travelers.

“On the business side, New York City as a meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) destination is of growing interest to the Indian market, with recently expanding venues for networking events like the Javits Center and many creative hotel conference facilities and meeting spaces cater to the needs across price points,” she continued.