NYC to push city beyond Manhattan

NYC to push city beyond Manhattan
By admin

Australia is now the fifth largest overseas market for New York, as Australian visitor numbers climbed 5% to 556,000 in 2012, according to preliminary figures from NYC & Company.

Vice president tourism development, Makiko Matsuda Healy, told Travel Today that Aussies were staying an average of nine days in the city that never sleeps, notching up total expenditure of $1.64 billion for the year.

"That's more than the UK, more than Brazil," she said. "It's a very valuable market for us."

Leisure travellers account for more than 90% of the city's visitors from Down Under, but the MICE market is rapidly growing, Healy added, as organisations buoyed by the strength of the Australian dollar look to NYC for "new and different" experiences.

Promoting New York beyond Manhattan will be a major focus for NYC & Company over the course of this year. It has already launched an online tool kit guide to Long Island City on its website, with other neighbourhoods such as Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island next on the agenda.

"NYC is really a patchwork of all the different neighbourhoods," Healy said at a briefing in Sydney today. "They've each got their own local flavour."

Meanwhile, she dismissed the possibility of a downturn in tourism should the Australian dollar weaken, stressing the exchange rate is "not the game changer."

Compared to Australian prices, the US will continue to offer good value as a destination, she said.

The tourism body reported a record year for arrivals in 2012, with the city hitting a new high of 52 million visitors.

It has set a goal of 55 million annual visitors by 2015. The city's hosting of the Formula One Grand Prix and the Superbowl in 2014 are expected to deliver a significant boost to tourism, with Healy describing the events as a "great fit" for the Australian market.

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