NEW YORK — Tourism, one of the biggest industries propping up the New York City economy, is in trouble under President Donald Trump, tourism group officials said.
Policies under the new administration appear to be hurting demand for travel to the United States. NYC & Company, the official tourism agency of New York, just revised its 2017 forecast to predict a drop of 300,000 international visitors to New York City compared to 2016. It will end a years-long upward trend.
“While projected declines among travelers are concerning, the irrepressible hospitality and welcoming nature of New York City gives us confidence that our destination will continue to appeal to visitors from around the world,” said Fred Dixon, NYC & Company president and CEO. “We will work tirelessly to do all we can to preserve our City’s tourism industry in the months ahead.”
International visitors comprise only about 20 percent of all tourists to New York, but agencies focus on bringing international visitors to New York because they stay longer and spend more than domestic tourists.
NYC & Company launched a campaign in response to the scenario to reassure international travelers who may feel deterred about traveling to the U.S.
The final number is not in, but an estimated 60.3 million tourists visited New York in 2016. It was the seventh consecutive year of tourism growth for the city.
“More tourism means we have more people investing in New York City and are able to create more sustainable jobs for more people,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said about the number.
The tourism boom has been a massive boon to the city’s hotel industry. Hotel demand grew by 1.2 million last year, city data shows. New York is expected to add 24,000 hotel rooms by the end of 2019.
About 375,000 people are employed in the city by the tourism sector.