The Big Apple is almost ready to reopen for business, and when it does so, the rest of the world will know all about it. Next month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will formally launch NYC Reawakens, a $30 million marketing campaign designed to support the city’s return as a vital tourism destination.
Back in 2019, New York had its best ever year for tourism, welcoming 66.6 million visitors. Of course, the less said about 2020 the better, but the major players in New York’s tourism industry predict 36.4 million could still visit in 2021.
A warm welcome – for business and pleasure
The campaign is being managed by Fred Dixon, the CEO of NYC & Company, which is the city’s official tourism and marketing organization. Mr Dixon described the campaign as “a call to action to encourage visitors and meetings delegates to plan and visit the five boroughs this year and experience the city’s unmatched energy, excitement and dynamism.”
He thanked Mayor de Blasio for lending his support to the campaign, and de Blasio remarked on the hundreds of thousands of jobs that the tourism industry provides in New York City.
Green tourism given new meaning
Visitors will find that the city has not been sleeping in their absence, and plenty has been happening. One of the most dramatic legislative changes could have a direct impact on New York’s reputation as a tourism destination. Last month, the statewide legalization of recreational cannabis meant that it is legal to buy weed and soon it will also be possible to cultivate plants from cannabis seeds for personal use.
The UK is New York’s most important overseas tourism market, and the green revolution will do nothing to harm business. From the moment US states began the legalization process, the phrase “cannabis tourism” started to enter the British vernacular. While the likes of Nevada and California are popular destinations, it takes less than eight hours to fly from London to New York, compared with around eleven hours to fly to Las Vegas or Los Angeles. New York is just close enough to be a practical destination for a long weekend, and as soon as travel restrictions from the UK allow, the footfalls will begin.
It’s not just the pot-heads who will be anxious to revisit New York’s streets, and there is plenty scheduled across the city to keep visitors entertained, from Yayoi Kusama taking over the New York Botanical Garden with her Cosmic Nature exhibit to the incredible Little Island, New York’s newest park on what used to be known as Pier 55.
There’s also an incredible array of live music, theater and comedy that can be enjoyed across the city, and sometimes in the most unexpected places thanks to the passage of the Open Culture Bill, which came into force last year. It means you never know what to expect around the next corner, and should add a vibrant and festive atmosphere to the city.