One of the great things about New York City is that the tourism folks don’t rest on their laurels.
They come to Toronto regularly, for example, to talk about what’s new and what folks should see. They stage events all over the world to try to lure tourists to their city. They don’t just assume (as does Italy) that everyone will want to come there, so they WORK for their business.
And it’s paying off. Last year, NYC welcomed a record 58.3 million visitors, their sixth straight record-breaking year. Some 12.3 million of those folks were international visitors, including a million or so Canadians (we’re pretty much tied with the UK for most visitors to the city).
Still, NYC yesterday announced they’ve revamped their successful tourism website, nycgo.com. You’ll find tons of great information about free things to do in the city (there are lots, including the Staten Island Ferry and some TV shows), plus new listings to help you find that perfectly hip hotel; or something more modest. There’s also new fonts and colours, including that famous New York City taxi-cab yellow.
“New York City now has an enhanced, innovative tourism website and vibrant, updated branding to match our world-class, five-borough destination,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “Savings opportunities, outdoor activities and only-in-summer-events throughout the five boroughs add to the attractiveness of visiting NYC during the warmer months.”
There are tons of great things on the horizon in New York. The Hudson Yards is one of the largest urban projects in the world, with new office towers springing up along the Hudson River south of the convention centre and 30th St. Huge development also is taking place in lower Manhattan, which has become one of the trendiest areas in town in the last few years. I had fantastic drinks (one of them involved placing an alcohol-infused popsicle into a cocktail glass with vodka and fruit juice) at the wonderfully named Loopy Doopy Bar at the top of the Conrad Hotel. I stayed a few years ago at the lovely and handsome Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel. And I’ve always enjoyed the views of the Statue of Liberty and fresh air down at Battery Park.
There are tons of new hotels in the area, as well. Toronto-based Four Seasons has a new property (plus residences) underway next to City Hall. Thompson’s Beekman Hotel also is just opening in lower Manhattan. A bit further north is INNSIDE NY NoMad, a 313-room property on W. 27th St. that will be only the second U.S. Operation for Spain’s Melia Hotels International.
Staten Island is a big focus for New York of late. The world’s tallest Ferris Wheel (the New York Wheel) is supposed to be open for business next year. Later in the year, Empire Outlets will open in Staten Island and will be the city’s first and only outlet shopping mall.
Brooklyn has been hot for some time, and a lot of folks have been flocking to Queens of late for ethnic food or cool hotels such as the Z NYC, which has tremendous views of the city.
I had a great time in The Bronx a couple years ago, touring their version of Little Italy along Arthur Avenue (much more authentic than the one in Manhattan) and also visiting beautiful Wave Hill Gardens (gorgeous views of the Hudson River; see photo) and funky City Island.
Upcoming events include NYC Restaurant Week, with great discounts on fine restaurants from July 25 to Aug. 19, NYC Broadway Week (great shows at bargain prices from Sept. 5-18) and Off-Broadway Week (Sept. 26 to Oct. 9). For more information on what’s happening in the Big Apple this summer, visit www.nycgo.com/summer.