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NYC tourism has rebounded to 85% of pre-pandemic levels

Plus, here's how to score a sweet hotel deal this winter.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan

In the next six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, 6.5 million people are expected to visit New York City—the latest sign of the city’s rebound amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the city’s tourism bureau announced today.

In 2022 overall, the city expects 56.4 million total visitors by year's end, according to NYC & Company. That would account for 85% of the record 2019 tourism levels, and the city hopes to surpass those 2019 visitation numbers by 2024. The figures comprise about 9 million international visitors and 47.5 million domestic travelers.

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"We know that we've had tremendous challenges but we have been rebuilding and rebuilding strongly with a vengeance and New York is back in a big way for tourists," Charles Flateman, chair of NYC & Company's board of directors, said at a press conference today.

To spur even more tourism in the new year, NYC & Company is again hosting NYC Hotel Week from January 3 through February 12 offering up to 23% off more than 140 hotels. Featured hotels include The Beekman in Lower Manhattan, Radio Hotel in Washington Heights, Opera House Hotel in the Bronx and The Rockaway Hotel in the Rockaways, among many others.

A room in The Hard Rock Hotel in Manhattan.
Photograph: By Chris Sander / Courtesy of NYC & Company | The Hard Rock Hotel in Manhattan.

"Reservations are now open and we invite travelers and even New Yorkers alike," NYC & Company CEO Fred Dixon said. "This is a great opportunity for staycations," 

Citywide, NYC has more than 124,000 hotel rooms with another 11,000 rooms expected to open in the next three years. 

"As travelers think more about slow travel, as they think about their impact on the community, we want to remind them that there are amazing small businesses and small experiences across the five boroughs to explore," Dixon said. "So going local, getting deeper into community is one of the messages in supporting small businesses."

We are, to many people, the capital of the world, and this is a must-see destination.

Officials also highlighted Broadway's robust season with 10 new shows opening in November alone, plus the newly opened Museum of Broadway.

Last week alone, Flateman said, Broadway shows grossed about $32 million and hosted 272,000 attendees, numbers that reflect "how significant Broadway is to our Time Square economy and to our city economy."

Soon, NYC & Company will announce details about NYC Winter Outing, held from January 17 to February 12, with deals on Broadway shows, dining, tours, museums and more. Bookings will open on January 10. 

"New York City is always on the top handful of desired destinations for any traveler anywhere around the world," Flateman said. "We are, to many people, the capital of the world, and this is a must-see destination."

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