Three members of NYC's City Council-- Keith Powers, Paul Vallone, & Jimmy Van Bramer -- wrote an editorial for Crain's Business: The city should do more to support our burgeoning tourism industry
"According to NYC & Company, the city's marketing organization for tourism, visitors brought in nearly $4.2 billion in 2016. However, the city spends less on tourism promotion than Las Vegas, San Francisco and Barcelona, and the budget for tourism has declined by 22% in the past decade.
In order to stay competitive, New York needs to create a comprehensive, citywide plan to manage the tourism boom, one that addresses the challenges that visitors face. The plan should revamp our infrastructure, ensure that tourism is an integral part of the city's jobs planning and include all boroughs."
We couldn't agree more. The city cannot rest on its laurels, nor continue to rely on infrastructure that is, in some case, over a century old.
They also note that:
"Finally, we need to expand tourism in the outer boroughs so all New Yorkers benefit from the industry. Tourists tend to congregate in Manhattan hot spots, like Times Square and Central Park. But New York is much more than those iconic areas. There is untapped potential for new tourist destinations in the outer boroughs that could bring vital economic growth, and a new look at our city."
And we enthusiastically agree here. New York is a large and diverse city, and its tourism is starting to reflect that. One way that GANYC's guides work to represent this growing industry is through our diversity... not just in our pool of guides, but also in the topics and neighborhoods that they cover. Many of our guides are multilingual. Most are multi-borough in knowledge and experience. Many have numerous certifications. And decades of experience.
We are happy to work as an organization to boost the profile of our industry and our guides... and look forward to working with the City Council on any initiatives they may reach out to us on. Our President, Michael Dillinger, will be writing a letter soon to the Council members to begin that work. And, as always, we are happy to speak to members of the press about what a valuable resource GANYC can be.