WTM 2017: Global travellers show ‘resilience’ in wake of New York terror attack

WTM 2017: Global travellers show ‘resilience’ in wake of New York terror attack

The recent terror attack in New York City had no discernible effect on bookings or cancellations, according to the city’s tourist board.

NYC & Company suspended communications in the wake of the attack to show respect for those killed and injured, but said positive reports from trade partners at World Travel Market showed that global travellers were becoming more resilient to attacks which were now possible in any major city.

Fred Dixon, NYC & Company chief executive, said: “In the aftermath of previous incidents like 9/11, there was a lot of talk about the resilience of New Yorkers, but I think we are now talking about the resilience of the world.

“We wanted to ensure we mourned the victims, six of whom were visitors to our city, but there is a clear feeling among travellers that the world moves on and this sort of threat is now something we all have to deal with.”

Despite other challenges including exchange rates and Brexit uncertainty, NYC & Company believes the UK market will decrease by just 6% year-on-year in 2017 from 2016’s final figure of 1.239 million, which would still represent the second highest UK figure since the financial crash.

Dixon said: “The pound isn’t in our favour and the fourth quarter is always a busy one for the UK so I am cautious about making definitive predictions, but we are currently predicting only a slight fall on 2016.”

Hotel development continues at pace in New York, with the current number of rooms – 115,000 – projected to rise to 142,000 by 2020.

Major developments include the Hudson Yards project, with two of an eventual nine towers now open, and the rejuvenation of the midtown district with a number of major family attractions opening.

The city is also hosting World Pride in 2019, with Dixon predicting the travel trade would have a “huge part to play” in promotions for the event throughout 2018.

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Travel Weekly coverage of World Travel Market

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