New York is expecting to welcome 1.244 million visitors from the UK in 2018, returning to a pattern of growth after a downturn in 2017.
Visitor numbers from the UK fell 2.2% year-on-year to 1.212 million in 2017 – however, the forecast 2018 numbers would recoup that loss and exceed the 1.239 million figure set in 2016.
Speaking at the IPW conference in Denver, Fred Dixon, chief executive of marketing body NYC & Company, said: “We saw a slight dip from the UK last year, which we largely attributed to currency and some mixed messages coming out of the US.
“This year the indicators are strong, and in the first part of this year we have been up which gives us confidence.”
NYC & Company has christened 2019 a ‘Monumental Year’ for the city, as it continues to herald new developments, attractions and events including World Pride, which will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall protests and is expected to attract more than three million visitors during the final week of June.
Dixon said 2019 would be a year of Pride, with a range of events and exhibitions, including the largest Andy Warhol retrospective for 30 years, which will run at the Whitney Museum from November until March 2019.
In addition to Pride events, a number of other openings are planned for 2019, including the new Statue of Liberty Museum, a 30% expansion of the Museum of Modern Art, and the unveiling of the massive Hudson Yards development on Manhattan’s west side.
Dixon said investment in the city continued at pace, with six new hotels opening so far in 2018, and total room capacity across New York’s five boroughs forecast to grow from 117,300 to 138,000 by 2020.
New retail developments include the city’s first Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus department stores, in addition to the Empire Outlets centre which is due to open on Staten Island.
Dixon said: “New York is defying the odds when it comes to physical retail. We know that 89% of our British visitors say that shopping is a key driver for their visits, so these new openings are a great message for the UK market.”
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