A varied swath of data speaks to tourism's return, both in NYC and nationally.
- The CDC has ended its Covid guidance, suggesting the pandemic era is over. 95% of Americans ages 16 and older have acquired some level of immunity.
- Inflation is having minimal impact on travel—79% of travelers will not cancel plans due to increases in costs.
- Hotel prices and occupancy have risen worldwide; after a rough stretch January-March, the U.S. industry has stabilized.
- Group travel to urban destinations has hotel REIT earnings beating 2019.
- The travel industry is helping to slow inflation—falling prices for gas, airfare, and hotels lowered July numbers from historic highs.
- The parent of Booking.com, Kayak, and Priceline beat second quarter estimates, up 57% from a year ago.
- Expedia Group’s second quarter financials set records for highest ever revenue and lodging bookings.
- Tripadvisor is almost on par with 2019 levels, up 77% against 2021.
- The majority of Americans will travel over Labor Day weekend. Flight data suggests higher levels of plane travel than on July 4th or Memorial Day.
Bisnow reports that revPAR in Manhattan is now 5% above 2019 levels. BD Hotels principal Richard Born notes in the same piece that he's "shocked" by how well his Brooklyn hotels have performed. As LW Hospitality Advisors President and CEO Daniel Lesser put it, "The New York City tourism market is coming back with a vengeance, and candidly, I think smart money is investing in New York right now."
Arts Brookfield is exhibiting British artist Liz West’s immersive sculptural work Hymn to the Big Wheel. It's at Manhattan West until September 5th and then at Brookfield Place September 9th-25th. Photo by Jakob Dahlin.
CELEBRATING NYC TOURISM'S BEST
Tourists are back. Museums, attractions, hotels, restaurants and others are returning to pre-pandemic levels and the industry is recovering. It's time to throw a party celebrating difference makers in our industry!
This Fall Kickoff brings the industry together to celebrate “behind the scenes” individuals who make NYC a favored tourism destination. Day in and day out, these individuals go above and beyond to create great visitor experiences.
NYC Tourism Fall Kickoff
Tuesday, September 20th 5:30-8pm
Intrepid Museum | West 46th Street/12th Avenue
Recognition Ceremony @ 7pm
Tickets are available here
TOURISM MARKETING FORUM REPORT
Approximately 40 professionals came together yesterday at the Empire State Building to discuss summer and fall tourism trends. The forum was co-hosted by City Guide and Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). Overall there was optimism in the room. Most attendees said they had strong Junes and a solid July, with some softening in August. It wasn’t clear if this was due to summer doldrums, economic concerns, or airline cancellations. September is viewed as a wait and see. The general consensus was that the holiday season should be strong. Inquiries and bookings are trending up. Several attractions have increased the number of days they're open during the week. The feedback on international tourists was mixed, with some attendees reporting a strong return while others commenting it's still lagging other indicators.
An informative hotel presentation by Jennifer Hill, Vice President, Commercial Strategy for Kalibri Labs, noted that by next year all NYC hotel markets are projected to be at 91% of 2019 guest spends. Western European travelers are back, but they travel in smaller groups and spend less than the Brazilians and Chinese. People are booking later, with zero to 3 days now the strongest booking window.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- Analysis from Fitch Ratings shows positive outlook for NYC, full tourism recovery expected
- Hornblower exec on NYC tourism and deep-level experiences
- Natural History Museum returns to daily operations
- Restaurants and concerts driving Seaport comeback
- (Not to mention Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s massive Tin Building food hall, now open)
- (And Watermark’s Oktoberfest is back, starting September 2nd)
- Fireman Hospitality Group opening a second location of Brooklyn Deli in late October in Times Square
- SoHo to get a cannabis museum
- Serafina launching three locations of new fast-casual Serafina Express
- New York Times Food Festival will return October 8th
- NYC crime at decades-long lows, although perception of danger is slowing city recovery
- Herald Square posting city's highest retail vacancy rates at 42.4%
- As business travel bounces back, hotelier confidence rises
- Is this a travel bubble or the new normal?
- Cosmopolitan enters the travel business with CosmosTrips, a bespoke booking service for young travelers
- Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Mercer Kitchen to close after 25 years
- Trader Joe’s Wine Shop shutters abruptly after 15 years (with plans to relocate)