As we come down the homestretch on 2021 we are feeling thankful at City Guide. Thankful for the return of international tourists. Thankful for vaccines and the new treatments that will allow us to come together again. Thankful for governmental support and its promotion of our city. Most of all we are thankful for our colleagues and all our loyal partners. As we reflect with friends and family this weekend, we will feel grateful we have such a strong, vibrant community in New York City tourism, one that has better times ahead on the near horizon.
We're also thankful for all the great feedback we're getting on our newly redesigned guides, now back in hotels across the city. If you haven't looked yet, here's a peek.
- 30th floor cocktail lair The Skylark to reopen in the Garment District
- The Sofitel New York has reopened
- The W New York Downtown has rebranded as The Washington - New York City
- Momofuku has opened Upstairs at Ssäm Bar in the Seaport with tabletop grills and private karaoke rooms
- New food court Mott Street Eatery now open in Chinatown
- Miracle on Union Holiday Pop-Up bar opens in North Brooklyn
- The Natural History's Origami Holiday Tree reopens today
- The Paley Center for Media reopens, with PaleyLand holiday extravaganza launching December 4th
- The Hotel Indigo Wall Street is taking bookings ahead of a December 15th opening
- "Sherlock Holmes in 221 Objects" is the first comprehensive Holmes exhibition in NYC in more than 50 years—opens January 12th at the Grolier Club
- NYC Restaurant Week will return January 18th-February 13th
The Empire State Building unveils local pop-up vendors, over-the-top decorations, and plans for musical performances throughout the holiday season.
We have been speaking with clients and friends about the return of international travel. Here are some telling quotes from the past few days:
- "International guests are starting to make more reservations at the restaurants, and we’re thrilled to be able to host them again. I think everyone is enthusiastic to be a part of the festivities in New York City. Everywhere you turn, you’ll see beautiful decorations, and feel like you’re in a winter wonderland, and our restaurants are no exception. We’re starting to see an increase of international guests calling us about making reservations for Christmas Day, because they saw the holiday decorations we put up and they want to dine in the cozy ambiance we created." —Benjamin Prelvukaj, Owner—Benjamin Restaurant Group
- "We are thrilled to once again welcome our international guests back to The St. Regis New York! Our neighboring Fifth Avenue shops are bustling, restaurant reservations are increasingly harder to come by and theater seats are full. Almost immediately, we’ve seen an influx of European travelers here at the hotel, and it has been wonderful feeling their energy and excitement as many have been eagerly looking forward to returning to experience all that makes New York City the greatest city on Earth." —Harald G. Mootz, CHC, CGSP, Chef Concierge, The St. Regis New York
- “Attendance at Summit One Vanderbilt continues to be robust. It’s been a delight to hear the chatter at our attraction include German, Spanish, French and even some great English accents. You can really feel the momentum shift in the city.” —Jason Hackett, Senior Vice President, Director of Sales and Marketing, Summit One Vanderbilt
We're feeling that momentum shift, too. An informal survey of Manhattan this weekend revealed a full house for Edge, tons of pedestrian traffic on The Hight Line and inside Hudson Yards, and 90-minute waits for tables in Union Square. Other promising notes for NYC tourism include:
- The most recent hotel occupancy rate for NYC is solid, just shy of 75%
- The Met just had its best weekend since the start of the pandemic
- Nationally, the TSA is reporting 95% of the traffic seen at this time in 2019
- The city gained 83,500 jobs in October, at increase that's twice the rate of the nation as a whole
Thanksgiving travel is expected to be at pre-pandemic levels. If you're leaving town we hope your travels are safe and we look forward to connecting with you in the weeks ahead.
LINKS OF INTEREST
Installation of Frank Stella's "Casper's Split Star'" sculpture in the Silverstein Family Park at 7 World Trade Center. Photo by Joe Woolhead.
- The Times looks at the return of international tourists (and also their importance locally for the arts)
- NYC scores a 10 out of 10 in best cities for Black Friday shopping
- NYC snags top slot in 'Best New Restaurants In America' ranking
- Michelin unexpectedly adds six restaurants to New York guide
- Five surprises for a European tourist returning to NYC
- Brooklyn Museum to receive $50 million gift from the City of New York—the largest capital investment in the museum’s history
- Times Square hopes to regain luster as tourists return
- There are hotel headwinds, but the Hyatt Grand Central is now sold out on weekends through the end of the year
- The Hustle takes a deep dive into the economics of putting on a Broadway show
- Coming shows and latest dates for Broadway
- Thomas Jefferson statue removed from City Hall after 187 years
- Staten Island announces new minor league baseball team: the FerryHawks
- Holiday travel on the rise with 70% of Americans planning a road trip
- New study finds Americans more confident in booking 2022 travel
- Business travel costs set to jump in 2022
- Global hotel rates could rise 4X inflation next year
- End of year hotel bookings spike nationally as holiday plans take shape
- U.S. hotel metrics were up for October over September
- 85% of hoteliers forecast financial recovery by the end of next year
- How city hotels are reinventing their business model
EVERYTHING TO DO FACEBOOK GROUP POST OF THE WEEK
City Guide's Facebook Group Everything to Do NYC has over 62,000 members, bringing together a mix of tourists making plans and locals giving advice. It's a great barometer of what visitors are thinking. More than 160 people took the time to comment on this post:
Among the suggestions: To Kill a Mockingbird, Phantom, Mrs. Doubtfire, Chicago, Aladdin, whatever you can get on TKTS, Hamilton, Book of Mormon, SIX, and Waitress. But interestingly, again and again the suggestions were for Wicked, Lion King, and Come From Away. This is market research that you don't have to pay for. It's also a great way to reach customers in real time as they're making decisions about where to invest their time and money in NYC. If you're not a member yet, join us!