Finally Some Positive News for NYC Tourism

The return of indoor dining, middle schools, and pop-up performing arts all point to a rapidly restoring New York City. Broader traveler sentiments reflect that as well. A recent survey by market research firm Destination Analytics shows cities back on top of leisure travel plans. At over 59% of plans, metropolitan areas have moved ahead of beaches, parks, and towns. The number one domestic destination in 2021 planning? New York City. (Vegas and Florida follow at second and third.) It doesn't hurt that the city has crossed the million vaccine milestone, with COVID positivity rates plummeting.

The data from the Global Travel Trends 2021 study conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners suggests the majority of travelers will maintain their pre-pandemic travel budgets; there will also be some turbocharging in the form of "revenge travelers," who will be boosting their spending to make up for lost time. More good news for NYC: U.S. respondents indicate they'll be dropping their international travel in half, while building the domestic market by 26% this year.

Even in advance of universal vaccinations, travel enthusiasm is rising. Longwoods International and Miles Partnership have found travel planning is at an all-time high. The new federal mask mandates for travel are getting a 91% confidence rating. A separate study shows 77% of travelers will be much less concerned about safety after the spring. Younger generations are desperate to travel. How badly? 58% would travel even if it meant quarantining when they got back; 40% said they'd forego tech for a week just to get out in the world. Like the older cohorts, younger travelers are also expressing major interest in close-to-home travels, with 77% eager to explore domestic destinations.

lunar ice brookfield plaza

"Lunar Ice," on display Friday and Saturday on the Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place, in celebration of the Lunar New Year.

Links of Interest

Theater District legend Joe Allen dead at 87.

Thursday at 6pm, The Future of New York City: A Conversation with Errol Louis on Zoom. 

Next Tuesday at 6pm, New York 2021: Crisis as History on Zoom.

The Frick opens Frick Madison, its temporary new location, on March 18th in the former home of the Whitney.

The Friends Experience is back in NYC; presale starts today.

LGBTQ-focused travel event Proud Experiences returning to NYC in November. 

The current state of the hotel industry.  

Hartz Mountain Industries seeks to walk away from Soho Grand and The Roxy.

What COVID changes to hospitality are here to stay?

After a century, The Beatrice Inn leaves its original location (with plans to reopen nearby).

World's first oatmeal bar OatMeals hangs it up after 8 years.

Everything to Do NYC Facebook Group Post of the Week

City Guide's Facebook Group Everything to Do NYC provides excellent first-hand market research, letting you gauge the thinking of NYC superfans—now over 14,000 members strong. People are actively looking for things to do and eager to provide guidance to city visitors. The group is also eager to swap tips on making the most of NYC. This post from last week has already racked up over 100 comments:

Best chocolate chip cookies in NYC? Levain, Seven Grams, Coffee Culture, Chip?

There was a loud chorus of support for Levain, but also love for Schmackary's, Insomnia, Jacques Torres, Maman, Chip City, Baked in Brooklyn, Moonrise Bakehouse, and Gregory's. It was almost enough to inspire a person to go out in the cold for some fresh-baked goodness. Beyond cookies, people have been looking for recommendations on things like hotels, pizza, and where to have a kid-friendly birthday meal. See if your hotel, restaurant, or venue is mentioned and weigh in with actual customers. Everything to Do NYC can really serve as a marketing vehicle. Stop by for insight into what locals and visitors are thinking.

About the Author

Ethan Wolff is the author of numerous guidebooks to New York, having covered the city for more than two decades. He has written for New York Magazine, BlackBook, and Details, among others. In addition to his work as the editor of City Guide, Ethan covers NYC’s talk and lecture scene for the website Thought Gallery. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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