DECEMBER 7, 2022: NYC TOURISM DATA
It's worth remembering that a downturn in 2023 is far from a done deal. In fact, Goldman Sachs projects a 65% chance the U.S. avoids recession. November's employment report was unexpectedly strong, led by leisure + hospitality jobs. STR and Tourism Economics have only pared their 2023 projections down by a hair, with revenue per available room anticipated to be up 11.6% versus 2019.
- The city is at 85% of pre-pandemic visitation according to NYC & Company. Shoulder season discounts for January and February will be aggressively promoted to keep winter visitation attractive.
- Despite inflation, American leisure travel intent has stayed consistent at 3.7 trips over the next 12 months, with expected spend spiking up to almost $4,000, according to travel marketing firm MMGY Global. Older demographics are more likely to travel and have higher spends.
- New data from the World Travel & Tourism Council indicates urban destinations are "roaring back" and will drive the next decade of travel recovery.
- October was strong for air travel. “Traditionally, by October we are into the slower autumn travel season in the Northern Hemisphere, so it is highly reassuring to see demand and forward bookings continuing to be so strong,” IATA Director General Willie Walsh tells TravelPulse. “It bodes well for the coming winter season and the ongoing recovery.”
Recession concerns are real, but spending is holding strong, especially when it comes to travel. “There's no question that restaurants and bars and things are really packed and everybody's out,” Peter Schubert, managing director of commercial leasing at TerraCRG, tells Bisnow about NYC. “And you sense that there's a little bit of euphoria. We're all very, very bullish. I mean… even with the talk of, ‘Oh, we have a recession,’ [retailers] don't see it; it just hasn't materialized.”
Thanksgiving Week Broadway Grosses
NYC Hotel Occupancy Over the Last 4 Weeks
Last 4 Weeks Increase in Times Square Pedestrian Count
October Jobs Gained in NYC
NYC CRIME/SAFETY NEWS
- Overall index crime in NYC decreased in November against a year ago. Shooting incidents were down by 32.8% and the 2022 murder rate is 11.1% below last year's.
- Gun arrests are at a 27-year high; arrests for major felony crimes are up 19% against November '21.
- The NYPD has launches its Holiday Safety Initiative, with increased police presence and patrols tailored for places of worship, retail centers, tourist attractions, and other holiday gathering locations.
- Felony crime on transit is not outpacing the surge in ridership on the MTA—travel is up 38% over 2021, which is about the level of reported crime increase.
- “The NYPD is now putting more officers on subway cars and on platforms, and so far this month it has resulted in a drop in crime,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan told the Post. In fact, transit crime fell 13.1% comparing November '22 with '21.
- Mayor Adams is opening 11 city blocks to pedestrians in December, the city’s largest-ever holiday Open Streets. Fifth Avenue from 48th to 57th Street will be traffic-free for three Sundays in December, on top of the pedestrianized areas around Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. The plan will ease crowding and enhance public safety.
- The Mayor has also announced an initiative for connecting severely mentally ill people with treatment.
Hotel Barrière Fouquet's New York now open in Tribeca, the first U.S. location of the luxury French brand.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- New York City Economic Development Corporation November report notes high water marks for tourism
- Global tours and experiences provider Walks will be the new operator of the Official Grand Central Terminal Tour, returning for the first time since Covid
- Brooklyn retail booms even as Manhattan vacancies persist
- More than 10,000 Airbnb listings in NYC will get bounced next year when new housing rules take effect
- Carbone team opens Torrisi Bar and Restaurant in the Puck Building
- Le Figaro Café resuscitated in the Village
- Renovated JFK Terminal 8 now open
- Chez Napoleon reopens after 11-month shutdown
- Industry City upscales: Porsche Brooklyn opening tonight
- Acclaimed chef Greg Baxtrom opens Five Acres at Rockefeller Plaza tomorrow
- Golden Girls pop up coming to the Seaport
- Zero Irving food hall coming to Union Square
- Hyatt acquiring Dream Hotel Group
- The high demand for luxury travel continues unabated
- Royal Caribbean breaks booking records for the third time this year (cruise lines everywhere are shattering records)
- After four decades, Carolines on Broadway is done after New Year's Eve
- Hudson Yards loses another as Hudson Yards Grill set to close after three years
- Oaxaca Taqueria closes up on the UWS; the rest of the chain as well
- KPOP, we hardly knew ye—musical to close December 11th after a 3-week run
- After 11,472 performances, Stomp drops the curtain in January
NOVEMBER 22, 2022: HOLIDAY TOURISM OUTLOOK NYC
Tourism Recession or Surge: Here's the Data
- Despite shortages and inflation, Skift notes that this year's Thanksgiving travel will be as busy as it's ever been; AAA reports Thanksgiving travel will be at 98% of pre-pandemic numbers.
- Travelers are still prioritizing travel over other consumer spending. “We haven’t seen any signs of demand declining in our search or booking data,” Hayley Berg, lead economist at Hopper, tells Bloomberg.
- The AHLA Hotel Booking Index for the next three months is 7.1, or very good, based on factors of travel likelihood, financial sentiment, and preference for hotel stays.
- Hilton reports pent-up demand—especially among group and business travel—and consumer savings contributing to ongoing hotel recovery.
- International traveler spending increased 110% for September over a year ago.
- ...and that's with a backlog of U.S. visas; clearing that will open the gates to a spike in international travel.
- Timothy Hughes, vice president of corporate development at Agoda, tells Phocuswire that Asia still has a further 6-12 months of pent-up demand, with Japan and Korea recently opening and causing an “explosion” and China expected to reopen in 2023.
- For the first time in the pandemic era, the American travelers unconcerned about Covid outnumber those still cautious.
“More than half of Americans report that travel is now a priority and see their holiday as a sacred, worthwhile investment,” James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel, tells TravelPulse. “Having a period without travel has made people appreciate their holidays even more.”
NYC TOURISM DATA
Congrats all around (from top), as the Museum of Broadway opens (photo by Taylor Hill); Hells Kitchen welcomes Chi Restaurant; the new location of the Brooklyn Deli opens in Times Square (photo by Tricia Baron); and City Guide hosts a concierge night at the new Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience.
When it come to keeping NYC safe, there is much going on beneath the surface. This week we learned MTA Police officers apprehended two men at Penn Station and averted an attack on NYC's Jewish community.
According to New York Magazine, election results in New York state suggest that "doom and gloom about crime" was more of a media narrative than a central concern of people.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- WalletHub ranks NYC #1 for U.S. winter holiday destinations
- City Winery opens in Grand Central
- Marcus Samuelsson opens new Hav & Mar in West Chelsea
- Mediterranean brasserie Harta opens, to be followed by rooftop mezcaleria Bar Cima, as new Grayson Hotel launches near Bryant Park
- Jewish luncheonette S&P opens in the Flatiron
- Newark-Liberty International Airport opens new terminal
- Primark to open in Brooklyn in December
- Brighton Beach’s Tashkent Supermarket coming to West Village
- New York City Football Club to get own stadium near Citi Field
- Reservations open for New York Hotel Week
- Renaissance New York Harlem Hotel among major U.S. 2023 hotel openings
- The race to finish new Rock Center restaurants
- First licenses for NYC recreational marijuana dispensaries issued
- Domestic box office for movies doubles over a year ago
- Cruise lines seeing continuing momentum for bookings
- U.S. meetings and events eclipse 80% recovery for fifth month in a row
- Shorter booking window trend growing stronger
- Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Mercer Kitchen to close after nearly 25 years
- Refined vegan Blossom closes downtown outpost
- Jane Hotel Ballroom to close, become members-only club
FALL TOURISM OUTLOOK NYC
We are into quarter 4, NYC tourism's busiest season, and the outlook for the upcoming weeks is very strong. NYC & Company projects 6.5 million visitors between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. The latest hotel data shows NYC is still #1 among the nation's major hotel markets, with Average Daily Rates reflecting tourist willingness to spend significantly.
National headlines support the positive local trends. Some key findings:
- Brand USA forecasts 2023 tourism numbers exceeding 2019.
- Travelers aren't being deterred by inflation.
- Cities are back, and Airbnb is reporting record profits.
- The meetings industry is expected to surpass 2019 volume next year.
- Hotels are reporting very strong results, with Hilton surpassing expectations (and expecting the boom to continue into 2023), Marriott beating 2019 numbers, and IHG Hotels & Resorts also back to pre-Covid numbers.
- Bookings Holdings (with sites like Priceline and Kayak) set revenue records, up 117% over last year; Viator is up as well, and Tripadvisor surpassed 2019 revenue.
Expedia also set records in Q3. “Overall we are pleased to see strong demand expand into the fourth quarter as consumers continue to prioritize travel spend over other discretionary spend,” according to CFO Julie Whalen.
All of the data points to a busy stretch of tourism ahead.
Ginna Claire Mason (of Glinda fame) and Arielle Jacobs (known for playing Jasmine in Aladdin) welcome back the Times Square Alliance's "Show Globes," a big hit with tourists that will be on display in Times Square through December 26th. Photo by Michael Hull.
NYC TOURISM DATA
Average Broadway Capacity Last Week
New NYC Hotels
September Times Square Pedestrian Increase Over ’21
Empire State Building Observatory 3rd Quarter Traffic Increase Over ’21
SOME GOOD NEWS TO SHARE ABOUT NYC SAFETY
Media reports on crime in the lead up to the midterm elections has led to misperceptions about the safety of New York City. Here is some good news data:
- 1,200 additional police officers are now on patrol in the MTA, on top of personnel increases earlier in the year.
- As a result of the new staffing, fare evasion summons are up more than 80% compared to last year, and quality of life summonses are up 118%.
- Major felony crimes on the subways are down 4% compared to pre-pandemic stats.
- Officers will be present at over 300 stations during peak hours.
- New dedicated units at psychiatric centers will address street and subway mental illness issues.
- The subway has set pandemic-era ridership records the last three weeks in a row.
- Per the latest crime report, shooting incidents and killings are both down by one-third, October 2022 against October 2021.
- Despite 2021's rise in homicides in NYC, the murder rates remain less than 20% of 1990's levels.
City Guide will continue to report on the good news about city crime, as it is important to communicate to tourists the realities of visiting New York City.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- Broadway stars announced for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
- The Hilton New York Times Square has reopened, with 478 rooms across 44 floors
- Moxy East Village is now open, with 286 rooms
- Marc Forgione resuscitates One Fifth
- Tatiana opens at Lincoln Center
- Naro opens at Rockefeller Center
- Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to arrive November 12th
- Massive new Starbucks Reserve opening in the Empire State Building on November 16th
- David Burke makes plans for new brasserie Park Ave Kitchen
- NYC has nation's second-highest hotel rate increase (up 226% since 2019)
- Vornado delays Penn Station development plans
- NYC named one of the world's top 10 most accessible cities
- NYC's dynamism ensures it will not fail
- Return of group travel lifts global hotel demand to pandemic-era highs
- September air travel up 57% over previous year
- Hotels pivoting to leisure travel
- After a quarter century, Pearl Oyster Bar closes up
- After more than four decades, East Village legend Pyramid Club is done
NYC TOURISM 2022 SUMMER UPDATE
The long-awaited return of international travelers has begun. Inbound bookings jumped 93% during the past six weeks compared with 2021; and they're not looking for beaches—NYC and other cities are the main destinations. Canada, Germany, France, and Brazil are the top source markets; Japan and China have also joined, increasing by 8% and 28% respectively in just the past four weeks. Search engine Jetcost has some additional data:
- 250% search increase for flights year to date
- 330% search increase for hotels year to date
- Searches for August 2022 holidays are 30% above pre-pandemic levels
- NYC is the #1 search for US vacations, across Germans, French, Spaniards, Italians, Dutch, Portuguese, and British
- For US tourist searches, New York is also #1, beating out every other destination in the world
- The McKinsey US Summer Travel 2022 Report shows leisure travel is booming. 68% of respondents say they're traveling this summer "no matter what" (lots of good data here, including travel's near top spot on what people would do with a big lottery win).
- AmEx has raised its revenue forecast on surging travel spending; pent-up tourism demand has been a major driver, augmented by a recovery in international and corporate travel.
- The world's largest travel agency reports 2022 sales have already hit an all-time high; that reflects an 88% increase over pre-pandemic numbers.
- Americans are prioritizing travel and using more vacation days.
- Inflation isn't stopping travelers—airline ticket intentions show mid-sized price increases don't change plans.
- Covid isn't stopping travelers either, 57% of respondents said that they are “not concerned” or “not very concerned” about the disease as they make plans.
- Foot traffic data shows NYC's domestic tourism recovery is at 87% of 2019 levels.
- Times Square foot traffic for June was also at 87% of 2019, the highest recovery point of the Covid era (and a big step up from the 48% recorded in January).
- The latest projections from city tourism officials anticipate a 207% increase in international tourists year over year, and a 70% overall increase when domestic visitors are added in.
Even the "new normal" of travel can be turned to a positive, as tourists are seeking out exciting experiences to counteract the frustrations of their journeys. NYC can definitely help with that.
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt celebrated its One Millionth guest last Friday. Open just nine months, the milestone shows the brisk pace of NYC's tourism recovery. The lucky One Millionth Guest at SUMMIT received a $5,000 cash prize, in partnership with TD Bank, a private guided tour, and a memorable journey in Ascent, the world’s largest external glass elevator—soaring 1,200 feet above Midtown Manhattan.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- Jackie Robinson Museum finally opens
- Wait, LaGuardia is nice now?
- Russ & Daughters, Maialino, Mermaid Inn reopening
- Popular Japanese store Daiso opens first Manhattan location
- Ritz-Carlton's second New York hotel new open
- RIU Hotel now open In Times Square
- Radio Hotel now open in Washington Heights
- Historic Hudson Hotel to be converted to apartments
- Hotel Carter to be reborn
- Hourly hotel Liberty Inn to end its run
- Hilton has raised its 2022 profit forecast on strong travel demand
- Marriott reports big rebound for group travel along with continued leisure boom
- Overall hotel recovery continues
- Will inflation stunt travel spending rush?
- Experiential travel and revisits top list of US travel priorities
- Micro-cation trend emerging this summer
- No evidence monkeypox will inhibit travel
- Central Park Boathouse shutting down after brief reopening
- Danny Meyer passes the torch at Union Square Hospitality Group
CITY GUIDE CONCIERGE NIGHTS
City Guide concierge nights are back in full force, including a recent outing to Amateur Night at The Apollo. City Guide's Eli Marcus, hotel friends, and Billy “Apollo” Mitchell, historian and tour director of The Apollo for many decades, are pictured here.