New York City is launching a $30 million tourism advertising campaign in June to revive industries that have been gutted by coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in April.

The campaign aims to boost Gotham’s hotel, restaurant, arts, entertainment and taxi industries, as well as bring back some 400,000 jobs connected to tourism.

“We need to let people know we’re open for business. It’s safe to come here… to this city that’s been so heroic during this crisis,” said de Blasio, who called it “the largest campaign ever to promote tourism in New York City and it will remind people this is the place to be.”

The campaign is being funded through federal stimulus money, according to City Hall. Typically, the city spends around $3 million annually in tourism advertising.

“Tourism has been an important part of life for this city, an important part of our economy – hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on tourism,” said de Blasio.

Fred Dixon, president and CEO of the city’s tourism bureau NYC & Company, explained that the “major comprehensive marketing and advertising campaign” will kick off in June with the message that “all five boroughs are open, vibrant and ready to safely welcome back visitors and business events.”

“We’re going to do all we can to accelerate tourism’s recovery,” said Dixon, who noted that the campaign will also “target international travel markets as those begin to open back up.”

In the run-up to the campaign, Dixon said, the city is encouraging New Yorkers to take “an active role in the recovery by inviting friends and family to plan a visit.”

The tourism campaign announcement comes more than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic struck and decimated the city’s hospitality industry. In March, city hotel occupancy data reported an uptick and foot traffic in Times Square showed that tourists were starting to filter back into the Big Apple, but the stats were a far cry from where those figures were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

NYC & Company projects that 36.4 million people will visit the Big Apple in 2021, recovering more than 50% of the record 66.6 million tourists that came in 2019.

By 2024, officials expect the city to exceed its 2019 visitor record with an anticipated 69.3 million visitors.

Source: New York Post