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New York City launching ad blitz to lure back foreign tourists

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New York City’s government is launching a series of ads to lure back foreign tourists to the city following the pandemic lockdown, The New York Times reported.

Tourism agency NYC & Company is planning to spend up to $6 million on an international campaign called “It’s Time for New York City,” with ads running across eight countries. 

The agency is also switching its message on billboards in various foreign cities including London from “New York City Misses You Too” to “New York City Is Ready for You.”

NYC & Company has lowered its expected forecast to 34.6 million visitors this year, about half the number that visited the city in 2019. That year, before the pandemic, nearly 67 million people visited the city, including 13.5 million from out of the country, according to the company’s estimates. The company estimates 2.8 million foreign visitors will come this year.

NYC & Company chief executive Fred Dixon told the Times it will still take years for the city to regain all of the lost tourism. 

“There is an enormous amount of pent-up demand, and people are anxious to travel again,” Dixon told the Times. 

The agency is also partnering with foreign airlines and big tour operators from various countries, the Times reported. 

This comes as the federal government is planning to open the country’s borders next month to international tourists who are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

According to official estimates, tourists have spent $47 billion annually and supported more than 280,000 jobs in the city before the start of the pandemic, the Times reported.

Half of the spending comes from international visitors, even though they account for 20 percent of all visitors, the newspaper noted.

New York City is among a number of cities that has sought to lure visitors and residents back to the area following the pandemic, after many people fled urban centers and scattered to more rural areas last year.

Tags New York New York City Tourism

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