New York is hoping the opening of three new attractions around Times Square will offer a timely boost for family bookings.
The city’s tourism body NYC & Company is forecasting a 6.6% decrease in UK visitor numbers in 2017 following a number of years of growth.
The projected figure of 1.141 million would be the lowest annual number since 2013, and is based on the expected impact of currency challenges and uncertainty around Brexit.
Despite the forecast and ongoing concerns over the perception of the US as a welcoming destination, tourism chiefs hope a raft of new openings will prompt more families to visit.
Speaking at the IPW conference in Washington, NYC & Company chief executive Fred Dixon said the recent opening of miniature model attraction Gulliver’s Gate and the opening of a National Geographic ocean attraction and an NFL American football experience this autumn were contributing to a “renaissance for midtown Manhattan”.
“The family market is incredibly important to us, and these attractions give us a very clear message to send out to our UK visitors,” he said.
“We have renewed our partnership with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for a second year, and these openings give us more reasons to talk about New York as a family-friendly destination.”
Other developments due to open in the city next year include Pier 17: The Seaport District NYC, the New York Wheel in Staten Island, and a 15-storey interactive artwork called “Vessel” which will form part of the massive Hudson Yards Development.
Dixon said hotel capacity across New York’s five boroughs was due to jump from the current figure of 113,000 this year to 137,000 by 2019, and said the increased capacity meant hotel prices had not risen as sharply as some would have predicted.
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