What’s Ahead for NYC

A Reflection on New York City Tourism + Conventions’ Annual Meeting

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For those of you who did not attend The New York City Tourism + Conventions Annual Meeting last week, I highly recommend becoming a member and attending next year. Many of us know that in 2023, tourism was up almost 10%. At last week’s meeting, NYC T+C shared that the forecast for 2024 calls for more moderate growth at 4%, but 2025 is expected to exceed 68 million visitors for the first time (NYC T+C Annual Report). In addition to these insights, my team and I learned about student travelers, international visitors, LGBTQ+ tourists, and the big events coming to New York City tourism in the next few years. 

New York City Tourism + Conventions is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) and convention and visitors bureau (CVB) for the five boroughs of New York City. Their mission is to invite the world and energize the city, build equitable, sustainable economic prosperity and community through tourism for the mutual benefit of residents, businesses, and visitors. Situation is a proud member of NYC T + C, and the annual meeting’s programming and insights inspired conversations throughout our midtown office. We discussed the state of our city, how we can contribute to NYC’s health, and how we can continue delivering for our NYC-based clients. 

What This Means For Marketers

Here are a few of the conversations we’re having, inspired by NYC Tourism + Conventions’ incredible work and programming.

  • Folks Who Travel to New York City Return to New York City
    • For the international youth and student travel market, NYC is the place in the US they are most eager to return to. This presents not only a loyalty and relationship-building window for our clients but also a second (or third, or fourth!) opportunity to attract and convert those same potential ticket buyers.
    • For a visitor who attended a performance or visited a cultural attraction — how can we keep them wanting more? Which tools could we use to extend the time frame for audience engagement with a production such that we are more top-of-mind for when they plan their next trip? How could we reward their loyalty when they repurchase tickets to a show? What content could we feature that would encourage an international visitor to see the same show again?
    • For a visitor who did not attend — how can we push them to convert on their next trip? What is the time frame for our re-marketing efforts? How could we make international visitors feel more welcome in cultural spaces?
  • The Advent of “Wanderwork” for Remote Workers
    • The slower (but steady!) return of business travel and our ability to work remotely in this post-pandemic world have led to an increase in blended travel where business trippers spend extra days vacationing and an exciting trend called “wanderwork,” where remote workers travel to a new city to work and play.
    • Contextual ad placement and widened geotargeting may be important for reaching these “wanderworkers” and blended travelers because the structure of their stay in NYC is different from the average domestic tourist and their accommodations are more likely to have been chosen or impacted by their employer. Adjusting geotargeting to reach beyond Times Square to other business hotspots and identifying remote worker/business trip-centric websites for ad placement are two strategies to attract this specific audience.
    • Additionally, for a segment that may have limited time in NYC to explore, how can we communicate things like performance start times and event run times in a way that helps people maximize their overall leisure time?
  • Turning Solo Travelers into Single Ticket Buyers
    • The solo attendee is among the greatest compliments a venue can get — that person isn’t there for professional, social, or romantic reasons. They are there to enjoy something they value.
    • How can we communicate to visitors who are traveling alone that attending a performance or visiting an attraction solo is an exciting, even important, experience to pursue? To specifically address safety concerns which are more of a consideration for solo travelers, what helpful information could we add to website FAQ pages and/or in post-purchase “know before you go” triggered emails? 
    • What platforms could we use to create a community around solo travelers and connect them with each other or with the larger audience base? How can we reward the experience of attending a show alone such that solo attendees become brand ambassadors and bring in new audiences?

New York City has survived the significant upheaval we faced during the pandemic and has remained resilient through its recovery. There is so much to look forward to, driven by New York City Tourism + Conventions, by the vibrant community of New Yorkers advocating for a better city, and by the NYC-based live experience industry. It’s our job as marketers to articulate and amplify the best that New York City can be, and with the leadership of NYC Tourism + Conventions, I know we’ll be able to meet the brief. After all, NYC is the greatest city in the world!

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