Au revoir, adios, ciao.
The city is expecting to welcome fewer international visitors this year, the first projected drop in foreign tourism since the start of 2008, according to NYC & Company, the city’s tourism marketing group. And President Donald Trump, officials said, is to blame.
The recent travel ban and related rhetoric, according to NYC & Co., has stunted interest in international tourism. In fact, 300,000 fewer foreign visitors are expected to come to the Big Apple this year than last year, according to the group.
“While projected declines among travelers are concerning, the irrepressible hospitality and welcoming nature of New York City gives us confidence that our destination will continue to appeal to visitors from around the world,” said Fred Dixon, chief executive and president of NYC & Company, in a statement. “We will work tirelessly to do all we can to preserve our City’s tourism industry in the months ahead.”
According to the group, it takes four domestic visitors to equal what one international tourist spends.
That said, domestic travel is still going strong and is actually projected to increase, according to NYC & Co.
And the tourism group even predicts that tourism to the city overall will grow by about 1 million people, to a total of 61.7 million visitors, compared with the 60.7 million who came last year.
Anna Reotutar, 35, was visiting the United States from Manila, Philippines, for six weeks, four of them in New York. Reotutar said she even changed her flight, deciding to fly into San Francisco instead of Kennedy Airport, because she thought it might be safer and easier to get through immigration.
“We were really hesitant coming over,” said Reotutar, who is staying with her sister on Staten Island. “We took the risk.”
Peter Tullett, 29, was visiting the city from Brisbane, Australia, for four days. He said he wasn’t surprised some people may decide to boycott the United States because of recent politics.
“It’s not something that I considered when I decided to come here, but I understand why other people would,” he said. “I think [Trump] is definitely upsetting a lot of people in the world.”
Sho Takatori, 21, a student from Tokyo who is studying in Quebec, said he wasn’t surprised there could be a drop in tourists, but said people shouldn’t be turned off.
“There’s so much confusion,” he said about Trump’s travel ban, adding: “I personally like New York. It’s a very unique city with a lot of diversity. I think it is a city everyone should visit at least once.”
NYC & Co. said it is launching a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign in March geared at international visitors.
The campaign, called “New York City — Welcoming the World,” will target several markets, including the United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany and Spain.
A Trump administration spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.