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ZippyTheChimp
December 29th, 2003, 12:56 AM
December 29, 2003

The Tourists Are Back in New York, in Case You Haven't Noticed

By ROBERT F. WORTH

The tourists are back.

For the last few weeks, they have packed the streets of Midtown Manhattan like a motley invading army, tilting their heads back to gaze at the skyscrapers and filling the air with a broken music of French and Bengali, Slovak and Texan.

Official statistics are hard to come by. But for the last week, more than 1,000 tourists a day have been dropping by NYC & Company's Visitor Information Center, a level not reached since before Sept. 11, 2001, a spokeswoman said.

"We have been seeing the numbers we used to see," she added. "It's like a new beginning."

Of course, the tourists never truly left — not at Christmas, anyway, when New York has always been a magnet for visitors. But if anecdotal evidence means anything, they have come this year in larger droves than ever, undeterred by orange alerts, early snowstorms and reports of tainted American beef.

Yesterday, with the sun shining and the temperature above 50, the streets were jammed with camera-toting, finger-pointing visitors. Worries about terrorism seemed to have melted into the past.

"Orange alert? I think it's some kind of marketing thing," said Jeroen Vanwyk, a publisher from Brussels who was shopping on 34th Street near Seventh Avenue with his wife, Marleen, and their son, Tibo, 4. "It could be green, or whatever. It doesn't matter."

A few blocks away, tourists were asking police officers with machine guns if they would pose with them for snapshots, as though the officers were beefeaters standing guard at the Tower of London.

"I have no worries," Antonio Romito, an entrepreneur visiting from Genoa, Italy, said as he stood in line outside the Empire State Building. "Life is life — you could fall on the sidewalk and die."

Favorable exchange rates were a powerful incentive to make the trip to the United States, some European tourists said. The euro's value against the dollar has risen over the last year. Other tourists said they wanted to see ground zero; some said they were taking a trip they had postponed last year.

Whatever the tourists' motives, New Yorkers seemed to view the flood of outsiders with surprise and crusty resignation.

"It's really crazy," said Joe Klaus, 45, a salesman who lives in Manhattan and was at Penn Station yesterday to see off a friend who had visited from Pennsylvania. "There's twice the usual amount of people. Yesterday it was almost impossible to get down the street around here."

Some foreigners shared that sentiment.

"There are so many tourists!" said Mojca Tomse, 34, who is from Slovenia and had never been to New York until last week.

Slovenia's population is about 2 million, said Ms. Tomse, who was standing in line to buy tickets for "42nd Street" with her son, Ziga, 14, and two friends of hers.

"Here, it's a great city," she said. "Ljubljana, our capital, it's like a village."

At first, Ms. Tomse found the city too artificial, said her childhood friend, Marko Zupanc, a Slovenian who speaks better English than she does and is studying at Fordham University. Slovenia has alpine vistas and unspoiled lakes, he said, but no equivalent of Times Square.

"There was so much plastic and lights here," he said, gesturing at the marquees and billboards of West 42nd Street. Now, he added, Ms. Tomse and her son have "started to see the beauty in these artificial things."

To some tourists, crowds and artificiality were the whole point.

"We're here to relax," said Mr. Vanwyk, gesturing at the swelling crowds on 34th Street and Seventh Avenue. "Just a normal street situation — this is what New York is all about."

For others, the multilingual crowds have been unremarkable.

"It's really not that much different from home," said Gino Serra of London, who was waiting in line at the Empire State Building with his wife, Heidi. "I suppose all major cities are alike these days."

In fact, it is often difficult to tell the difference between tourists and New Yorkers. Mr. Serra, who had never seen the city until Thursday, could easily be mistaken for a native, with his fashionably tousled hair and blasé attitude.

A few blocks north, Avi Anobian chatted in Farsi with a friend, seemingly every bit the foreigner. But he seemed to take umbrage at the suggestion that he might not be a local.

"I'm from Brooklyn," said Mr. Anobian, who immigrated from Iran.

A few tourists give themselves away by staring at the city with a glimmer of uncertain recognition.

"It's cleaner than in the past," said Mr. Romito, the visitor from Genoa, who last saw Manhattan in 1983. "But the traffic is worse, and there are more people.

"It's changed," he added, with a trace of sadness. "Too much."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

maroualle
December 29th, 2003, 02:11 AM
December 29, 2003

The Tourists Are Back in New York, in Case You Haven't Noticed


"It's changed," he added, with a trace of sadness. "Too much."
Is it true? What do you think, zippy? Was it better in the past? I assume the traffic is a real issue, same for the increasing of taxes, but for the rest????

Ninjahedge
December 29th, 2003, 09:00 AM
Change is good, especially when some of the changes are cleanliness and safety in the streets.

But at the same time, the city traffic is still a nightmare, they have problems with things like crosstown traffic (like the other side of the city is a different world or something) and the HUGE metro transit system needs some MAJOR overhauling (some stations way out on the N and R are SERIOUSLY unsafe, nevermind "modern").

I am still amazed that there are areas in this city that are underdeveloped or in a sorry state of affairs after looking around myself and seeing how EXPENSIVE any land or domicile is in the city proper. There is still so much run down schmutz in areas that are NOT that far away. It sort of makes you wonder.

ZippyTheChimp
December 29th, 2003, 09:44 AM
Is it true? What do you think, zippy? Was it better in the past? I assume the traffic is a real issue, same for the increasing of taxes, but for the rest????
No. There was nothing better about NYC 25 years ago.

Traffic is worse, but I have no sympathy for people foolish enough to drive anywhere near 6 Ave & 50 St on a Sat night in Dec between shows at Radio City.
http://www.pbase.com/image/24137813.jpg

maroualle
December 29th, 2003, 09:47 AM
Yeah, i remember the first time i came to NY (15 year's ago), i asked the bartender of the hotel whether the metro is a save area. Sure you can figure out what his answer was....Thanks to the NYtimes, i daily read articles about the Ny area and, from here, the situation seems to be alot better now but, as you said, some neighborhood might still be unsaved. Bah you just simply avoid them.
You know, somethimes i'm really confused: if you imagine the huge number of non US citizens "wannabees" (or related) living in NY now and by the other hands you know that it's really hard to have a decent live in your state due to taxes, traffic, : how is this possible?????

Kris
August 5th, 2004, 07:49 AM
August 5, 2004

Foreigners Shun New York, Keeping Hotel Rates Down

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

More tourists visited New York City last year than any time in recent history, but international visitors continue to shun the city and daily hotel rates remain far below those in 2000, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday.

More than 37 million people stayed in hotels, slept on friends' couches, visited museums and ate in restaurants last year, a 7 percent increase over 2002, according to figures from NYC & Company, the city's tourism office. But those who stayed in hotels paid an average of about $192 a night, 17 percent less than in 2000.

Mr. Bloomberg and the president of the tourism bureau, Cristyne L. Nicholas, also said that tourism continued to increase this year, and that their survey of hotels, convention organizers and other groups that cater to visitors found that few had experienced a drop in business this week, after federal warnings about possible terrorist attacks in the city.

However, international conflicts did have an impact on tourism in 2003, they conceded. "I don't think there is any question that SARS and Iraq and Madrid and all of the terrorism in Israel" hurt the city's tourism business, Mr. Bloomberg said, particularly in the first quarter of 2003, when the war in Iraq and SARS depressed travel worldwide.

While visitors booked 19.5 million hotel rooms last year - a 3 percent increase over 2002 - the city took in $204.5 million in hotel taxes, 10 percent less than in 2000. "We are very pleased that we are announcing a record number of visitors," Ms. Nicholas said, "but when it comes to the economy, we have some work to do."

The bulk of the problem stems from a decline in international visitors. According to the information provided by the city, New York City is the favorite American destination for visitors from abroad. However, the number of foreign visitors to New York City dropped 5.7 percent last year from the year before.

That drop reflected a nationwide trend. Foreign visitors to the United States fell 2.2 percent overall in 2003, the third straight year of declines.

"It was not surprising the New York was hit especially hard since it is one of the top states visited by international travelers," said Cathy Keefe, spokeswoman for the Travel Industry Association of America. Overall travel prices have fallen since 2000 but have begun to increase over the last nine months, she added.

The decline of foreign tourism can have a pronounced effect on the market, officials said.

"One of the problems is that international tourists spend a lot more," Mr. Bloomberg said. "They tend to go toward more expensive rooms. So if you're full with American tourists, you don't have the pricing power you would have if you had international tourists."

Interestingly, there was a large spike in family travel to New York City last year - a 13.6 percent increase over the prior year. Ms. Nicholas attributed that increase in part to Miffy - a cartoon bunny that has appeared on merchandise and other items to promote New York City.

Iris Citron, the president of the New Jersey chapter of the American Society of Travel Agents, said that terrorism alerts might not deter domestic travel, but could be affecting international visits. "All of the alerts that the government puts out may be inhibiting people from coming," Ms. Citron said. Lower hotel rates can help the city, Ms. Citron added, as long as they spurred spending. "You would think with lower rates more people would be coming in. If people are spending money in the city, so be it. They may be attracting more people because those rates are low."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

BrooklynRider
August 5th, 2004, 10:23 AM
Disturbing report.

Schadenfrau
August 5th, 2004, 11:42 AM
I've seen quite a few stories about European tourists staying away because of the smoking ban. I wonder if that has anything to do with the drop.

billyblancoNYC
August 5th, 2004, 11:57 AM
I think NYC still welcomed more int'l tourists than the next 2 locations combined, though.

BrooklynRider
August 5th, 2004, 01:29 PM
Smoking? Hmmm. I would've guessed it had more to do with our national foreign policy. I know there are places that Bush has made "unwelcoming" to me as an American due to his actions on the international stage.

Schadenfrau
August 5th, 2004, 01:35 PM
That's very true.

TonyO
December 3rd, 2004, 04:57 PM
Crain's

Big Apple tourism business booming

A record number of tourists flocked to the Big Apple this year, according to preliminary numbers compiled by the city's tourism office.

NYC & Co. says about 39.6 million people visited New York City during the year, up 4.7% from last year's record 37.8 million.

About 5.3 million international visitors are forecast to have taken a holiday in the city. That is 10.2% more than last year but still 22% below the number of overseas tourists that spent time in the city in 2000. About 34.3 million domestic visitors came to New York City.

Overall, tourist spending is on the rise. NYC & Co. estimates visitors spent $15.1 billion while taking in the the town. That is about 4% above last year's forecast but still 11% below the record set in 2000.

TonyO
December 10th, 2004, 10:58 AM
http://www.nycvisit.com/content/index.cfm?pagePkey=57

ZippyTheChimp
December 10th, 2004, 02:53 PM
The increase of domestic tourists this year is 3.8%. The increase in international tourism is 2.6 times that, at 10.2%.

Much of this can be attributed to the dollar-euro exchange rate. Relatively speaking, America is a bargain for Europeans, but Americans are finding Europe more expensive.

ZippyTheChimp
December 15th, 2004, 01:06 PM
December 15, 2004

ADVERTISING

To Lure British Tourists to the U.S., Marketers Turn to Cinema

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2004/12/15/business/adco.span.jpg
A print ad in the campaign uses "Spider-Man." Other advertisements will feature films like "Sweet Home Alabama" and "L.A. Story."


By HEATHER TIMMONS

LONDON

A CAMPAIGN encouraging tourists to come to the United States starts this week in Britain, part of a Commerce Department effort begun after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The $4 million campaign, by the Los Angeles office of the British agency M&C Saatchi, plays heavily on the British love of American movies, as illustrated by the theme "You've seen the films, now visit the set." Print, television and billboard ads will feature clips from films like "Thelma and Louise," "Sweet Home Alabama" and "L.A. Story" (but presumably not "Deliverance" or "The Ice Storm").

"This is the first time we've truly marketed the United States as a tourism destination," Douglas B. Baker, a deputy assistant secretary for the Commerce Department, said.

The campaign is intended to show that the United States is the "most desirable and exciting long-haul travel destination on earth," Mr. Baker said.

A party to introduce the campaign last night at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts featured a screening of "National Treasure," the new Nicolas Cage movie. Refreshments included pizza and Budweiser beer, and guests were given New York Yankees caps.

The British campaign is a pilot program, Mr. Baker said, and may be expanded next year, when the Commerce Department will have $10 million for tourism advertising.

Television commercials start running on Sunday and a print campaign begins next month. The ads feature scenes from hit movies, like shots of Spider-Man flitting across the skyline of Manhattan or chases from "Beverly Hills Cop II."

Other movies cited include "Maid in Manhattan," "The Alamo" and "Viva Las Vegas."

While the campaign is a groundbreaking move for the United States government, it is still a scaled-down version of the original plans.

About $50 million was allocated after 9/11 to promote tourism in the United States, but eight months later that budget was cut by $46 million.

Plans to advertise in Germany, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Britain, the five countries that already send the most tourists to the United States, were whittled to cover just Britain.

If the campaign is successful, the Commerce Department may also expand to other countries its message about the virtues of traveling to America, Mr. Baker said.

The campaign comes as British travel to the United States is surging. Encouraged by the strength of the pound, the British have already been flocking across the Atlantic to go shopping.

The British Travel Agents Association reported that travel to America was up 13 percent last summer compared with a year ago.

Travel agents said that the re-election of George W. Bush, who is unpopular in Britain, has not dented bookings for trips to the United States.

Besides New York, Florida and Las Vegas are popular destinations for British travelers, travel agents said.

In March, M&C Saatchi joined with the public relations agency Edelman, owned by Daniel J. Edelman Inc., and BVK, an agency with offices in cities like Chicago, Milwaukee and Tampa, Fla., to form the Visit America Alliance, the contractor for the campaign. The agencies said they conducted extensive surveys of British attitudes about visiting the United States.

A survey conducted in Britain by the Commerce Department in July found that the United States tied for second place with Australia in a ranking of "dream destinations," behind New Zealand. Canada came in third. M&C Saatchi, with headquarters in London, is the worldwide agency for British Airways.

While no specific airline tie-ins to the campaign have been announced, the Visit America Alliance said 70 travel and tourism partners would participate in the campaign, mainly for attractions in Los Angeles and Orlando, Fla. That will extend the value of the promotion by an estimated $2 million.


Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
January 27th, 2005, 10:05 PM
January 28, 2005

The British Are Coming, and Spending Big Money

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

Sheila Riley came for Macy's, evidenced by the pile of telltale red bags piled around her feet. Russell Whitehead and Robert Archibald made the trip for "Wicked." Jeff Taylor wanted to propose.

Seb Sims's goals were admittedly more prosaic and yet they pleased him. "I came to New York to go shopping and get drunk," said Mr. Sims as he headed for a southbound No. 1 to "Greenwich." (No, not Connecticut, but why embarrass him?)

Tourists from overseas - the most coveted of visitors thanks to their long stays and habit of shopping with abandon - are returning to New York for the first time since 2001, and no place is exporting more of them to the city than Britain, whose citizens are lured by the combination of a falling

dollar, low air fares and an apparently insatiable lust for sneakers on the cheap.

The British pound, which fetches almost $2 these days, goes farther in New York than in London in restaurants, theaters and stores, and rock-bottom package deals from the airlines make a quick weekend jaunt across the Atlantic all the more worthwhile.

Then there is the shared language, coupled with that intangible something that is portrayed in film and television that shows the allure of a New York absent career worries, apartment valuations and the incalculable misery caused by C train problems.

"We have all seen Woody Allen movies and "Sex and the City" and "NYPD Blue," said Frances Tuke, a spokeswoman for Association of British Travel Agents in London, which found that airline travel to New York from London rose 127 percent in November from the same month in 2003. "So you think it is an exciting place you have to go to. We don't hear that it is particularly dirty or unsafe. They know it is a big city and it is going to be loud and noisy and that is all O.K."

The city's tourism bureau estimates that 5.3 million foreign tourists came to New York last year, far fewer than the 6.8 million who flooded the city in 2000 but up 10 percent from 2003. Initial estimates show that the number of tourists from Britain rose 12 percent in 2004 from 2003, when the group led the return of international tourism to New York with 870,000 visitors. (Canadians came in second with 690,000 and Japanese tourists were a distant third, with 292,000 visitors in 2003.)

Although most foreign visitors stay longer than domestic tourists, many visitors from Britain come for short stays, taking advantage of airline and hotel packages that land them in the city for long weekends into which they pack a whirlwind tour of the key Manhattan tourist destinations, peppered with quick stops at restaurants and bars culled from guidebooks. Anthony Thomas, a scaffold worker who flew over for a long weekend with his wife, Nadine, liked McSorley's Old Ale House. "I liked that fact that it kept to its nature and that everyone who worked there was surly," he said.

Mr. Taylor, a sergeant in the British Army, saw an image of the city on television while home in Liverpool, and decided that it was the place to propose to Heather Stokoe, a sales associate from Newcastle. "I thought that it seemed like quite a romantic place to propose," he said. He planned a long weekend in the city with requisite stops at Planet Hollywood, Bloomingdale's and Macy's and a ride in a horse-drawn carriage in Central Park. "It was there I asked her to marry me," Mr. Taylor said. "It was quite emotional, really." His bride-to-be was thrilled.

Some random facts about British visitors, gleamed from several days of observing them:

¶They have an almost alarming interest in shoes, particularly sneakers (or, as they call them, trainers). "I got loads of Diesel trainers," said Mr. Whitehead, an actor from London. "They are a quarter of the price here. I bought three pairs for $25 each."

¶They drink such concoctions as dry vermouth with Sprite (called a martini and lemonade) and Stella Artois beer with a shot of Rose's lime juice. "They also get really tickled about fancy cocktails," said Sara Najjar, a bartender at the Hotel Metro, which is a veritable outpost of tourists from England and Scotland. "I guess because they can only get beers in their pubs over there. It's just crazy!"

¶They flock to Macy's as Americans might flock to Buckingham Palace, and at the department store they sate their appetite for hats, watches, handbags and coats. The store had more than 20,000 British shoppers last year, and company officials report they take advantage of the store's 11 percent discount for international visitors more than those of any other nationality.

All international tourists have their quirks, and New York City loves all of them because they tend to stay longer, spend more money at museums and the like and are more enthusiastic about visiting the broader city than American tourists, said Cristyne L. Nicholas, president of NYC & Company, the city's tourism office.

British travelers typically like cultural attractions and shopping, Ms. Nicholas said.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/01/28/nyregion/tourism.gif

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

NewYorkYankee
January 27th, 2005, 10:12 PM
There was a fine young lady at the ESB when I was up. I loved her London accent!

Evgeny
January 27th, 2005, 11:37 PM
I loved her London accent!
Personally, british accent pisses me off :)

PerfidiA
February 1st, 2005, 07:14 PM
I just wanted to thank everyone who posted on this topic. It was absolutly interesting to read!

Kris
March 6th, 2005, 12:18 PM
March 6, 2005

If the Tourists Come to Manhattan, Where Will They Sleep?

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/e.gifxpansion of the city's convention business would bring thousands more visitors to New York City. But because of a new trend in real estate, there may not be enough room at the city's inns.

Much of the year, Manhattan's 64,000 or so hotel rooms are effectively full. But instead of adding rooms, the industry is shrinking. From landmarks like the Plaza and the Stanhope Hotels to their dowdy cousins like the Barbizon, the Empire and the Olcott, property owners are tearing down interior walls and converting thousands of hotel rooms into apartments.

With the average condominium in Manhattan selling for $1.2 million, there are quick fortunes to be made through conversions. But hotel union officials and some hotel owners find the trend appalling, because of the loss of jobs, and because of what it could mean to the city's plans - to expand the Javits Convention Center, double the exhibition space on the West Side piers and build a football stadium that could be used for trade shows.

"Real estate prices have been driven up to the point where you can make more money selling off the rooms as apartments than selling them overnight as hotel rooms," said John Fox, senior vice president at PKF Consulting, which specializes in hotels. "There has not been a parallel building boom because there are no sites available for hotel development."

Given a bumper crop of hotel sales and conversion announcements, the city appears to have lost more than 3,300 rooms in the past few years. Even the St. Regis Hotel, on 55th Street at Fifth Avenue, announced recently that it was converting 59 of its 315 rooms into no more than 33 apartments.

In 2004 alone, the city lost an estimated 1,093 hotel rooms, with the sale and conversion of hotels like the Regent Wall Street and the InterContinental Central Park South - as well as the demolition of the Mayflower on the Upper West Side - according to the hotel consulting practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

During the same period, only three new hotels opened, with a total of 339 rooms.

And hotel consultants say that other hotels may soon join the trend, including possibly the Plaza Athenee, the Warwick, the InterContinental Barclay, the Doral hotels and the Radisson on Lexington Avenue, as well as a small hotel in Times Square and another in Chelsea.

"The thing about hotels is that they occupy great locations and they can be delivered empty," said Peter Ward, chairman of the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council. "That makes it easier for a converter to grab it and flip it to residential."

The union has vowed to fight the trend, starting with the Plaza, at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, where it says 1,100 jobs are in jeopardy. The Elad Group, a subsidiary of an Israeli conglomerate, bought the famed, 805-room hotel last year for $675 million. The developer quickly announced plans to reconfigure the building with 200 apartments and a small, 150-room hotel, alarming the hotel union as well as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Officials say the Plaza will close April 30.

Mr. Ward said that the conversions could undermine efforts to lure new conventions to New York now that the long-sought $1.4 billion expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is beginning. The expansion is expected to generate an additional 400,000 hotel nights a year. And given the city's Olympic bid, Mr. Ward said, the city may need as many as 5,000 new hotel rooms.

"I think all these big hotel companies that want to cash out for the quick buck are breaking the social contract," he said. "It's disgraceful."

Ed Skyler, a spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg, said that the administration was very concerned about the issue. "That's why the mayor has intervened in the Plaza dispute," he said. "It's why he's always encouraging new hotel construction, whether it's the expansion of the Brooklyn Marriott or two hotels in Harlem."

The union and others are considering remedies, including a ban on conversions and incentives for hotel construction.

Joseph Spinnato, president of the Hotel Association of New York City, said, "It's sad to see some of these institutions being dismantled, primarily the Plaza."

In the long run, he said, an expanding tourism and convention market would result in new hotels. He said banning conversions would probably not help. Maybe, he said, "There could be some incentives the city and state could come up with that would cause developers and owners not to convert."

Gary Barnett, president of Intell Management, which is converting the Stanhope to co-op apartments, also said that the city should "look at selectively subsidizing the building of new hotels."

"They're not going to get what they need for New York City to be a convention center and a great tourist attraction unless they do something about creating more supply," he said.

But other analysts contended that most cities already ran conventions centers at a loss, to attract visitors who book hotel rooms and restaurant tables. It hardly made sense, they said, to subsidize the hotel industry as well.

Art Adler, a managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle, which sold seven hotels in New York last year, said there were still plenty of people willing to operate hotels in Manhattan. "New York is still the strongest, most diversified market anywhere in the country," Mr. Adler said.

Graphic: Losing Ground (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/03/06/nyregion/06hotel_gfx_1_lg.gif)

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/03/06/nyregion/06hotel_gfx_2_lg.gif

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

TLOZ Link5
March 6th, 2005, 01:29 PM
Oh, so the Mayflower is being demolished. That's a real shame. Does anyone know what's going to replace it?

billyblancoNYC
March 7th, 2005, 01:01 PM
Tax incentives and designated hotel zoning would be a good option. Also, encourage more hotel construction in places like Harlem, T BK, LIC, and the South Bronx...close but not super prime NYC real estate. The Far West Side should have a number of lots designated soloely for hotel construction. That area is prefect for that, b/c the land is there, the need is there, and the new convention center will be there.

ASchwarz
March 7th, 2005, 01:20 PM
Oh, so the Mayflower is being demolished. That's a real shame. Does anyone know what's going to replace it?

Supposedly the most expensive condo tower in the history of New York.
The developers paid an incredible price for the site.

ZippyTheChimp
April 19th, 2005, 08:05 PM
Entertaining tourists waiting for the Statue of Liberty boat.

NYatKNIGHT
April 20th, 2005, 11:47 AM
That guy wigs me out - but in a humorous way. I used to see him doing his routine at the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, CO. Seems we both moved to New York at about the same time. Coincidence?

krulltime
April 21st, 2005, 04:15 PM
Foreign visitors bypassing NYC, hurting tourism
City seeks revival at May travel show


By Lisa Fickenscher
Published on April 18, 2005

New York is bustling with tourists. Hotels are full. Reservations at top restaurants are hard to come by.

But one thing is missing. The number of international visitors to the Big Apple has dropped 32% since 2000, when a record 6.8 million foreign travelers came here.

While domestic tourists have more than made up for the international shortfall in numbers, people from abroad spend more money. The city has missed out on about $1 billion in spending each year since 2000, when foreign tourists accounted for 19% of the pie, and today represent only 15%, according to the city's tourism bureau, NYC & Company.

"We've come a long way, but we have further to go to rebuild New York City's tourism industry," says Cristyne L. Nicholas, chief executive of the bureau.

Art exhibits like Central Park's The Gates and the weak dollar, which spurred a rush of shoppers to the city around the holidays, created temporary surges in foreign visitors. But underlying trends are worrisome.

Ms. Nicholas' best hope of resuscitating international tourism here is an upcoming travel trade show, TIA International Pow Wow, which was last held in New York a decade ago. The top tour operators from around the world and 300 travel journalists will be getting an earful about New York from Ms. Nicholas and other city boosters the first week in May.

Past Pow Wow conferences, which are sponsored by the Travel Industry Association of America, have resulted in 30% bounces in business for the host cities.

NYC & Company expects Pow Wow, the largest U.S. travel show, to generate $1.4 billion in economic activity over the next three years.

Describing the conference as "crucial" for New York, Ms. Nicholas is raising $4.2 million to host the event, which will include transforming Rockefeller Center into a replica of the five boroughs, complete with a sandy beach and boardwalk to depict Coney Island.

A key challenge that the city faces still is convincing the overseas community that New York is safe.

Many tour operators and travel agents have not been here since Sept. 11, 2001.

The city must also play up the fact that there are new places to visit--such as a renovated Museum of Modern Art, the Time Warner Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center--in addition to hotels in Harlem, Brooklyn and on Staten Island, areas that previously lacked such amenities.


Marketing machines

But New York faces stiff competition. "A lot of the foreign countries we compete with have international marketing campaigns," says Ms. Nicholas. Last fall, the United States ran its first such ad in the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, U.S. cities are doing a good job of siphoning off New York's tourists. Foreign visitors who come here stay about five days instead of eight, taking off for such places as Orlando, Fla., and Philadelphia, which has dramatically increased its share of international tourists.

Even with a weak dollar, there are international travelers who find New York too pricey. The average hotel room rate is back above $200 a night, so some tourists are staying in New Jersey and taking day-trips into the city. Jonathan Zuk, president of Amadeo Travel Solutions, has been booking more foreign tour groups into hotels in Weehawken and near the Meadowlands.


Hey, big spender

The weak dollar also has not been seductive enough for some German and Japanese tourists, who are among the biggest spenders and have not returned to the city in the same numbers as before Sept. 11.

Vijay Dandapani, chief operating officer of Apple Core Hotels, which operates five budget properties in the city, is seeing travelers from Asian countries other than Japan replace some of the German and Japanese tourists that his properties used to host.

Tour operators have noticed travel shifts as well.

After Sept. 11, most people were afraid to book vacations far in advance, and waited until the last minute. Now, many U.S. travelers are making plans months ahead of time, while international tourists are still booking trips on short notice.

Etty Scaglia, president of Accent on Dining, which books tour group reservations in city restaurants, says the capriciousness of foreign travel here pushed her to expand her business to include corporate events. "At least it's predictable business," says Ms. Scaglia.


COPYRIGHT 2005 CRAIN COMMUNICATIONS INC.

krulltime
April 21st, 2005, 04:20 PM
NYC & Company expects Pow Wow, the largest U.S. travel show, to generate $1.4 billion in economic activity over the next three years.

Describing the conference as "crucial" for New York, Ms. Nicholas is raising $4.2 million to host the event, which will include transforming Rockefeller Center into a replica of the five boroughs, complete with a sandy beach and boardwalk to depict Coney Island.

POW WOW? This is cool... I would love to see this... But ofcourse especially when the tourists are not around... LOL

krulltime
May 25th, 2005, 01:54 PM
May 25, 2005

Campaign targets international travelers


by Lisa Fickenscher

The city’s tourism bureau, NYC & Company, is putting together an advertising campaign to woo international travelers back to New York.

The number of international visitors to the city has dropped 32% since 2000, when a record 6.8 million foreign travelers came here. NYC & Company is hoping to replicate the success it had two years ago when it produced a video for Japanese tourists about New York Yankees star Hideki Matsui--the number of Japanese visitors to the city has increased 20% since then, according to tourism officials.

The initiative includes a video, which will show all five boroughs, and public service announcements. The video is being produced pro bono by HBO and will feature an original song by Broadway lyricist, Frank Wyldehorn. “There are a lot of songs about New York that are great,” says Cristyne Nicholas, president of NYC & Company, “but this one promotes the tourism industry and the programs that we are marketing.”

The agency is hoping that CNN International will agree to run 30-second commercials based on the video.


COPYRIGHT 2005 CRAIN COMMUNICATIONS INC.

Pottebaum
May 25th, 2005, 03:28 PM
Does anyone know how many tourists NYC gets?

pianoman11686
May 25th, 2005, 06:33 PM
I believe the most recent figure was estimated at 36.9 million per year.

krulltime
July 12th, 2005, 01:49 PM
July 11, 2005

NYC expects tourism boom this summer


by Lisa Fickenscher

The city estimates that a record 12 million visitors will come to the Big Apple this summer, a 4% increase over the same period last year.

International visitors are expected to reach 1.2 million or 8% of the pie while domestic visitors will reach more than 10 million or 3.5% more than last year.

City officials are anxious to boost the number of international travelers here because they spend the most money. While foreign visitors generally represent only 15% of all visitors to the city they account for 45% of the spending, says a spokeswoman for NYC & Company, the city’s tourism bureau.

To encourage people to stay here longer, a group of nine upscale hotels, including The St. Regis New York, The Carlyle and Hotel Plaza Athenee, are offering a third complimentary night if guests use an American Express Card to pay for their visit.


COPYRIGHT 2005 CRAIN COMMUNICATIONS INC.

Ninjahedge
July 12th, 2005, 02:25 PM
The further you travel, the more inclined you are to spend.

If you are coming in, by car, from Ohio, you will probably be less inclined to spend $100 on a dinner.

If your flight alone costs more than the family from Ohio spent to get everyone there, you are more likely to spend that $100 on a nice dinner you might not do again for who knows how long.....



I feel the same way when I go skiing. I spend more in the Alps than I do in Vermont.

czsz
July 12th, 2005, 02:35 PM
I tend to do the opposite in those situations. My usual thought process runs something like, "holy crap, look how much this flight and hotel cost, I'd better not spend any more."

Ninjahedge
July 12th, 2005, 03:05 PM
Well, my % is still less, all in all.

But, I don't think I would be too inclined getting a souvenier from Mountain Creek... ;)

ZippyTheChimp
July 29th, 2005, 01:13 PM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com (http://www.nydailynews.com/)
City Awash
in Tourists

By DAVID SALTONSTALL
and MAGGIE HABERMAN
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Friday, July 29th, 2005

The Big Apple is bursting with tourists, with a record-breaking 12 million visitors expected this summer, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday.


If those forecasts bear out, New York will see 4% more tourists from Memorial Day to Labor Day than last year - a big feat considering the city hosted the Republican Convention last summer.

Ten million of those tourists are expected to be from the U.S., with another 2 million from overseas.

Hotel occupancy rates are 5% higher so far this year - with June setting a new record at 90.4% capacity, according to Cristyne Nicholas, president of NYC & Co., the city's tourism arm. Typically, hotels are most crowded in October.

"That translates into people actually feeding their families," Bloomberg said. Roughly 300,000 people work in the city's $24 billion-a-year tourism industry.

The new figures came as the city unveiled its new Heritage Tourism Center yesterday, a glassy information kiosk at the southern end of City Hall Park.

Officials said the tourism boon has been largely driven by the weak dollar, although they also cited promotional efforts.

In Times Square yesterday, first-time visitors from all over the globe were awestruck.



"It's the most electric place I've ever seen," said Patrick Nohann, 40, of Belfast. Stanley Gifford, 22, on a college graduation trip with pals from Lawrence, Kan., agreed. "We've been here since Saturday and this is the most kick-ass city I've ever been to," he said. "I might not go home."
With Jego Armstrong

TonyO
September 25th, 2005, 12:28 PM
NY Post

CULTURE VULTURES FLOCKING TO CITY

By ANGELA MONTEFINISE

September 25, 2005 -- Tourists from around the globe flocked in near-record numbers to the city's cultural attractions last year, spending more than $9 billion in the process, according to a report released yesterday.
NYC & Co., the city's official tourism marketing organization, released the report, saying 17.2 million "cultural tourists" — travelers who visit museums, zoos and other cultural sites — visited in 2004.

The number is only 300,000 shy of the record set in 2001, when 17.5 million cultural tourists crowded here. The number was 9 percent higher than recorded in 2003, according to the report.

The report noted cultural visitors accounted for 43 percent of all the city's tourists — and that the segment mirrored the "surprisingly strong revival of the international travel market to the city, as well as the revived domestic market."

These tourists were no penny-pinchers, either, spending $9.1 billion, up from $8.2 billion in 2003.

"For every dollar spent, another 60 cents of indirect spending on goods and services powers the city's economy in all five boroughs," said Cristyne Nicholas, president and CEO of NYC & Co. "This brings the total economic impact of cultural visitors to the city to nearly $15 billion."

In 2001, the year of 9/11, a record number of cultural visitors came to the city, the report said. But the numbers dropped in the years after.

The report broke down cultural tourists into domestic travelers and international travelers.

About one-third of the tourists — 4.3 million — were from abroad, a 31 percent increase from 2003. Their favorite activities were shopping, dining and visiting historic sites. They spent an average of $98 a day, and stayed for about a week.

Domestic visitors, who were mostly day-trippers, spent an average of $190 a day. Their top activities were concerts and other nightlife, dining and sightseeing.

"Cultural offerings have long been key to the city's tourism industry, and indeed, the very identity of New York City," said Kate Levin, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

"I am delighted that the excellence and energy of our creative community are drawing so many domestic and international visitors."

TonyO
September 25th, 2005, 12:32 PM
9/25/05

Takin' tourists for a ride

News puts city's tourist guides to the truth test – and guess what?

By DOUGLAS FEIDEN
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER


Tour guide named Hank lays it on the tourists on one of Gray Line's double-decker buses.

Tenants have only one working bathroom in each tenement on the lower East Side. "Greens-workers" from the Parks Department sometimes live in Central Park.
Those are among the whoppers, tall tales and blasts from the past told to tourists from around the globe when they spend good money on guided sightseeing tours.

To experience New York the way visitors do, the Daily News took 11 two- to three-hour double-decker bus tours over a 10-day period, hopping on and off the buses frequently to hear presentations from 25 guides.

Anyone can repeat the experiment. A bus ticket valid for 48 hours, with unlimited hop-on, hop-off privileges, costs $49. And here is our look at the top urban myths that our tour guides helped perpetuate:

***

"You see that white building with the blue windows? That's where Malcolm X was killed," said Lisa Gordon, a guide with Gray Line New York Sightseeing, as she pointed at a church on W. 116th St. at St. Nicholas Ave.

Wrong. The 1965 assassination — a watershed moment in African-American history — took place nearly 3 miles away, on the other side of Harlem, in the Audubon Ballroom at Broadway and W. 165th St.

***

Four Gray Line guides and three from CitySights NY, its smaller rival, repeatedly referred to Rudy Giuliani as if he were still mayor. None of the seven mentioned Mayor Bloomberg.

***

Five guides pointed out the place where Harrison Ford calls home. The only problem: he doesn't live in the Dakota, the SoHo Grand, the Pierre Hotel or Time Warner Center. Only the guide who placed him in Trump World Tower had it right.

***

"New York is famous for its Gothic architecture, and that, in fact, is how it got its nickname — 'Gotham City,'" said a CitySights guide who identified herself only as Sara.

"Not true," said Mike Wallace, who has taught urban history at the City University of New York for 34 years and is the co-author of "Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898."

The original Gotham — the name means "Goat Town" in old Anglo-Saxon — was a village near Sherwood Forest in England that was the "proverbial village of idiots," Wallace says.

"But the countertradition was that they were wise fools only pretending to be idiots — like the canny traders who got the Indians to cough up Manhattan."

Washington Irving first used the word Gotham to describe New York in 1807 in his satiric "Salmagundi" essays, and it was widely popularized in the 1940s in Batman comic books.

***

"You don't hear too many people honking their horns in New York City because they're afraid of the $350 fine," said Gray Line's Roger Berdahl.

Huh? The fine is on the books on lower Fifth Ave. and other parts of Manhattan, but rarely enforced.

***

Pointing out the Parsons School of Design, Berdahl said, "It's affectionately known as the Fashion Institute of Technology." Parsons, which is part of the New School, and FIT, which is in the state university system, are separate institutions.

***

He also said Bloomingdale's is on Central Park and that the towering statue in Foley Square near the African Burial Ground is a "Dutch farmer's antelope hat."

Actually, Bloomingdale's is still on Third Ave. and the statue, "Triumph of the Human Spirit," features an antelope headdress worn by Bamana tribesmen in Mali in West Africa.

***

A one-time Broadway actor who appeared in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," Berdahl colorfully imitated the beatniks who he and at least six other guides claim still linger in the Village. "Hey, man," he said. "Dig it, man."

"It's good to explain how Greenwich Village was a center of Bohemian life and thought and action," said Kenneth Jackson, editor of "The Encyclopedia of New York City" and former president of the New-York Historical Society.

"But it's also important to convey an accurate portrait of the city — or else people from Dubuque will wonder how a beatnik can afford $4,000 a month in rent."

***

"Yuck!" said Pamela Barnette, a Gray Line guide, as she pointed to a tenement on Allen St. near Delancey St.

"Most people who live in these buildings don't have a bathroom in their apartment or on their floor, just in the tenement itself."

That would have been true from the 1880s to the 1930s. But in 1935, a tough new building code mandated a bathroom in each apartment and sanitary conditions improved over the next three decades. Yuck? Rents on the lower East Side are skyrocketing.

***

SAD-EYED BEATNIKS still mope around the streets of Greenwich Village. Hippies chant "flower power" from their Volkswagen Beetles in the East Village.

One guide claimed adults aren't allowed into the Central Park Zoo unless accompanied by a child.

And one said Lincoln Center was built so the street gangs featured in "West Side Story" would have nowhere to rumble. ***

One guide said screaming, hysterical flappers went wild when Frank Sinatra played the Paramount in Times Square in the 1890s.

The truth: Some 25,000 swooning bobbysoxers desperate to see a young Ol' Blue Eyes did riot on Broadway, but the date was 1944.

***

The bottom line: Sure, there are 8 million stories in the Naked City, but the ones told atop New York's distinctive red tourist wagons are often misleading, out of date or just plain wrong.

The tour companies do defend themselves.

"People are not looking for a history lesson," said David Chien, Gray Line's director of marketing. "They're looking to be entertained and to have a grand experience traveling 13 feet in the air through the City of New York."

Gray Line's Hal Glicksman did provide entertainment on a recent Brooklyn Loop Tour — but he did it by trashing the borough's most beloved culinary and cultural landmarks.

"It's one of the most hideous things I've ever seen in my life," he said of the splashy new entrance pavilion at the Brooklyn Museum. "What were they thinking?"

Grimaldi's Pizza, on Old Fulton St. under the Brooklyn Bridge, fared no better. "I took one bite of it, I threw it away. It was just horrendous," Glicksman said.

The opinionated Brooklynite also dismissed Junior's, the world-famous eatery on Flatbush Ave.: "It's going to be a cold day in hell before this tour guide spends $5 for a slice of highly overrated cheesecake."

Hey, it's New York, so expect a little pizazz, says Cristyne Nicholas, president of NYC & Company, the city's convention and visitors bureau.

"There's bound to be human viewpoints and errors when you have real-life New Yorkers conducting tours, but that's what makes it so interesting, and that's the reason to take more than one tour," she said.

"We're training new and better guides every day and making them more entertaining, interactive and accurate," said Jennifer Ackerson, CitySights' vice president of sales and marketing.

It's not hard to join the ranks of the 1,500 sightseeing guides licensed by the city's Department of Consumer Affairs.

Applicants must take a 150-question, multiple-choice exam about Big Apple history, culture and landmarks, which was updated to improve standards in 2003. But they only have to answer 97 questions correctly, meaning 64.6% is passing.

It shows.

lofter1
September 25th, 2005, 01:33 PM
Applicants must take a 150-question, multiple-choice exam about Big Apple history, culture and landmarks, which was updated to improve standards in 2003. But they only have to answer 97 questions correctly, meaning 64.6% is passing.

It shows.
Maybe the Department of Tourism could join up with the Department of Education and come up with a new program:


"No Guide Left Behind"

TonyO
December 8th, 2005, 11:03 AM
http://public.newyorkbusiness.com/alerts/images/crowds.jpg

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks

'Tis the season to be overcrowded; NY, businesses seek ways to cope with record numbers of tourists

by Lisa Fickenscher

As tourists joust for prime tree-viewing spots at Rockefeller Center and shove their way into Macy's and Bloomingdale's, the city is fighting to reclaim every possible inch of sidewalk and street space to make room for the crush of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

The Big Apple is girding to host a record 8.2 million visitors in November and December, according to tourism bureau NYC & Company. City and neighborhood officials as well as big retailers have been scrambling to prepare for the onslaught and to lay out plans for future years that promise even bigger crowds.


"We are reaching a crisis point at certain times of the year in terms of pedestrian flows," says Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, who wants to banish phone booths from the congested neighborhood.

For the first time since the period just after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the city is offering New Yorkers free round-trip MetroCards when they park their cars at Shea Stadium in Queens and take the No. 7 train rather than drive into Manhattan. The offer applies only on Wednesdays, when Broadway holds matinees, through Jan. 4. Similarly, the Department of Transportation is encouraging tour bus operators to drop their passengers at Shea, where riders will get the free MetroCards.

"After 9/11, we were all worried about whether people would come back to the city," says Iris Weinshall, commissioner of the DOT. Now, she spends her time convincing bus companies not to come into Manhattan.

The DOT issued the year's first holiday gridlock alert a couple of weeks earlier than usual this year, on Nov. 18. The agency also has been creating more midblock crosswalks, including one at Macy's on West 34th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, which was set up in September.

Big retailers have their own creative solutions to manage the throngs of shoppers streaming through their doors.

Bloomingdale's on East 59th Street and Lexington Avenue recently hired 21 greeters to help shoppers navigate the 11-floor store.

"Bloomingdale's is one of the top five tourist destinations in the city," says Frank Berman, vice president of marketing. "This will help separate us from the other retailers."

The store also expanded its visitor center, moving it into a 2,100-square-foot space and manning it with 15 staffers who speak a total of 15 languages. Shoppers are offered printed directories to take with them as they browse.

While Bloomie's is working on congestion inside its store, some neighborhoods are coping with streets that become choked with people and vehicles during the holiday season. SoHo, for example, gets more than its share of shoppers and gawkers at this time of year. The competition for space on the narrow streets is exacerbated by illegal street vendors, says Sean Sweeney, director of SoHo Alliance, a residential and business group.


Peddlers warned away


"The city has gotten them off of Fifth and Sixth avenues, but it doesn't seem to have the will to do it in SoHo," he says.

Some landlords have begun to take matters into their own hands, putting signs on their buildings such as the one on Spring Street that says, "This sidewalk is 10.5 feet; therefore peddling is de facto prohibited."

Ultimately, the crowds are good for the economy, but city officials want tourists to enjoy their New York experience. While the even greater multitudes expected next year might seem to be cause for concern, "there's been more discussion this year about how to handle the growth," says Cristyne L. Nicholas, chief executive of NYC & Company.


Lights out on Broadway


To pave the way for more feet, Mr. Tompkins of the Times Square Alliance is seriously considering pushing for the elimination of lampposts and pay phones in the neighborhood.

"People don't use pay phones anymore," says Mr. Tompkins, who notes that street lighting in Times Square is clearly redundant.

Another key project in that part of the city is the renovation of Duffy Square, at Broadway between West 47th and West 46th streets, home of the major TKTS booth for discounted theater tickets.

The DOT just approved a plan that will enlarge the island by 40% and provide the neighborhood with its first seating area. An 18-foot-tall glass staircase will be built above the TKTS booth, allowing tourists to gaze over the world's stage without bumping into unsuspecting New Yorkers rushing to work. The $12.5 million project is supposed to begin in March.

Mr. Tompkins' group is also studying how to enlarge the sidewalk space elsewhere in Times Square and how to connect the string of the islands sandwiched between Broadway and Seventh Avenue in the West 40s.

"Over the last decade, as Times Square has become more successful and tourism has come back, there is more recognition that we have some problems as a result of our success," says Mr. Tompkins.

Comments? LFickenscher@crain.com

ZippyTheChimp
January 6th, 2006, 10:06 AM
http://www.gothamgazette.com/

Record Year for Tourism

A record 41 million people visited New York last year, according to estimates from city tourism officials. In November and December alone, 8.25 million tourists visited the city, spending $4 billion on hotels, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment, one of the best holiday seasons in years. These numbers seem to indicate that the predicted economic disaster of the subway strike did not come to pass. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there’s no reason to expect the trend will reverse, but he and other city officials took the chance to urge the importance of faster progress on the Javits Convention Center.

lofter1
January 6th, 2006, 12:29 PM
And Glory be to January, when the tourists head back home, everyone slows down just a bit and the sidewalks are walkable once again :)

***

NYatKNIGHT
January 6th, 2006, 01:11 PM
Yes, the Numbers Show the Crowds in the City Were Real

By MIKE McINTIRE
Published: January 6, 2006

The early statistics are in, and they confirm the suspicions of many who found themselves cheek by jowl with strangers in Midtown crowds over the holidays: More people than ever visited New York City last year.


Preliminary estimates from city tourism officials are that a record 41 million visitors came to New York in 2005, including 8.25 million in November and December, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday. Those holiday season tourists spent more than $4 billion in the final two months of the year on hotels, restaurants, shopping and entertainment.

"The last week of 2005 was also the single highest grossing week in Broadway history," said Mr. Bloomberg, adding that he went to see "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" on New Year's Eve. "More than 280,000 people took in a show, and I was one of them."

The upbeat estimates seemed to deflate the dire predictions of the mayor and other officials that hundreds of millions of dollars would be lost because of the transit strike in late December.

Hotel occupancy last month was 86 percent, up 3 percent from a year ago, and the lack of public transportation did not seem to greatly slow the influx of visitors to the city, the statistics show.

Still, the mayor said the strike "certainly did not help" the city's economy, and probably hurt small businesses and their employees the most. He made his remarks during an appearance at a visitors' center in Midtown Manhattan, where he said that early indicators suggested the surge in tourism is continuing into 2006.

One factor that city tourism officials say has contributed to the boom in visitors is that favorable exchange rates for some currencies have made going to New York a bargain for many international tourists. And the increase in guests from other countries is good for the city, because foreign tourists generally spend more during their trips than Americans do.

Of the foreign tourists, "what's important to keep in mind is that they are responsible for about 45 percent of what is spent in New York City," said Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman of NYC & Company, the city's tourism bureau. "So about 18 percent of our visitors spent about 45 percent of the dollars that they dropped into the coffers of New York City businesses."

Mr. Bloomberg said there was little reason to expect that the influx of tourists would slow anytime soon. According to NYC & Company data, attendance at New York tourist attractions is currently running about 15 percent higher than a year ago, and that the number of visitors passing through city airports is 7 percent higher.

Copyright 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

krulltime
January 18th, 2006, 01:27 PM
NYC expects record number of tourists in 2006


by Catherine Tymkiw
January 17, 2006

Get used to crowded sidewalks and busy cash registers this year. Tourists are expected to flock to the Big Apple in record numbers, according to NYC & Company.

The city’s tourism bureau anticipates a record 43.3 million people will visit the city, up 4.5% from 2005. The number of international visitors should rise 7.5% to a record 7.2 million. The totals would mark a full rebound from the tourism slump following the Sept. 11 attacks.

Tourism generates more than $22 billion in spending, $5.4 billion in taxes and $13 billion in wages, according to NYC & Co. and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who jointly announced the 2006 forecast.

“Tourism, which supports nearly 330,000 jobs in our city and which is so vital to New Yorkers who are just starting their climb up the economic ladder, has more than made up the ground we lost following 9/11,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement.

Business travelers are increasingly attending trade shows and conventions held here. Attendance at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center topped 2.25 million last year -- the second-highest annual total.


©2005 Crain Communications Inc.

Comelade
January 18th, 2006, 04:09 PM
because of the obligation of 'passport biometric' to enter to the USA (passport which exist not yet in Europe). French is obliged to request a visa from the embassy of USA.but the embassy is completely overflowed of request and donot can follow any more. what makes say to the tour operators, that 20% (where 30%) of French will not be able to go to the USA because the visas will not be delivered in time.but the problem also arises for the tourists who go to Mexico and who must pass by the USA. Without visa, prohibition to pass.
the USA decided anything to change does not have their policy, whereas Europe had asked for a carryforward of one year to be ready.
I think sincerely that Europe should make the same thing with the USA, by knowing that the USA have also a problem to deliver this 'passport biometric' with American

(sorry for my english)

antinimby
January 18th, 2006, 04:37 PM
Comelade, will you be able to come this year and bring Amede (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7565)?

Comelade
January 18th, 2006, 11:39 PM
Comelade, will you be able to come this year and bring Amede (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7565)?

Yes this year I return in May and ' Amede' will be voyage I board the chance to have an old still valid passport, therefore not of visa for me.but remain only 6 days (sniff sniff)

lofter1
January 19th, 2006, 09:57 AM
Do the new visa laws require documentation for Amede, too?

Comelade
January 19th, 2006, 10:48 AM
Do the new visa laws require documentation for Amede, too?
I board well fear which it makes of clandestine immigration :p

david lee
January 20th, 2006, 09:42 AM
Personally, british accent pisses me off :)

Well nah, yor a rite bucket of chuckles aint yah me ol china?

Now excuse me while I burst into song "just a little bit........just a little bit........just a little bit of bloomin luck"

Dave from London :D

krulltime
December 27th, 2006, 05:50 PM
NYC expects record 44M tourists in 2006


By: David Jones
Published: December 27, 2006 - 2:57 pm

A record number of tourists flocked to New York City in 2006, pumping more than $24 billion into the local economy, according to estimates from NYC & Company.

The city's tourism bureau predicts that 44 million people will have visited the Big Apply by year-end. That's up 7.3% from last year and tops the city's original estimate of 43 million. NYC & Company said it now expects 45.5 million tourists will visit in 2007.

"From a tourism perspective, we're marketing a lot smarter," said Tim McGuinness, executive director of NYC & Company

A whopping 1.25 million people are expected to visit the city between Christmas and New Year's Day, according to NYC & Company and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who jointly announced the preliminary figures.

While setting a new record, the numbers off from previous forecasts. The city's official forecast, released in January 2006, called for 7.2 million international visitors and 36 million domestic visitors. Numbers released Wednesday project 37 million domestic visitors and 7 million U.S. visitors in 2006, breaking the prior record of 6.8 million set in 2000.

Officials say the summer terror scare in the U.K. may have softened international travel, leading American tourists to drive locally and Europeans to delay overseas travel.

Despite the summer scare, the number of tourists from the United Kingdom - the city's biggest international market - totaled 1.2 million as British visitors took advantage of the weak dollar.

Mr. Bloomberg said the city is ahead of schedule in its plan to attract 50 million tourists annually by 2015.

The estimates come just days after the city completed the first phase of its international tourism campaign, called NYC Open/Book. The campaign is designed to attract foreign tourists during major U.S. holidays, when many local residents leave town.

The first phase debuted the week of Dec. 18 on the London Underground train system. The second phase, starting Jan. 2, will include Italy, Ireland and Spain. Foreign visitors are being offered special discounted hotel and airfare discounts around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, President's Day, the Fourth of July and other holidays.


Entire contents © 2006 Crain Communications, Inc.

Deimos
December 27th, 2006, 06:51 PM
[B][SIZE="4"]The first phase debuted the week of Dec. 18 on the London Underground train system. The second phase, starting Jan. 2, will include Italy, Ireland and Spain. Foreign visitors are being offered special discounted hotel and airfare discounts around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, President's Day, the Fourth of July and other holidays.


Is there any way to see these billboards?

pianoman11686
December 28th, 2006, 12:10 AM
A whopping 1.25 million people are expected to visit the city between Christmas and New Year's Day, according to NYC & Company and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who jointly announced the preliminary figures.

Having spent most of the day in Midtown showing some of the sights to the family, I can attest to this being the most crowded time the city has ever seen.

krulltime
December 28th, 2006, 01:14 AM
Is there any way to see these billboards?


Not sure but here is the news story...


City Is Shopping for Shoppers in London’s Underground


By PATRICK McGEEHAN
December 20, 2006

Few places on the planet could make New York seem inexpensive, so the city’s tourism officials have gone fishing for bargain-hunters in the subways of London.

This week, NYC & Company, the city’s marketing and tourism arm, placed ads in five of the busiest underground train stations in London promoting the savings to be had in New York with the dollar near a 14-year low against the British pound.

“Pound for pound, New York City is the place to be,” the ads read. “Well, make that pound for dollar.”

Indeed, London was the only city ranked more expensive than New York in a recent report published by UBS, a Swiss financial services company. The strength of the pound has contributed to London’s rise: Yesterday, it was worth about $1.96, up from about $1.60 four years ago.

The subway ads direct viewers to a Web site, nycopenbook.com, that compares the cost of a variety of purchases in each city, from a bagel with cream cheese (£2 there vs. £1 here) to a pair of designer jeans (£72 vs. £50) to a laptop computer (£679 vs. £515).

“The British are pretty savvy travelers and are pretty keenly aware of the exchange rate,” said Fred Dixon, the vice president for tourism development at NYC & Company. “The British and the Irish will come to New York for a long weekend to shop like we would go to Boston.”

Chris Sell, a Briton who owns the Chip Shop restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn, said he would soon have firsthand evidence of the city’s cut-rate image among his countrymen. He said that his father, Brian, was due to arrive today from his home in Rugby and that tucked in his luggage would be an article from a British newspaper listing the top 10 bargains to scoop up.

“I know a bunch of people who do come over here for two or three days with an empty suitcase and go to Century 21 and just load up on cheap clothes.” Mr. Sell said. “The dollar’s been in the toilet for so long now, it’s worth almost two-to-one.”

Tourists returning from America are supposed to declare any purchases whose value exceeds £145.

England is easily the No. 1 source of visitors to the city, supplying about 1.2 million tourists annually, Mr. Dixon said. Germany is a distant second, providing about 400,000 visitors a year, he said.

But the city has not aimed advertising at Londoners in the past. With the exception of a brief campaign to lure tourists back after 9/11, the city has not run tourism ads in foreign countries in many years,[/B] Mr. Dixon said. That is beginning to change since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg earlier this year gave the agency $15 million to try to draw 50 million annual visitors by 2015, up from about 44 million this year.

The new ads are intended to attract visitors during late December and January, when occupancy of the city’s hotels drops off after the holiday shopping hordes retreat.

“The feeling might be out there that New York is expensive and booked,” said Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman of NYC & Company and the chief executive of Loews Hotels. But the ads, he said, “make a bold statement about how we invite you to come because we have availability and we offer value by virtue of the weak dollar.”


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

krulltime
December 28th, 2006, 01:17 AM
Is there any way to see these billboards?


;) I am sure these are the advertisements they see in the Tube...


http://nycopenbook.com/_images/uk_quiz1.jpg

http://nycopenbook.com/_images/uk_quiz2.jpg

http://nycopenbook.com/_images/uk_quiz3.jpg

http://nycopenbook.com/_images/uk_quiz4.jpg


Etc.. http://nycopenbook.com/quiz.html

BrooklynRider
December 28th, 2006, 12:05 PM
I had the distinct displeasure of wandering up to the Theater district from Union Square at around 4:30PM - 5:00PM yesterday. Probably the most unenjoyable NY walking experience in years. Putting aside navigating crowds with a broken shoulder, the streets and avenues were gridlocked from 23rd Street to 57th Street with bridge and tunnel folks, and the sidewalks were crowded enough to a NY walking pace to a crawl. And don't get me started on groups of tourists standing on busy corneres, maps out, oblivious to the fact that they were completely obstructing EVERYONE.

I am all "love and light", but I find the size and overall make up of the holiday crowds repulsive (in the most non-judgemental and open-hearted way).

lofter1
December 28th, 2006, 12:31 PM
So true ^^^

Can't wait for the New Year to be upon us ...

ZippyTheChimp
December 28th, 2006, 08:22 PM
Bah Humbug on youse guys.

lofter1
December 28th, 2006, 08:34 PM
And a lump of coal to you, my friend :p

antinimby
January 4th, 2007, 12:43 AM
PLAY DOUGH SETS NEW RECORD

B'WAY'S $25M WEEK FUELED BY FLOOD OF HOLIDAY TOURISTS


http://www.nypost.com/img/cols/michaelriedel.jpg


January 3, 2007 (http://www.nypost.com/seven/01032007/news/columnists/play_dough_sets_new_record_columnists_michael_ried el.htm?page=0) -- THE Great White Way turned green last week as box-office receipts hit their highest levels in history, theater sources told The Post yesterday.

The League of American Theaters and Producers releases official figures today, but several producers said yesterday that the final tally for the holiday week would easily exceed the record figure of $22 million.

"The week was the biggest ever," said a top theater executive as he compiled box-office reports yesterday. "A lot of people made a lot of money."

Fifteen shows, all musicals, posted grosses of more than $1 million. "Wicked" - the hugely popular show about the Wicked Witch of the West - led the pack, grossing $1.8 million on an eight-performance week.

That's the highest weekly take for any show in the history of Broadway.

"Wicked" is also breaking records around the world. Last week, the London production took in $1.7 million, the Chicago production grossed $1.4 million and the Toronto version earned $1.5 million.

The musical, based on Gregory Maguire's best-selling novel, is well on its way to joining "The Phantom of the Opera," "Cats" and "Les Miserables" as the most popular Broadway productions of all time.

Right behind "Wicked" on Broadway last week was "The Grinch," a kiddie show that played 12 performances and grossed $1.7 million.
Other members of the Broadway millionaires' club include "Mamma Mia!" ($1.5 million), "The Lion King" ($1.46 million), "The Drowsy Chaperone" ($1.4 million), "Mary Poppins" ($1.3 million), "Beauty and the Beast" ($1.3 million), "Jersey Boys" ($1.2 million), "Tarzan" ($1.1 million) and "A Chorus Line" ($1 million).

CURTAIN BLAZERS: The week from Christmas through New Year's Eve was Broadway's most profitable ever, as 15 shows made more than $1 million in ticket sales.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/01032007/photos/news003.jpghttp://www.nypost.com/seven/01032007/photos/news003a.jpghttp://www.nypost.com/seven/01032007/photos/news003b.jpg



Several smaller shows also posted impressive numbers. "Avenue Q" grossed $660,000, a house record at the pocket-sized John Golden Theater, while the critically acclaimed "Spring Awakening," which had previously struggled at the box office, took in $650,000.

A "Spring Awakening" production source said the good press for the show was finally kicking in and that ticket sales going into January and February, traditionally weak months on Broadway, were strong.

The $22 million record was set last year in the same holiday week - but this year's figure is expected to top $25 million.

Broadway enjoyed its richest week in history for two reasons, theater sources say. First, New York was flooded with tourists between Christmas and New Year's. Second, those tourists were willing to pay top dollar to see shows. Nearly every musical that broke the $1 million mark sold large blocks of tickets at so-called "premium" prices of $250 to $300.

"Every year, we've added more premium price seats at Christmas," said a veteran producer. "As long as we keep doing that, we will keep breaking box office records."

"Jersey Boys" also raised the price of non-premium seats from $110 to $120.
Other shows will probably do the same in the New Year.

Some people were willing to pay even more than the premium price to see a show. Scalpers and ticket brokers were getting $800 for good seats to "Jersey Boys" during the holidays, theater sources say. Tickets to "Wicked" were going for $400 to $500 on some brokers' Web sites.

Not every Broadway show exploded at the box office during the holidays. Plenty of seats were available at the non-musical plays, which generally do not attract large numbers of tourists.

"The Little Dog Laughed," a sharp comedy about a hard-driving theater agent, is struggling at the Cort Theatre even though it opened to strong reviews. Theater insiders doubt it can weather the downturn in ticket sales that usually hits Broadway in January and February.

Copyright 2007NYP Holdings, Inc.

OmegaNYC
January 4th, 2007, 11:26 AM
I had the distinct displeasure of wandering up to the Theater district from Union Square at around 4:30PM - 5:00PM yesterday. Probably the most unenjoyable NY walking experience in years. Putting aside navigating crowds with a broken shoulder, the streets and avenues were gridlocked from 23rd Street to 57th Street with bridge and tunnel folks, and the sidewalks were crowded enough to a NY walking pace to a crawl. And don't get me started on groups of tourists standing on busy corneres, maps out, oblivious to the fact that they were completely obstructing EVERYONE.

I am all "love and light", but I find the size and overall make up of the holiday crowds repulsive (in the most non-judgemental and open-hearted way).


You hate tourist? I thought I was the only person who hate tourist. :)

BrooklynRider
January 7th, 2007, 10:51 PM
I was out Friday night and THEY ARE GONE. Hooray!

I'm not talking about the curious tourists looking for the New York experience and wandering all about without bothering everyone. I'm talking about those people who stay in the little square from 34th Street to 59th Street and from Eighth Avenue to Park Avenue or the ones on shopping sprees on Broadway between Canal and Houston. You know the type: pear shaped ladies with little brats clutching American Girl dolls, asking where the nearest Applebee's is or queing up for Red Lobster.

They've scattered. I'm pleased. I had a great walk from Lincoln Center to Wall Street on balmy Friday with no one in my way. I know it's New York, but it is so nice to wander about unmolested in January and February.

OmegaNYC
January 8th, 2007, 02:45 PM
I know it's New York, but it is so nice to wander about unmolested in January and February.

Amen.

Derek2k3
October 27th, 2007, 10:16 AM
New tourism commercial...

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W31mr2wonos

BigMac
January 14th, 2008, 03:37 PM
Associated Press
January 14, 2008

NYC hits tourism record

http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/TRAVEL/01/14/nyc.tourism.record.ap/art.manhattan.afp.gi.jpg
The 2007 jump in tourism was largely due to visitors from other countries, who numbered an estimated 8.5 million -- a growth of 17 percent.

NEW YORK (AP) -- With a falling dollar sweetening the deal for international travelers, a record-setting number of tourists visited the city last year, spending an estimated $28 billion, tourism officials said Sunday.

With a final count still pending, the city's tourism office said an estimated 46 million people had visited the city in 2007 -- up 5 percent from 2006. The jump was largely due to visitors from other countries, who numbered an estimated 8.5 million -- a growth of 17 percent.

George Fertitta, chief executive of city tourism office NYC & Company, said the visitors were drawn by more than a favorable exchange rate and the city's international marketing efforts.

"The city is more vibrant, cleaner and safer -- and it's just more exciting than ever before," he said.

The portion of the city's tourists who were from other countries had dwindled since the September 11 attacks, and last year's growth returned the ratio to pre-2001 levels.

The city has been working to draw such international visitors, who stay longer and spend more money. NYC & Company has launched an overseas television, print and billboard campaign, and in 2007 it more than doubled its marketing offices overseas, targeting countries including China, Brazil and Canada.

New York is one of only a few U.S. urban centers that did not see a drop in the number of overseas visitors between 2000 and 2006.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he wants the city to attract 50 million travelers each year by 2015. Last year, visitors to New York spent $4 billion more than they had the year before.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press

NoyokA
January 15th, 2008, 09:38 PM
I was out Friday night and THEY ARE GONE. Hooray!

I'm not talking about the curious tourists looking for the New York experience and wandering all about without bothering everyone. I'm talking about those people who stay in the little square from 34th Street to 59th Street and from Eighth Avenue to Park Avenue or the ones on shopping sprees on Broadway between Canal and Houston. You know the type: pear shaped ladies with little brats clutching American Girl dolls, asking where the nearest Applebee's is or queing up for Red Lobster.

They've scattered. I'm pleased. I had a great walk from Lincoln Center to Wall Street on balmy Friday with no one in my way. I know it's New York, but it is so nice to wander about unmolested in January and February.

Haha. So true. I especially hate how tourists just stand in the middle, whether its a store, a sidewalk, a restaurant, an escalator, what have you, where ever they are they are standing in the middle blocking everyones way.

The Benniest
January 15th, 2008, 11:07 PM
*makes note not to do this while in NY*

:P


Haha. So true. I especially hate how tourists just stand in the middle, whether its a store, a sidewalk, a restaurant, an escalator, what have you, where ever they are they are standing in the middle blocking everyones way.

antinimby
January 16th, 2008, 01:36 AM
That's just a stereotype and generalization. There are plenty of considerate tourists (interestingly, foreign ones seem to be more so http://wirednewyork.com/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif) while some city residents can be just as inconsiderate as anyone.

Moriarty
January 16th, 2008, 05:16 AM
Haha. So true. I especially hate how tourists just stand in the middle, whether its a store, a sidewalk, a restaurant, an escalator, what have you, where ever they are they are standing in the middle blocking everyones way.

How can you block anyone's way on an escalator? You're supposed to stand still and let the escalator do the work. In my town it's an offfence to 'scale' a moving escalator.

If you're in a hurry why not use the staircase instead? I'm sure you have that option in New York? Not a criticism. Just an observation you undertand.

On a more serious note, I once had to attended an accident scene at a department store, caused by someone running up a moving escalator. A child fell and suffered a serious head-injury. So please, think on? :)
John

NoyokA
January 16th, 2008, 08:27 AM
In New York its common courtesy to stand to one side and allow the other side open so that those who wish to climb or descend the escalator can. There's actually signs in certain areas reminding those (usually tourists) of the protocol.

lofter1
January 16th, 2008, 09:59 AM
More specifically: In NYC it is proper to STAND on the RIGHT and allow faster movers to PASS on the LEFT while on an escalator (many of which are constructed wide enough in NYC to allow two passengers side-by-side, and thereby one is able to scale a moving escalator).

This is also true for those climbing a staircase.

Or walking on a sidewalk.

Just as in driving, keeping yourself to the right -- unless passing -- is always the best choice :cool:

After passing ease back to the right.

Those pushing baby strollers should always stay to the right :mad: (or at home).

(If you do it differently in your country, that's fine ... just do it our way when visiting here. Please.)

OmegaNYC
January 16th, 2008, 10:15 AM
^^Great point, Lofter. Like that old saying, When in Rome....

NYatKNIGHT
January 16th, 2008, 10:36 AM
They stand to the right in Europe too. Here it's hit or miss.

It makes all the difference when you're dealing with transportation - when you have to catch a bus, train, or plane, and you need to GET THERE. It would be considerate to let someone pass, but I think for the most part those who don't just have their heads up their ass.

tdp
January 16th, 2008, 05:26 PM
(If you do it differently in your country, that's fine ... just do it our way when visiting here. Please.)

Duly noted.
This 'tourist' has a desire to blend in and be a part of your city - not stick out like a sore thumb (or get in anyone's way)!

The Benniest
January 16th, 2008, 06:02 PM
Duly noted.
This 'tourist' has a desire to blend in and be a part of your city - not stick out like a sore thumb (or get in anyone's way)!

I agree, and the same goes for me. :)

turkishann
January 19th, 2008, 08:46 AM
this tourist will be on her way in 3 weeks, I promise also that I will abide by New York rules and be a good girl!! :D

MidtownGuy
January 19th, 2008, 01:25 PM
You must be getting really excited!:)

turkishann
January 19th, 2008, 01:35 PM
yes we are midtownguy, not only are we going to New York but the children are staying with the Grandparents, we will really miss them, but it will be great just being a couple again :D

MidtownGuy
January 19th, 2008, 02:19 PM
You will have a wonderful time together!
I know you have been looking forward to this trip for a long time. I just hope it won't be too cold. February is strange, it could be mild or it could be freezing. In any case, you'll never run out of things to see. But, if it's warm, you should walk over the Brooklyn Bridge for some truly amazing views.
Cheers!

turkishann
January 19th, 2008, 03:40 PM
thanks midtown guy, we are used to the cold in england :D (in fact rain thats all it does in manchester) :Dthanks for the tip I will add brooklyn bridge to my list of things to do, I am intending to take lots of photos so will post some on here when we get back :)

brianac
January 20th, 2008, 05:14 AM
thanks midtown guy, thanks for the tip I will add brooklyn bridge to my list of things to do

A suggestion. If you are going to walk the bridge, you may consider taking the subway to Brooklyn Borough Hall. This area of Brooklyn is very nice, and you can walk to the Promenade for unrestricted views of Lower Manhattan, then head for the bridge for your walk back.

turkishann
January 20th, 2008, 05:37 AM
Thanks Brian I have just cut and pasted your suggestion on my things to do list ;)

The Benniest
January 20th, 2008, 10:41 PM
thanks midtown guy, we are used to the cold in england :D (in fact rain thats all it does in manchester) :Dthanks for the tip I will add brooklyn bridge to my list of things to do, I am intending to take lots of photos so will post some on here when we get back :)

I hope your trip goes awesome! Can't wait to see your pics when you get back. I like good NYC photos. :D


A suggestion. If you are going to walk the bridge, you may consider taking the subway to Brooklyn Borough Hall. This area of Brooklyn is very nice, and you can walk to the Promenade for unrestricted views of Lower Manhattan, then head for the bridge for your walk back.

I have added this on my things to do as well. :p

brianac
January 21st, 2008, 06:15 AM
You can zoom in or out on these maps

Brooklyn, Bridge Area

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ll=40.697348,-73.993148&z=15&t=h&hl=en




Borough Hall Area showing Subway's


http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ll=40.697348,-73.993148&z=15&t=h&hl=en

brianac
January 21st, 2008, 06:37 AM
NOTE.

The steps on to the bridge at the Brooklyn end are rather hidden away.
Walk up Cadman Plaza E and you cross under the bridge the steps are in the wall of the bridge on your left.

turkishann
January 21st, 2008, 12:46 PM
thanks guys, will look out for the steps and I will definetly takes lots of photos!

LEGEND-K
January 23rd, 2008, 02:41 AM
do most NYers like tourists?especial foreigners?

as a chinese visiter who comes from red china and speak chinglish wondering arround those streets in NYC,would that be kind of danger?is it ok to talk to the African Americans on the streets?like checking the map with'em or some.is it ok to ride a bike in the downtown?can i find bathrom whenever i need?

lofter1
January 23rd, 2008, 06:39 PM
Legend, you would do just fine in NYC. You can talk to anyone here about a map. You never know who will be helpful.

Bikes you can ride all over, but watch out for the cars. I prefer riding at night when there is less traffic.

Of all your questions the one without the answer is about finding a bathroom.

When in doubt look for a Starbucks (there might be a line for the loo there, but they all have bathrooms).

brianac
January 29th, 2008, 02:39 AM
From The Times
January 24, 2008

Girls who were ‘orphaned’ on a shopping trip to US

Two teenage girls from Devon found themselves locked up in one of America’s toughest orphanages when their mother fell ill during a £2,000 shopping trip to New York. It was supposed to be Gemma and Katie Bray’s Christmas treat but it turned into an experience that they will never forget – for all the wrong reasons.

Gemma, 15, and Katie, 13, and their mother, Yvonne, were greeted at JFK airport by a limousine driver who was booked to take them on a tour of all the best stores on Fifth Avenue. Ms Bray, 39, who is divorced, was feeling unwell. They queued unsuccessfully in sub-zero temperatures to get into Saks and Abercrombie and Fitch so returned to their hotel in Queen’s.

Next day Ms Bray had acute pneumonia and was gasping for breath.

The hotel manager dialled 911 and an ambulance took her to a public hospital in Harlem where most of the other patients were handcuffed to their beds or a police officer. Too weak to wave goodbye, their mother was forced to leave Gemma and Katie in the custody of social workers who asked them “do you have any homicidal tendencies?” and “which street gangs do you belong to?”. Gemma, a student at Bideford College, replied: “I am a member of Appledore library.”

The girls found themselves in a municipal orphanage. Their trendy clothes were taken away and they were issued with one-size-fits-all white T-shirts and elasticated jeans. Gemma said: “They looked like prison outfits.”

The sisters had mugshots taken, were given a medical examination and a wash pack and were dispatched to a glass-walled dormitory for 12 to 15-year-old girls. Katie said: “It was like being in a little cage. It was scary as the staff were constantly looking in at us. I tried to go to sleep, but every time I opened my eyes, someone was looking right at me.”

The girls found themselves the centre of attention. Gemma said: “They wanted to know all about England and whether we knew the Queen. Most were at the home because they had been taken away from their families for whatever reason. We were lucky to be able to leave after just one night. It was scary at first but everyone turned out to be friendly.”

Their mother said that the hospital was like being trapped in an episode of ER. Although she had travel and medical insurance she was taken to a public hospital because hers was an emergency case. She was told that she was seriously ill and was going to have to stay in for at least three nights, which would have meant missing the flight home. Instead, she discharged herself.

She said. “I was frantic with worry. The social workers from the Manhattan Child Services kept changing shifts so nobody knew what was happening.

“After a number of calls, I eventually got a call from a woman who said that she had the kids and was about half an hour from the hotel. I was so relieved. We’d only been apart for a matter of days but it seemed like for ever.”

To salvage something of the break, the family saw the musical Mary Poppins on Broadway before flying home.

The girls did not return quite empty-handed. They have new nicknames. Their schoolfriends call them the orphanage kids.

Copyright 2008 The Times

brianac
January 29th, 2008, 02:55 AM
-^^^-

Wherever you travel to on vacation there are things you must do.

Travel advice is freely available but most people choose to ignore it.

If you are travelling to a foreign country you should,

a) Carry a photocopy of the page in your passport that shows your name and photo.

b) Carry a list of important phone numbers, The local British Consul, Insurance contacts etc.

Had the British Consul been called I'm sure these girls would have been looked after.

Merry
January 29th, 2008, 07:40 AM
I was out Friday night and THEY ARE GONE. Hooray!

I know it's New York, but it is so nice to wander about unmolested in January and February.

This is perhaps a bit harsh, but reliably funny, as always:

http://www.msrc.co.uk/images/gallery/fun_cartoon_touristseason.jpg

http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=show&pageid=2314

lofter1
January 29th, 2008, 12:00 PM
Girls who were ‘orphaned’ on a shopping trip to US


What a nightmare ...

No doubt that this story (with a few adjustments, i.c.: Mom dies) could find its way onto an episode of one of the "Law & Order" shows ...

:eek:

Purchasing Travel Insurance (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22travel+insurance%22&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7RNWE), particularly after reaching a certain age and traveling outside of one's own country, can be very helpful if one gets ill while on a trip -- and seems to be a worthy investment (although the mother in this story at age 39 probably didn't give it much thought).

turkishann
January 29th, 2008, 12:29 PM
watched an interview with the mum and girls on english breakfast tv, they said the the british consulate should have been informed, the mum even got issued with a letter saying she was being reported for neglect and child abuse :eek:

the girls said the other children at the orphanage were really nice to them, the girls were asked would they go back to New York, yes was there reply :)

MidtownGuy
January 29th, 2008, 12:46 PM
Wow, that's a crazy story! I'm glad the girls were treated kindly by the other children. They were probably so curious about the two British girls in their midst and had 1000 questions:)

brianac
January 29th, 2008, 12:59 PM
Purchasing Travel Insurance (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22travel+insurance%22&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7RNWE), particularly after reaching a certain age and traveling outside of one's own country, can be very helpful if one gets ill while on a trip -- and seems to be a worthy investment (although the mother in this story at age 39 probably didn't give it much thought).

I think they were covered by insurance, the problem was that because the mother was treated as an emergency, she was rushed off to hospital, so the insurance would have to be dealt with when she was feeling better.

It seems that once they were at hospital, no one knew, or bothered to find out, exactly who they were.

lofter1
January 29th, 2008, 01:07 PM
No one at the hospital cared who she was?

Really??

In the good old US of A :confused:

As one who has been pushed to the corner of an emergency room of a major NYC hospital (stay OUT of Beth Israel) and left for hours I find this woman's plight to be completely believeable.

:o

BigMac
January 30th, 2008, 12:28 PM
As one who has been pushed to the corner of an emergency room of a major NYC hospital (stay OUT of Beth Israel) and left for hoursThat's awful; hope you *eventually* got the care you deserved.

lofter1
January 30th, 2008, 01:35 PM
Eventually, sort of ...

But only because a friend was there who raised a ruckus.

If I never again in my entire life go through the doors of Beth Israel Hospital it will be too soon.

Ninjahedge
February 1st, 2008, 09:00 AM
I have a feeling that you have to make noise at a place like that Loft.

If you don't, the people figure you are either OK or Dead, either way it means you do not need to be looked at! ;)

lofter1
February 1st, 2008, 10:52 AM
That is so ^ when one is healthy and able to stand up for oneself.

Not so when the body revolts or is assaulted and leaves one battered, exhausted and vulnerable.

Lesson: Whenever possible take an advocate along when going to the hospital.

brianac
May 29th, 2008, 06:18 AM
Old Enemies Prop Up City's Memorial Day Weekend

Strong euro buoys holiday run; hotels, restaurants report brisk business

by Lysandra Ohrstrom (http://www.observer.com/2007/author/lysandra-ohrstrom) | May 28, 2008

http://www.observer.com/files/imagecache/article/files/timesquarecrowds.jpg
Geff Rossi via flickr

Traditionally, New Yorkers flee the city on Memorial Day weekend and visitors flood in, making it the ideal time to take the pulse of Manhattan's tourism sector. Based on domestic conditions, the summer season appears poised for a washout—gas prices are sky-rocketing, consumer spending is down, whispers about belt-tightening abound. Some vendors are indeed feeling the pinch, but overall it lookes like foreign currency has once again cushioned the city from the blows pummelling the rest of America.

“Things are pretty robust and the weak dollar is to thank for that,” said Chris Heywood, vice president of the city's official tourism wing, NYC & Co.

Based on preliminary hotel data, the city estimates that about 130,000 international and domestic overnight visitors per day came to the city over the weekend. The Marriot Marquis in Times Square was full all three nights, hosting a 1,400-person Spanish tour group, said spokeswoman Kathleen Duffy, and it was not alone. All Mariotts in the city were completely sold out on Saturday and the average vacancy rate was about 90 percent on Friday and Sunday.

Thanks to British tourists and, lately, Spanish and Italian ones, the hospitality sector has been nearly impervious to the economic slump—on average, hotels were 86 percent occupied in April and room rates averaged $305 nightly, according to NYC & Co.—so far, said Mr. Townsend.

Like with the Mariott, he expects the trend to continue into the summer.
Colin, a horse and carriage driver parked beside the fountain on 59th Street and Fifth Avenue on Tuesday morning, said that Memorial Day was like “a normal weekend, which is to say “busy,” but not sunny, holiday weekend busy.

“It must be the high gas prices,” he shrugged, while keeping a tight grip on the reins of his horse.

A lackluster Memorial Day weekend certainly brings the tourism sector’s woes into sharp relief, but the drop in U.S. consumer spending has been taking its toll all year, Colin said. “This is a luxury item and that’s the first thing to go when you’re in a crunch,” Colin said, stroking his horse. "The Europeans have really been keeping the business afloat all year."

Since Europeans don't celebrate Memorial Day weekend, it makes sense that business wouldn't get a boost from a three-day weekend. The Playwright Tavern on 51st and Broadway would seem particularly susceptible to the prevailing economic currents given its customer base.

The bar and restaurant is a popular pre-theater dinner spot for tourists and post-work watering hole for investment bankers from Lehman Brothers' headquarters across the street.

But manager Majella O’Shaughnessy said the restaurant was busier over this Memorial Day than last year.

“We had a lot of people from out of state,” she said during a brief mid-morning lull before the lunch rush on Tuesday. As if on cue a call from a client arranging a 50-person dinner party that night interrupted.

“We are still doing corporate parties and have guys from Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers drinking at the bar every night,” she said (and, no, she has not noticed more lugubrious happy-hour behavior on the part of the bankers).

At the Broadway Baby souvenir shop, business was “insane” and “crazy," according to Casey Paradies, who minded the store through Memorial Day weekend. “We had a lot of Europeans,” he said. “I heard a lot of French going on, but they could also be Québécoise."

The store has been open for a year, and Mr. Paradies has not seen much of a change in spending since things started picking up after the Broadway strike ended in December.

“Americans don’t spend as much as Europeans, but they still come in a lot,” he said.

But not all tourism-related businesses felt the euros trickle down over the holiday. Accessory vendor Salam Yousif agreed that Times Square was packed with American and international tourists over the weekend, but business was “slower than usual last week.”

“It was crowded but no one is buying anything,” he said. “Even when they do buy it's only one item at a time, like a pashmina. It’s not like it was last year.”

For others, the poor turnout on Memorial Day weekend merely underscores what has been in the works for months.

“I’ll tell you how the weekend was. Lousy, very lousy. There was more business during the week than the weekend,” said Liz, who has run a news kiosk at 50th Street and Seventh Avenue for 40 years. She declined to give her last name, saying “everyone knows me as Liz the newsstand lady.”

Things were so slow that Liz closed up at four in the afternoon on Saturday. On Sunday, she repeatedly left her kiosk unmanned while she chatted with employees at the Godiva shop on the same corner.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” she said, throwing up her hands in dismay.

“I usually sell 10 cases of water a day, now I’m selling five cases a week.

I sold three T-shirts on Saturday. Normally, I’d sell dozens over a holiday weekend. This is one of the worst years ever.”

http://www.observer.com/2008/memorial-day-was-not-total-washout

© 2008 Observer Media Group,

Ninjahedge
May 29th, 2008, 08:57 AM
Liz does not know what is happening?

1. Like it was said, this weekend was no different than any other to foreign visitors.
2. A holiday weekend will most likely steimy any worker buisness (lunch, commuters, etc).
3. It is a RECESSION, so people are buying less T-Shirts.
4. Memorial Day is not usually a big "Go to the city" weekend. The beach was pretty crowded, despite the wind and cool beach temperatures!

antinimby
August 19th, 2008, 09:09 PM
Cultural Landmarks of a Different Kind

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/08/19/nyregion/19tourists_1_650.jpg
Jessica Zenger, left, and her sister Kelli Zenger of San Francisco conferring over jewelry. They said they were
disappointed by the quality of imitations.


By RALPH BLUMENTHAL
Published: August 19, 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/19/nyregion/19tourists.html)

Sure, she was awestruck by Broadway, Times Square and the Empire State Building.

But what really amazed Barbara Roth, a tailor from Stuttgart, Germany, about New York, New York?

“In the ladies’ toilets you can see people’s feet,” said Ms. Roth, 25, still incredulous outside Rockefeller Center last week. “It’s the first time I’ve seen something like that. Where I’m from we have full doors on the bathrooms.”

The nation’s top foreign tourist magnet, with nine million international visitors expected this year along with nearly 39 million Americans, New York is a city of surprises, but not always for reasons natives can see.

Christopher C. Heywood, a vice president of NYC & Company, the city’s official marketing and tourism arm, said visitors were drawn by the city’s “friendly nature, unparalleled energy level, low crime, cultural diversity and beauty and vibrancy of the five boroughs.”

But catch them at unguarded moments in line for a sightseeing bus or the Statue of Liberty and they might offer more idiosyncratic appraisals: New York in the eye (jaundiced or admiring) of the tourist beholder.

“There are a lot of men here that are really muscular,” said Ana Rosa Bermejo, from Burgos, Spain. Not that Ms. Bermejo, 28, was complaining. Where she came from, she said, “people go to the gym to stay healthy, but not to get huge.”

It was not just the men here who were bigger, Ms. Bermejo said. “The coffees here are so big,” she said. “In Spain we drink coffee in little cups.”
And, she added, back home, “nobody drinks coffee on the street, and you never drink out of plastic.”


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/08/19/nyregion/19tourist3_450.jpg
The Spanish, a visitor said, never drink out of plastic.


But back to the bathrooms. Ms. Roth was not the only one with an issue. Karin Wagner, who works in human resources in Allmersbach, Germany, said she, too, found the stalls in New York’s restrooms insufficiently private.

“There is a space between the door and the wall, and someone can see you from the outside,” said Mrs. Wagner, 42, while in line for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. “In Germany you would never have that.”

Her husband, Markus, 41, a banker, had nothing particular to offer on that subject, but he expressed surprise at how much of New York was air-conditioned. “It’s everywhere, even in the subway,” he said. “In Germany there’s only air-conditioning in the airport.”

What was it with New Yorkers and flags? wondered Pavel Dvorak, a college student from Brno in the Czech Republic. “Everywhere there is an American flag or some other country’s flag,” said Mr. Dvorak, 21, standing under the flagpoles of Rockefeller Center. He said he had first noticed flags at the South Street Seaport and then realized they were everywhere.

“In my country, we only have flags on important buildings, like government buildings,” he said.


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/08/19/nyregion/19tourist2_650.jpg
A tourist from the Czech Republic was surprised by an abundance of flags around New York, including Rockefeller
Center.


Elham Alnasir, visiting from Saudi Arabia with her daughters Hayfa and Lama Alibraheem, said she was surprised to see so many fellow Arabs in New York.

Lama, 10, keeping an eye peeled for the Jonas Brothers, noticed “a lot of garbages,” and Hayfa, gaping at the flashing signs of Broadway, seemed at a loss for words altogether. “I thought it would be more realistic,” she finally said.

New York’s detritus also drew the admiring attention of Steve and Rhona Ciolek, visiting from Orange County, Calif. “They pile it up in huge piles and take it away at night,” marveled Mrs. Ciolek, contrasting it with the modest disposal procedures at home. “We just put it in receptacles and leave it at the curb,” she said.

Anna Anderson, a dentist from Malmo, Sweden, thought New Yorkers must find their floors shameful, otherwise why would they be hiding them, as in the room she and her husband shared in the Hotel Pennsylvania. “There are carpets glued to the floor covering the whole room,” said Ms. Anderson, 36.

A fellow Swede, from Goteborg, Sven Karlson, a Phoenix builder who sailed to New York with his family from Bermuda in their own yacht, was surprised at the sorry state of the city’s waterfront.

“Honey, where is where we bought the clams?” he called out to his wife, Mary, who was perusing a vendor’s wares with their children, Lukas, 11, and Elizabeth, 4.

“Sheepshead Bay,” she said.

“Sheepshead Bay,” he repeated. “Everything is falling down.”

Louise Tazer, a retired credit manager, visiting from Seattle with her friend Dee Philip, a restaurant owner from Portland, Ore., was astounded to be bumped and jostled on the street: “So many people are as rude as they can be,” Ms. Tazer said.

But they were more surprised by the thinness of the pillows in their room at the Hotel Edison — so much so, she said, that they went to Macy’s to buy their own pillows, to the merriment of the hotel maid. “She just about died laughing,” Ms. Tazer said.

Two friends from Buffalo, Jennifer Stilson, a social services caseworker, and Stacy Baumgart, were prepared for colorful characters. But not quite, Ms. Stilson said, “the drag guy in the miniskirt and some guy with brains on his head” — evidently a walking ad for the show “Young Frankenstein.”

New York’s food culture accounted for much foreign bemusement.

“You get French fries with everything,” said Michael McIsaac, a middle-school teacher from London. He was watching his diet, avoiding temptations, said Mr. McIsaac, 37, and finally found a restaurant on Eighth Avenue that offered a plain turkey wrap. Of course, he said, “It came with a big plate of fries.”

But at least the New York coffee cup was bottomless, Mr. McIsaac said, lauding the unlimited refills. He marveled, too, that in New York “you can have food any way you want, with anything on the side, like eggs with no onions — the restaurant will cater to that.”

“In England, they would just give you a look,” he said. And New Yorkers, unlike Londoners, were not shy about speaking up, he said. “They will not tolerate bad service.”

But with England sending more visitors to New York than any other country (followed by Canada, Germany, France and Italy), the city’s obsession with caffeine could do with a bit of tweaking. Or so said Sarah Humpherson of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, who had barely arrived with her husband, Ian, and three sons before discovering Century 21 and other discount shopping meccas.

“I miss a cup of tea,” said Ms. Humpherson, who wondered why the hotel rooms all came with coffee makers but no kettles.

Jackie Tyler, 50, a professional cellist from Birmingham, England, said the abundance of food in New York’s supermarkets was astonishing. “In Birmingham there are supermarkets, but there’s not so much, there aren’t great heaps of strawberries or anything like here.”

Jose and Manuela Gracia, from Barcelona, Spain, said they were shocked to see so many people eating on the move from food carts on the street. “In Spain,” said Mr. Gracia , 63, “we like to sit down and eat a meal.”
Even slow food was faster in New York, said François Courtois, a film producer from Paris.

“You are always served very quickly here, even in a nice restaurant,” said Mr. Courtois, 35, in Battery Park while waiting for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. “Here it’s quicker, you don’t have time. In Paris you get a lot of time before your food comes.”

Susan Browning, who runs the theater desk for Continental Guest Services at the Westin New York hotel on West 43rd Street, and has been hit with questions like where to buy ninja throwing stars and where to find a prostitute, said, “Visitors are impressed by so many police around.”

“I tell them, ‘More than you know,’ ” Ms. Browning said, citing the numbers of plainclothes officers and security cameras.

Stella Pap, a civil engineer from Athens, said she could not understand why more New Yorkers were not on motorcycles, given the traffic congestion. “This seems like a good place to have one,” said Ms. Pap, 32.

Indeed, how New York drivers bore down on pedestrians with little regard for safety markings baffled many visitors. “They ask, ‘Don’t you use crosswalks?’ ” said Ms. Browning. “I say, ‘Noooooo.’ ”

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

Triborough
August 19th, 2008, 09:56 PM
That Times piece seemed to be "Rubes amazed by normal activity of New York City". You can really tell it is the middle of August and nothing is happening.

NewYorkDoc
August 19th, 2008, 11:15 PM
I really liked that article. Like a lot of others in this city, I've had the experience of both being a visitor/tourist and a resident.

It's fun to think about how my views, attitudes, and habits have changed after being here for some time.

Things that were once so different now are so normal. It's also rally somewhat exciting when I leave the city and come back and feel like I'm actually back home. That feeling is indescribable but it's really amazing. (Atleast for me it was.)

Ninjahedge
August 20th, 2008, 01:25 PM
I kind of liked it too.

Some things seemed a bit inexperienced (such as being able to see feet under a stall), but in the same vein 100% correct (the gap in the door you can see through. I have noticed and disliked that for YEARS).

People eating on the run is expected, but it seems like the people that are most surprised by that are coming from countries that are not used to a more, um, competitive work ethic. Although I think even the Japanese are a little suprised by some of the shortcuts we take in our day-to-day routines.

The fries comment was classic. And we keep producing news story after news story siting our growing corpulescent presence.

The one woman from Oregon complaining about being bumped? How much you want to bet she was standing in the middle of a sidewalk in Times Square during Rush Hour looking up? ;)

As for food coming fast, um... If we are fast I wonder if I should bring a book with me if we ever vacation in France.....

I have no clue about the comments on the flags (I have few around here. Some at bars, but not many on the East Side here...). I will have to keep my eyes openon that one. I think he was just in the more touristy areas....

As for the garbage piling up? Irony. Most of that garbage is coming frmo the Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesdays and S'Barro restaurants that cater to a HEAVY tourist flow during the day. I guess they are jus not used to so many people in Cali. If NYC wasn't so crowded, maybe we would be able to just put things in the recepticals or "at the curb" (which is where the piles are, which confuses me...). I mean, I dont like the trash either, but where else are they going to keep it?



Most of the observances are kind of funny, telling more about the observer than the observed, but it makes for a good bit of perspective.

Taken with a few large grains of salt, that is! ;)

Merry
April 7th, 2010, 06:01 AM
:)


Rivington Street

http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l0ep94ZS0U1qz7xu1o1_500.jpg

http://www.lifelovepursuit.com/post/498164122/spotted-on-rivington-street

Merry
June 9th, 2010, 09:25 AM
Source of Tourist Sidewalk Lane Revealed

http://gothamist.com/upload/2010/06/4683089504_0a29c29de3_b.jpg (http://gothamist.com/2010/06/08/that_sidewalk_line_dividing_tourist.php?gallery0Pi c=2#gallery)

http://gothamist.com/assets_c/2010/06/4682457401_a46227ffaa_b-1-thumb-76x76-515848.jpg (http://gothamist.com/2010/06/08/that_sidewalk_line_dividing_tourist.php?gallery0Pi c=2#gallery) http://gothamist.com/assets_c/2010/06/4682473311_703058abfc_b-thumb-76x76-515843.jpg (http://gothamist.com/2010/06/08/that_sidewalk_line_dividing_tourist.php?gallery0Pi c=3#gallery) http://gothamist.com/assets_c/2010/06/4682471429_2680d929ed_b-thumb-76x76-515846.jpg (http://gothamist.com/2010/06/08/that_sidewalk_line_dividing_tourist.php?gallery0Pi c=4#gallery) http://gothamist.com/assets_c/2010/06/4683098080_2ed2c5d775_b-thumb-76x76-515847.jpg (http://gothamist.com/2010/06/08/that_sidewalk_line_dividing_tourist.php?gallery0Pi c=5#gallery) http://gothamist.com/assets_c/2010/06/4682469129_5cda1ee5cc_b-thumb-76x76-515845.jpg (http://gothamist.com/2010/06/08/that_sidewalk_line_dividing_tourist.php?gallery0Pi c=6#gallery) http://gothamist.com/assets_c/2010/06/4683091754_6bfb75aac4_b-thumb-76x76-515842.jpg (http://gothamist.com/2010/06/08/that_sidewalk_line_dividing_tourist.php?gallery0Pi c=7#gallery)

Remember that mysterious sidewalk lane (http://gothamist.com/2010/05/19/tourists_now_have_their_own_sidewal.php) separating tourists from New Yorkers that quickly became "the talk of the Internet (http://gothamist.com/2010/05/20/tourist_sidewalk_line_divides_new_y.php)" last month? After intense speculation (http://gothamist.com/2010/05/22/is_tourist_sidewalk_lane_a_banksy.php) about who was behind the gag, the pranksters have finally revealed themselves: It was Improv Everywhere (http://improveverywhere.com/2010/06/08/the-tourist-lane/), of course. This funny video shows them posing as DOT workers installing the "pilot" project, then enforcing the tourist/New Yorker separation, and even soliciting public comment from pedestrians about the project.

Our favorite part is probably when one tourist tries to convince the DOT enforcers that he's fast enough for the New Yorker lane, and they tell him, "Nope, doesn't matter. Statistically you walk slow." Also, isn't it great how easily everybody just submits to the new rules, no questions asked? If you put on a reflective work vest and bark orders, you can get people do to anything.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKx0aek1T0w&feature=player_embedded

http://gothamist.com/2010/06/08/that_sidewalk_line_dividing_tourist.php

Ninjahedge
June 9th, 2010, 01:06 PM
They aren't carrying clipboards, tape measures and wearing Hard Hats.

PHAKE!!!!!! ;)

Merry
April 18th, 2013, 08:37 AM
SoHo Residents Slam Tourist Signs as 'Eyesores'

By Andrea Swalec

http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/photo/2013/04/nyc-wayfinding-signs-13662046726277.jpg/image640x480.jpg

http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/photo/2012/07/1343682124.jpg/image640x480.jpg

The city Department of Transportation is slated to install signs this spring to help people navigate the city, but some SoHo residents say they know exactly where to put the planned placards — somewhere else.
A group of SoHo and Nolita residents is pressuring the DOT to abandon plans to install new "wayfinding" signs for tourists and locals within the landmarked area, arguing the signage will further crowd streets already crammed with pedestrians and vendors.

"[The signs] are going to be a magnet for graffiti. They're unsightly and they really don't belong in a historic district," SoHo Alliance president Sean Sweeney said Monday, calling the signs "eyesores."

Scheduled to be installed in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens this spring, the signs are part of a citywide push to give New York residents and visitors additional navigational tools, a spokesman for the DOT said.

The department declined to provide additional information about the signs, but a presentation by department officials (http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.apbp.org/resource/resmgr/webinars/jan-13_nycdot_slides.pdf) in January said they will stand more than 8 feet tall, show viewers a "you are here" dot to help them orient themselves, and provide walking distances to popular sites.

The wayfinding signage project will cost $6 million citywide, according to reports (http://observer.com/2013/01/lost-city-of-new-york-new-sleek-dot-signs-help-pedestrians-find-their-way/) published in January (http://transportationnation.org/2013/01/14/look-nyc-to-add-citywide-wayfinding-maps-to-encourage-walking/). The initiative is funded by the federal government, elected officials and local business improvement districts, the DOT presentation says.

A map dated March 7 that was provided to CB2 members shows planned wayfinding sign sites at Broome and Lafayette streets, Grand and Mulberry streets, Grand Street and the Bowery, and at multiple points along Canal Street as far west as Broadway.

Community Board 2 member Maury Schott said he didn't think the large signs belonged in the landmarked SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, (http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/maps/sohodextmap.pdf) which is roughly bounded by West Houston Street to the north, Lafayette and Centre streets to the east, Canal Street to the south and West Broadway to the west.

"This is a historic district," he said, "and there should be some consideration of that."

CB2's landmarks committee unanimously voted Monday night to request that the DOT place the signs outside the landmarked area. The full community board will vote at its board meeting Thursday night (http://www.nyc.gov/html/mancb2/html/calendar/calendar_js.shtml) to approve or reject the committee's resolution.

Locals may gripe about the planned signs, but the DOT has said they're needed. More than a quarter of visitors and 9 percent of locals surveyed by the department (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20110628/manhattan/city-seeks-new-signs-help-residents-tourists-find-their-way-around) admitted to having been lost in the city at least once in the previous week.

Half of visitors and a third of locals couldn't identify which direction was north.

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130417/soho/planned-tourist-signs-slammed-by-soho-locals-as-eyesores

Ninjahedge
April 18th, 2013, 01:14 PM
"Waaaah! NOMB!!!! WAAAAH!"

C'mahn.

lofter1
April 18th, 2013, 02:31 PM
If DOT demands that these be placed on the narrow sidewalks of SoHo & GV, then many things must be considered, a number of which are addressed in the article.

DOT is notorious for implementing stupid decisions, too often creating new problems and failing to solve the prior condition.

stache
April 18th, 2013, 06:18 PM
I heard an IHOP is opening somewhere in Soho soon.

lofter1
April 19th, 2013, 12:35 AM
Probably in West SoHo (or Hudson Square, as you're not supposed to call it :confused: )

mariab
April 19th, 2013, 01:05 PM
It seems ironic to me that in an article about neighbors complaining about 'eyesores', there is a Subway shop sign in the background.

ZippyTheChimp
April 19th, 2013, 01:52 PM
The people complaining are in SoHo. The Subway shop is on Jackson Ave near Court Square, in LIC.

Ninjahedge
April 19th, 2013, 02:04 PM
If DOT demands that these be placed on the narrow sidewalks of SoHo & GV, then many things must be considered, a number of which are addressed in the article.

DOT is notorious for implementing stupid decisions, too often creating new problems and failing to solve the prior condition.

Blind unilateral objection is not a solution though loft.

I agree that it could be bad in the wrong place (like everything. Example: Crash bollards attached to a removable subway vent grid.... pointless), but this absolute rejection?

ZippyTheChimp
April 19th, 2013, 02:27 PM
Google Glass for everyone!

lofter1
April 19th, 2013, 02:48 PM
but this absolute rejection?

That's called a starting position for "the beginning of a discussion" from which the locals have been shut out by the Bloombergian bureaucrats at DOT.

Ninjahedge
April 19th, 2013, 04:36 PM
I hate that BS.

It has shown it does not work in our nation's politics (all it does is pose stagnated diametric extrapolations of the positions that are wished held by our "representatives"), sure as HELL it won't work locally.

I know the rationale behind "meeting at the middle", but what I see happening time after time is either absolute rejection, or a bizarre adoption of almost random points diametrically opposed to each other in the name of "compromise".

It no work.

lofter1
April 19th, 2013, 11:23 PM
It do work. Powers that be only co-opt you if you take their positions as the starting point.

Ninjahedge
April 22nd, 2013, 12:43 PM
So that is why things have worked so swimmingly so far?

;)

IrishInNYC
April 23rd, 2013, 01:06 PM
Just turn the signs parallel with the street, with the map on street side.

stache
April 23rd, 2013, 11:51 PM
Right at the curb, so they'll have to stand in traffic.

ZippyTheChimp
April 24th, 2013, 12:22 AM
...under one of these.

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090425165026/uncyclopedia/images/b/b7/16_Tons.gif

lofter1
April 24th, 2013, 01:15 AM
Keep an eye out ... CitiBike Share racks are going up all over downtown.

Before too long we'll be seeing masses of visitors on blue bikes tying up traffic everywhere.

scumonkey
April 24th, 2013, 02:28 AM
and possibly a whole lot more of this:
http://dangerousproductslawyer.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Vehicle-vs-Bicycle-Crash-with-Person.jpeg

stache
April 24th, 2013, 06:43 AM
Due to the angle of the shot, we can't see the camera hanging from his neck.

Ninjahedge
April 24th, 2013, 12:10 PM
@Zip: Pointed Sticks?
@stache: Someone is strangling cyclists with camera straps??!?

MidtownGuy
April 24th, 2013, 07:51 PM
Yeah, signs are so freaking horrible, and a few tourist-friendly map signs are going to make a really big difference on top of the million other signs along every sidewalk. I'm in Paris right now playing the perfect tourist with camera and map book in hand...have a heart. And, all of central Paris looks like a friggin' historic district but there are tourist signs at regular intervals. Some people just want to bitch and moan.

stache
April 24th, 2013, 09:09 PM
It's the New York way! And have a good time!

Ninjahedge
April 25th, 2013, 09:43 AM
MTG.

No signs in the Hysteric District?

mariab
April 25th, 2013, 12:42 PM
The Tourists Are Back

You mean these tourists? 2011 article, but 2012 numbers if I remember correctly were around $60 billion.


New York City sees boom in tourism, with record 50 million visitors expected this year

Billions of dollars are pumped into city economy thanks to travelers from around the world


By Christina Boyle (http://wirednewyork.com/authors?author=Christina Boyle) / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Saturday, December 17, 2011, 6:37 PM



http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.993203.1324167696!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_200/texans18n-1-web.jpgKevin Hagen/Kevin Hagen for the New York Daily News



Any day now, New York’s 50 millionth visitor of 2011 will arrive in the city — the highest total ever in a single year.It’s a landmark moment for Mayor Bloomberg (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Michael+Bloomberg), who made this a key priority when he took office in 2002.

The visitors who flock to New York come from across the United States and from countries around the globe.
They attend Broadway shows, visit museums, eat at restaurants and generate $47 billion in revenue annually, city records show.
“New York is the opposite of where we live, which is very country and nothing like this, so we love coming here,” said Jackie Gonzalez (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jackie+Gonzalez), 30, who recently spent an afternoon in Times Square with her husband and two young kids as part of their four-night stay in New York.
They drive in from New Hampshire several times a year for an extended weekend to take in the sights and stay with family in Brooklyn.
“It’s kind of a treat for us,” dad Carlos Gonzalez (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Carlos+Gonzalez), 47, said. “We come here when we can and want to have fun.”
The number of tourists has soared in recent years, thanks in part to campaigns like “Just Ask the Locals.” The city launched the celebrity-driven blitz in 2007, featuring stars like Robert De Niro (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Robert+De+Niro), to make city residents seem friendlier to visitors.
It appears to be working.
In 2000, 36.2 million people visited the city. Last year, there were 48.7 million visitors, an increase of about 35% over the decade. About 20% of visitors to the city were from other countries — and accounted for about half of the money spent by tourists in 2010.
The U.K. has the highest number of foreign tourists who traveled to New York, followed by Canada, France, Brazil and Germany.

Of last year’s visitors, nearly 80% — or 39 million — came from within the United States. About 57% lived within a five-hour drive of Manhattan. Roughly 41% made shorter trips from the New York metro area, according to 2010 figures.
Domestic visitors tend to spend a much shorter time in New York and spend far less cash than international guests, according to figures from NYC & Company, New York’s official marketing and tourism agency.
Americans stay an average of 2.7 nights and shell out $432, while overseas tourists spend $1,700 and stay for 7.3 days on average, statistics show.
“The international traveler continues to be critical to our industry’s growth,” said George Fertitta (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/George+Fertitta), CEO of NYC and Company.
Tourism is the fifth-leading and fastest-growing industry in the city.
Rosaline Marshall (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Rosaline+Marshall), 67, from Wales, had dreams of visiting New York City since childhood. She finally got the chance last week to hop on a flight to Kennedy Airport with her friend Yvonne Lloyd (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Yvonne+Lloyd), 57.
The pair spent five days in the city, and managed to find time to visit nearly every major tourist attraction, ride the Staten Island ferry and take a helicopter ride and an open-top bus tour.
They felt like movie stars riding in a horse and carriage around Central Park, and each spent about $3,000 on flights, lodging, sightseeing and shopping.
“I told myself that when I leave New York, I’m not taking a penny home with me, and I won’t be,” said Marshall, who is retired.
“I’m not missing out on anything in New York. It’s something I’ve wanted to do all my life, and it has exceeded my expectations.”



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/new-york-city-sees-boom-tourism-record-50-million-visitors-expected-year-article-1.993177#ixzz2RUgZGfcy

mariab
May 12th, 2013, 01:02 AM
How To Piss Off Every New Yorker, in Thirty Six Seconds


I wouldn't say these things are exclusively tourist infractions, but this video's funny anyway.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CWyialymHg