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NYC resolution: Attract 50M-plus tourists in 2012

New York (AP) — just days after cheering the arrival of the record-breaking 50 millionth visitor of the year to New York City, officials are starting over and counting from one.

Now, with the New Year’s confetti cleared from Times Square and 2012 under way, the city’s promoters are back at work hoping to draw another 50 million tourists — and more — in the coming 12 months.

With the value of the euro wavering, drawing some American travelers overseas and discouraging some Europeans from shelling out for international vacations, the year could prove challenging to those trying to lure visitors to New York City.

Attracting these leisure visitors and their business traveler counterparts is no idle pastime for the city. Officials say New York’s tourism industry brought in $32 billion and supported about 320,000 jobs last year — a significant impact in a city that is struggling with budget shortfalls and the prospect of possible tough times for the financial sector that provides a significant portion of its tax revenue.

“We are cognizant of the forces that we have little control over, such as the world economic situation,” said George Fertitta, the CEO of NYC & Company, the city’s tourism and marketing arm. “No one can really anticipate any of the currency fluctuations, but when we do all of our research, we still believe we’re going to grow by at least 2 percent next year.”

Analysts, too, are upbeat about the future of an industry that has been much-promoted by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who declared in 2006 that the city would reach 50 million yearly visitors by 2015, then later moved up the deadline to 2012, only to arrive at the goal a year early.

Since Bloomberg first announced the target, the yearly total of visitors — including day-trippers arriving from more than 50 miles away — has risen from 42.7 million in 2005 to 50.2 million in 2011 — an estimate the city arrives at, in part, through online and traveler surveys.

Over that time, the city has outpaced other top U.S. markets, booking about 20 percent more hotel stays than it did in 2005. but during that same six-year stretch, New York’s hotel stays have grown more slowly than some of its competitor destinations around the world, such as London, Hong Kong and Berlin, according to Smith Travel Research.

With the number of international travelers worldwide booming, the race to attract visitors has become a global undertaking, and NYC & Company has opened offices around the world to attract the prized foreign tourists. They make up 20 percent of the city’s visitors, but represent 50 percent of total visitor spending.

England supplies more overseas visitors to New York than anywhere else — and Italy and Ireland are also on the list of 10 countries sending the most visitors to the city. So NYC & Company will be carefully monitoring the impact of Europe’s financial difficulties — as well as economic conditions at home, Fertitta says.

His organization will be launching marketing efforts to attract people from the affected areas — emphasizing affordability, offering discounts and trying to capitalize on this year’s events. when the city hit its 50 millionth visitor of the year last month, the mayor feted a British couple at a very public press conference in Times Square, partly in the hopes of generating publicity back in England. and this year, ahead of the summer Olympics in July and August, they’ll be looking into ways to attract Londoners who want to escape the crowds.

Fertitta says he believes that turmoil in the Middle East will also help the city, as European travelers who might otherwise have gone there turn toward New York.

Because the city’s visitors are such a diverse group, the New York’s tourism industry is somewhat insulated from crises in individual regions. even while Europe is struggling, the number of first-time visitors to the city — many of them from emerging markets such as Brazil, where people are finding themselves increasingly able to afford the trip — has been growing.

“The tourism industry is less sensitive than conventional wisdom says to the currency transactions,” Bloomberg argued recently. “The determinants that are going to keep us getting tourists here are safe streets, clean streets, great parks, great cultural institutions, but most importantly the people who live in this city.”

New York City has benefited from an image shift over the last 15 years or so — due partly to real drops in crime and quality-of-life improvements, as well as shifts in perception, as gritty TV crime shows gave way to series like “Friends” and “Sex and the City.”

The city is working to encourage and capitalize on that image makeover. one advertising campaign — titled “Just Ask the Locals” — sought to fight the perception that New Yorkers were rude. now, NYC & Company is working to overcome the idea that the city is too crowded and unsafe to be a good destination for kids.

As part of an effort to siphon the family travelers who have traditionally gravitated toward the city’s primary domestic tourism rival, Orlando, NYC & Company has started advertising itineraries for children and running promotional campaigns involving popular cartoon characters. The strategy is working, Fertitta says.

The city organization is also targeting other groups of domestic visitors, launching a campaign centered around same-sex marriage in the hopes of attracting more gay visitors and also turning its focus to baby boomer retirees.

And the city promoters will be working on convincing travelers at home and abroad that, despite any currency shifts, New York is a good bargain. It is a relatively new idea for a city that is legendary for its high rents and living costs.

But the city has indeed become an easier destination for travelers without big wallets, said John Fox, senior vice president at travel firm PKF Consulting. The number of New York City hotel rooms has grown 24 percent since 2006 to roughly 90,000, and rooms in central Manhattan costing $150 to $200 have multiplied — an option that was unheard of just a few years ago, when a visitor could easily pay $400 per night outside of Manhattan.

Fox argues that shift has helped the city’s tourist boom.

“There’s more rooms available at a more reasonable price point, so I think that’s opened up the market significantly,” he said.

Samantha gross can be reached at

NYC resolution: Attract 50M-plus tourists in 2012

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    Posted by admin - January 6, 2012 at 11:00 pm

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    Taxi Driver Jobs in New York

    Taxi driver jobs in New York City have existed for about eighty years using the famous yellow cab. If you are interested in taxi employment and making money with one of the taxi driver jobs, there are several issues that should be considered.

    There are few icons in the world that are as well recognized as the New York City yellow cab. few professions exist that are a more reliable source of entry level income than those fortunate individuals who possess one of the New York City yellow cab licenses.

    As the United States and the rest of the world settle into the deepest economic downturn in our lifetimes, as the price of real estate goes down, as the stock market creates new lows weekly and jobs and paychecks become scarce, what are we to do?

    We conserve, we innovate, we suffer or we surrender and leave. However, there is one light at the end of the tunnel and that is having one of the yellow taxicab driver jobs in New York City.

    Not everyone can do it. However, almost everybody can qualify and give taxi employment a try. an individual having one of the full time taxi driver jobs, even in these tough times, is probably earning one thousand dollars per week. does this mean that all taxi driver jobs provide this much income? The answer is, probably not. What it means is that there is a viable way to earn the national median income or more and there is room for many thousands to work each year in this industry.

    Another consideration is to remember that it is not really a job. it is a business and you have to commit. you will need to invest between four hundred and a thousand dollars to receive your license so you can have one of the New York City taxi driver jobs. What results is a situation where you will be your own boss.

    Why such a big spread? all yellow cab drivers need to pass the New York City exam and most applicants are NOT experts in the geography of the city. The city consists of five boroughs, scores of bridges and highways, hundreds of relevant landmarks, schools, hotels, theaters, hospitals museums, parks and much more.

    To be completely prepared for the taxi driver jobs test is to be prepared to drive a yellow cab in the city. Many people approach this business as if it is easy. However, this is generally not the case. For most, especially those of us who have been away from school for a decade or two or three, and for those of us from local suburbs or other parts of the country and world, extensive geography and navigation preparation is not only wise but unavoidable.

    The good news is that no matter how many people apply for taxicab drivers jobs and pass the exam to get the needed license, there is a tremendous turnover of manpower in the industry. this means that there is a never ending demand for newly licensed, entry level yellow taxicab drivers.

    Long thought of as immigrant work, as the economy weakens and first generation Americans enter the work force, the immigrant or nationalized demographic declines and the number of American born drivers increases.

    So, many who come in desperation to the yellow taxicab industry are surprised to learn that working as an independent yellow cab driver is truly a wonderful thing. Increased freedom or the opportunity to invest in a taxicab or in the coveted taxi medallion can pay off handsomely.

    And besides the steady income, there will be the stories you will have to tell. So if having one of the taxi driver jobs in NYC interests you, investigate the requirements needed to obtain this valuable license so you can begin working soon.

    Taxi Driver Jobs in New York

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      Posted by admin - November 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm

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