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New York Tourism Industry and City Leadership, Term Paper Example

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Term Paper

Introduction

The New York City & Co, created by the Bloomberg administration is currently responsible for managing tourism-related projects and consultation among industries, city leadership, the public, and national tourist organization. In March, the new mayor, Bill de Blasio appointed Fred Dixon as the new CEO of the organization[1]. Dixon, however, is not new to NYC & Co: he has been working in the organization since 2005. While de Blasio does not seem to have tourism as one of the main priorities of New York for the future, he “said he was confident Mr. Dixon would “continue the extraordinary efforts of this city to build our tourism industry” [2]. The below paper will review the economic and political priorities of the new mayor, the impact of tourism development and question whether or not there is a need for a strategic plan from the city leadership to maintain the growth of international tourism in New York. The authors would question whether or not the growth can accelerate itself without any intervention, and whether or not the supporting industries would be able to ensure the positive trends in travel and tourism will continue. To find an answer to the above question, there is a need for reviewing the current strategy of the city leadership, the long term programs and initiatives in place that were designed by mayor Bloomberg, and any obstacles in the current focus of the mayor that would potentially slow down the growth of the industry’s continuous growth.

Is New York tourism in need of mayor’s support?

According to the recent publication of Tourism Economics[3], travel and tourism today is a vital component of the city’s growth. In 2012, the spending of visitors grew by 6.2 percent. The report also concludes that the growth of the tourism and travel industry has a positive impact on related services and cultural companies’ performance. Further, the authors note that 8.1 percent of all employed people in New York are sustained by the tourism and travel industry. That means that one in every twelve people depend on the performance of this sector. The spending market of New York’s travel and tourism sector is mainly supported by domestic markets, while there is a clearly visible trend that the  annual number of international tourists is growing at a faster rate than domestic visitors'[4].

It is clear from de Blasio’s website that the improvement of tourism is not one of his main priorities. He focuses on education, charter school reform, innovative industries, affordable housing, but does not mention tourism. Some of the critics would say that neglecting the fastest growing, and one of the most profitable industries in the city is a mistake, however, others say that New York’s tourism does not need any further support from the mayoral office.

The 2013 policy document prepared by the New York City Bar[5] recommends that the new mayor would focus on education, infrastructure,  transportation, safety, access to justice, social welfare, and positioning New York as an international city. The document does not mention tourism in particular. However, it is important to note that developing and improving transportation, hospitality, and infrastructure would have a positive impact on the city’s image among international visitors. Further, by the leadership creating an “international city” image about NYC, it is likely that the tourism industry would be one of the sectors that would benefit the most.

Indeed, the city is favored by tourists, and the growing industries, innovative companies in the leisure and tourism sector are able to attract even more visitors without any help from the office of the mayor. Based on the 2013 Q3 survey of MasterCard[6], New York was the fifth most popular overnight stay destinations. However, the report also mentions that due to the airport link development in the Middle East, by 2017 it is likely that Dubai will surpass New York and Paris. The report also states that New York has the highest position among all destinations in international overnight visitor spending[7]. New York is still North America’s top destination city, and it is likely that it will continue to be for a long time. The conclusion of the authors also confirms that cities with established tourism and leisure industries are able to benefit from an increased number of international visitors and higher demand for services.

Indeed, it is predicted that – according to Amadeus[8]- global travel is likely to rise in the next 10 years. This projected trend also confirms that the New York travel industry does not need any support from the office of the mayor. On the other hand, there are other, vital projects that de Blasio has developed his program on, which will impact the travel industry. He is committed to making New York greener and more sustainable, which will positively impact the city’s image among international tourists. Further, by supporting emerging, innovative industries, he will not only create new jobs, reduce unemployment, but also potentially attract more international business visitors to the city.

As a conclusion of the findings above, it is evident that – unlike the Bloomberg administration – the office of de Blasio does not consider tourism and leisure industry development as one of the most important city management issues at the moment. The new administration assumes that the sector has been placed on the right track and can become self-sustaining in a short period of time. Meanwhile de Blasio seems to be committed to maintaining the role of the NYC &Co, and he appointed an expert to be the new CEO this year who has been working on the success of New York’s travel industry in the past eight years. He has also stated that one of the main areas of focus in the policy-making process will be making New York more attractive, easier to commute to and in, and sustainable. All these areas of development, identified by de Blasio would have an immediate impact on future visitors’ experience in New York. The Ten-Year Capital Strategy of New York (2008-2017)[9] lays out the main strategies of the city for the next ten years. These involve focusing on environmental protection, highway and infrastructure development, and transportation.  By developing these areas of city management, the new administration will be able to create a positive environment for travel industry growth, without getting involved directly in tourism industry initiatives.

Trends in international tourism

Xenias and Erdmann[10] state that the annual visitation of international tourists to the United States has been growing since 2003. Further, New York’s share in international arrivals into the USA has been growing continuously since 1997, with a slight dip in 2001. 33.7 percent of the international visitors chose New York as the ultimate U.S. destination, it was the main destination of 24.7 percent of travelers, while a further 17.7 percent of international tourists used it as a port of entry to the country in 2009[11].

The future growth of the international travel industry is predicted to be driven by emerging markets, such as Indonesia, India, China, and Russia. By 2017, the Amadeus research [12] states that China will become the largest travel market of the world, instead of the United States. Still, the growth of 5.4 percent per year, forecasted by the researchers will positively impact tourism export in New York. Another trend that has been identified by the authors is that the growth of demand for international hotel stay will rise much faster than domestic demand. This indicates that New York – while still needs to focus on domestic visitors –  needs to become attractive to travelers from countries where international travel demand is likely to rise in the next ten years. However, it is likely that the developed travel industry of New York and the United States will be able to create an effective marketing strategy to engage these potential consumers of travel and to attract them in New York.

According to the Pangaea International Network[13], the number of international trips with a destination of New York increased by 3.5 percent between 2011 and 2012. The United States is the top destination among Brazilian holidaymakers, ranks third among British and Italian travelers. There is, indeed, a threat of competition from emerging cities building up their air travel infrastructure fast. Asian countries’ connectivity becomes more advanced every year, therefore, New York cannot build upon its strategic location of being an international hub any more.

Constraints of continued growth

The greatest threat to the growth of New York’s tourism industry is indeed not the lack of support from the mayor’s office. The threat comes from outside of the U.S. borders. MasterCard’s report[14] states that annual visitor arrivals to Chengdu grew by 285 percent, while to Mumbai, it more than doubled between 2009 and 2013. While there are new, emerging markets to discover and attract to New York, there is a growing competition on the global scale. The new destinations attracting a growing number of visitors can offer various things that New York cannot; for example, cheap prices, traditional culture, atmosphere. At the same time, the air travel connectivity map of the world is changing, and New York is no longer the single air travel hub where Asia and Latin America can be reached from. There are now direct flights to several Asian and Latin American cities, such as Delhi, Mumbai, while Dubai is attracting an increasing number of tourists every year.

If New York & Co’s leadership is not able to develop a marketing strategy that successfully attracts visitors from various cities and differentiate the city from the emerging worldwide destinations, such as Mumbai and Dubai, it can lose its top ranking in worldwide travel destination. However, it is not the responsibility of the mayor’s office to support a strong, self-sustaining industry, and the experts, especially the new CEO,  Fred Dixon, who has extensive knowledge about the industry, issues, related programs and policies are completely capable of delivering results without financial help or expert support from de Blasio’s administration.

As a conclusion, the threat of continuous growth within the New York travel and tourism industry does not exist in the current policies or domestic political trends. It lies in the impact of globalization and the changes of the global air connectivity map, international travel trend changes and substitute services in other cities.

Conclusion

The above review of policies, initiatives, and international travel trends has revealed that even though the new mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio does not consider supporting the travel industry of the city as a top priority of the next administration, he does try to create a continuity by appointing a long serving member of New York City & Co as a CEO. Further, it is likely that de Blasio believes that the travel industry has been placed on the right track by Bloomberg, and there are other issues within the city that need more immediate attention from New York’s leadership. It is evident that tourism and travel industry is currently acting as a catalyst for several related industries, however, it is developed enough to continue this growth on its own, without local government support.

The international travel trends’ review has also revealed that non-domestic global travel is going to continue to rise at an annual rate of over 5 percent. However, for New York to get a fair share of this growth, there is a need for a proactive marketing strategy, developed to diversify the city on the global market and attract new visitors from countries where international travel is on the rise, such as Russia and China.

The greatest potential constraint to the continuous growth of New York’s travel industry lies in the increased global competition. With several African and Asian cities improving their air travel connectivity, New York is likely to face a much fiercer rivalry in the next ten years than ever before.

Works Cited

Amadeus.com “Global travel industry set for decade of sustained growth according to new report from Amadeus”. 2013. Web.

Bram, J. “Tourism and New York City’s Economy” Current Issues.

Colvin, J. De Blasio Appoints Fred Dixon Head of City’s Tourism Office. New York Observer. 03/14/14

De Blasio, B. “Website of Bill de Blasio” 2014. Web.

Hedrick-Wong, Choog (2013) MasterCard. Global Destination Cities Index. p. 31

NYC & Company Leadership Team and Members “Preface to NYC Tourism: A Model for Success” 2013. Web

New York City Economic Development Corporation. “Travel and Tourism” 2012. Web.

New York City Bar. “Policy Recommendations for New York City’s Next Mayor” 2013. Web.

New York City Office of the Comptroller “Economic Trends in New York State”  2008. Web.

Pangaea International Network “Top international travel marketing trends for 2014” A Forecast Report from the Pangaea International Network. 2013. Web.

NYC & Company Leadership Team and Members “Tourism Economics 2012 Calendar Year presentation” 2013. Web.

Xenias, A., Erdmann, R.  “International Travel and Tourism Exports and the New York   Economy”. 2011. Web.

[1] Colvin, J. De Blasio Appoints Fred Dixon Head of City’s Tourism Office. New York Observer. 03/14/14

[2] Ibid.

[3] Tourism Economics 2012 Calendar Year presentation.

[4] Ibid, p. 9

[5] New York City Bar, Policy Recommendations for New York City’s Next Mayor. 2013.

[6] Hedrick-Wong, Choog (2013) MasterCard. Global Destination Cities Index.

[7] Ibid, p. 6

[8] Amadeus.com Global travel industry set for decade of sustained growth according to new report from Amadeus

[9] New York City Office of the Comptroller, 2008

[10] Xenias, A., Erdmann, R. International Travel and Tourism Exports and the New York Economy. 2011

[11] Ibid, p. 3

[12] Amadeus.com Global travel industry set for decade of sustained growth according to new report from Amadeus

[13] Pangaea International Network, Top international travel marketing trends for 2014.A Forecast Report from the Pangaea International Network

[14] Hedrick-Wong, Choog (2013) MasterCard. Global Destination Cities Index. p. 31

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