On November 8 international travelers will be eligible to return. Already, international searches on U.S. travel are spiking. The CDC has just released its latest guidance and it clears holiday gatherings and travel for the vaccinated. U.S. travel numbers were better than expected in September, reaching pandemic-era peaks, and traveler intent remains strong. The Lincoln Square BID notes foot traffic in the neighborhood has nearly doubled as arts and culture have returned. Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, reports most of September's 77 performances were sold out or close to full. These confluences of factors bode well for an active holiday season in NYC. Other recovery news includes:
- The first Alamo Drafthouse in Manhattan is now open in FiDi
- Atlantic Grill, Boulud Sud, the Met's Grand Tier Restaurant, Lincoln Ristorante, and PJ Clarke’s among the reopening spots near Lincoln Center
- The Friedsam Memorial Carousel, aka the Central Park Carousel, has reopened
- Tickets for new photo show Princess Diana Exhibition: Accredited Access, opening in December, go on sale at noon today
- Canadian fashion brand Pajar launches its U.S. flagship in SoHo tonight
- The Village Voice is back—online and in print
- Downtown Jamaican favorite Miss Lily's returns for nightly dinner service on Monday
- New branch of TMPL fitness club coming to Midtown East
- Tickets now on sale for 146th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden, January 25th-26th
- Greenpoint ferry service to resume next June
A new survey has some insight into the travel trends for Thanksgiving. NYC is in there, with an 80% increase over last year—and prime standing as the #1 destination for Thanksgiving break travel.
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WHAT'S AHEAD: INSIGHT FROM CITY GUIDE'S TOURISM MARKETING FORUM
"Collaboration" was the word attendees kept returning to yesterday as City Guide convened the latest in its series of Tourism Marketing Forums. The need for partnering and innovating together was spoken of repeatedly, along with a collective call for political accountability in addressing the crisis in midtown. There was much optimism, as the room recounted a roller coaster ride that saw dips with the Delta variant and vaccine mandates and rises as the city begins its fall recovery. Tangible signs of recovery included comments like:
"We're up 20% over 2019."
"With Broadway back we're seeing a surge in early traffic."
"People are starting to turn the corner on the mandate."
Based on national sale records being set this year, "we're going to invest massively in this property."
"We had six sold out shows on the weekend."
"Thanksgiving week looks like any other year and the same through the holidays."
Margaritaville Resort Times Square played host, fresh off its ascent to the #1 New York hotel ranking on Tripadvisor. (A post-event tour showed off seven floors of food and beverage, including striking eye-level views of the Times Square Ball.) The forum's featured guest was Vijay Dandapani, President and CEO of Hotel Association of New York City. While recounting the challenges faced by the city's hotel industry, he noted that "by next summer we will see a transformed city." He was realistic about the impact of Covid on conventions and group travel and noted that luxury has rebounded quicker than other hotel segments. His overall conclusion? "We'll come back. Don't ever write the city off."
LINKS OF INTEREST
- Latest dates and info for Broadway and Off Broadway
- The Times on NYC's campaign for foreign tourists
- As offices reopen, power lunches return
- A BID innovation: "Perks in Person" program launches in DUMBO to lure workers back to the neighborhood
- Desperate NYC tenants are waging bidding wars, as rental demand surges
- The Hotel Association of New York City suing the city over severance mandate
- Mystery group sues to stop de Blasio from restricting hotel development
- NYC locals sue to block permanent expanded outdoor dining
- Hudson Yards starting to pay off for city coffers
- Manhattan West a test of Midtown South resiliency
- Vaccines for kids could be major boost to family travel
- Group hotel demand reached pandemic era peaks in September
- Pandemic business travel is different, but not dead
- Pandemic travel perspectives
- Tourist destinations anticipating boom as international travel returns
- Unvaxxed TSA agents could lead to Thanksgiving travel chaos
- Felidia, the midtown restaurant that launched the Bastianich Empire, closes after four decades
- The Freehand Hotel’s star restaurant Simon & the Whale is done; new Latin American spot Comodo to fill the space
RESULTS OF LAST WEEK'S POLL
The results of our informal question last week—How are you feeling about tourism's return to NYC for the holiday season?—reflected what we heard in person at the Tourism Marketing Forum. A full three-quarters of respondents classified themselves in the optimistic or cautiously optimistic categories, with negativity in the minority.