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The Big Apple is gearing up for its 2019 tourist season

Konstantin Sheiko
May 23, 2018

New York City has big plans for 2019 tourism, projecting forecasts beyond and into the future. NYC has unveiled plans for 2019, including transformational projects that won’t simply bring more tourists to New York City, but will reshape the city itself along with the experiences tourists aspire to when planning trips.    

The city welcomed 62.8 million visitors in 2017, and it was the City’s eighth consecutive year for record-breaking tourism, with 49.7 million domestic and 13.1 million international visitors. In 2018, the destination is expected to welcome 65.1 million visitors. New York City remains the No. 1 U.S. destination for international visitation, visitor spending and economic impact. 

Yet the city promises that the best is yet to come. With blockbuster openings, historic anniversaries and big events, 2019 will be a monumental year for New York City. Tourism is now a major driver of the local New York City economy and the fastest growing source of new jobs. This is made possible by a record $45 billion in visitor spending and $65 billion in economic impact, reinforcing the City’s position as the largest tourism economy in the US, as well as the country’s number one international destination. 

LaGuardia Airport, which is undergoing a massive expansion and will be the first major airport to open in the United States since Denver International Airport in 1995. Stewart International Airport, an hour away from the city in Orange County, has increasingly become an important avenue for international travel to New York. With all of these new visitors, more rooms are always needed, and not only is New York City adding hotel rooms, but they are adding a number equivalent to San Francisco’s entire hotel room inventory. 

In terms of major developments, the Museum for Modern Art is adding 52,000 sq. feet (a 30% increase in space), a Statue of Liberty Museum is opening with three new gallery spaces, the Lehman Centre for the Performing Arts in the Bronx is similarly undergoing a massive expansion. 

The city is also boasting its growing Seaport District NYC, which features one-of-a-kind dining, events and culture. New York is also getting another huge shopping boost with an Empire Outlets in Staten Islands’ Destination St. George. 

For events, the main highlight is World Pride, which is coming to New York in 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which marked the beginning of the modern Pride movement. Three million visitors are expected for the event. 

The biggest sporting event in New York City in 2019 will be WrestleMania 35 with its corresponding WrestleMania Week.