Tourism Industry supports 380,000 jobs across the five boroughs and thousands of small and minority-owned businesses
New York City – New York City’s tourism industry continued to bolster the state and city economy in 2023, generating $74 billion in economic impact with more than $48 billion coming from direct spending (not adjusted for inflation). This activity supported over 380,000 leisure and hospitality jobs—roughly 9% of the City’s workforce—and thousands of small and minority-owned businesses across all five boroughs. Tax revenue, which totaled more than $6 billion generated by visitor spending, saved each New York City household approximately $2,000 in 2023.
New York City Tourism + Conventions, the official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the five boroughs of New York City, also released its final 2023 forecast, with the City attracting 61.8 million travelers in 2023, marking a recovery of 93% of the City’s record 2019 visitation levels.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: New York City is back! And this year’s tourism numbers prove our economic recovery is coming back stronger than ever,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “New York City’s tourism industry touches every corner of the five boroughs – supporting small and minority-owned businesses and more than 380,000 local jobs. We’re grateful to every single one of the 62 million visitors who brought in more than $74 billion in economic activity to our city this past year, and look forward to welcoming even more visitors next year.”
“Throughout 2023, New York City saw a continued return to pre-pandemic travel patterns, reaffirming the industry’s place as a driver for the City’s economy with $74 billion in economic impact,” said New York City Tourism + Conventions President and CEO Fred Dixon. “Our city is as vibrant as ever. New attractions, cultural offerings, restaurants, a welcoming arrivals experience and more have helped NYC remain a top destination for domestic and international travelers.”
International and Domestic Travel
Domestic travel will reach 51.1 million in 2023, a 7.9% year-over-year increase over 2022.
International visitation, which accounts for nearly half of all visitor spending, will reach 10.8 million visitors in 2023, marking a 14.9% year-over-year increase.
As of December 2023, more overseas travelers hold valid US visas than at any point in history.
In 2023, New York City’s five largest international markets will be the United Kingdom (974,000), Canada (864,000), France (728,000), Brazil (589,000) and Germany (554,000).
Canada will reclaim its place as the second-largest international market.
Western European markets regain their position as core markets for international travel to the City.
Economic conditions in South America remain mixed, however Brazil, Colombia and Argentina remain important feeder markets.
The Chinese market is beginning to return as flight capacity increases; China was New York City’s second-largest overseas market in 2019.
Business and Leisure Travel
Business travel accounts for approximately 20 percent of all visitation to New York City annually; it was the hardest hit sector in the pandemic and continues to recover at a slower pace.
In 2023, business travel is expected to increase to 11.8 million, growing by nearly 3 million visitors.
New York City remains the largest point of entry to the US. It operates the world’s busiest airport system, with more than 2,900 weekly flight arrivals across John F. Kennedy international Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR),
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Stewart International Airport (SWF). More flights arrive through New York City airports than any other destination in the United States.
Air traffic at LGA, JFK and EWR airports now exceeds pre-pandemic levels.
More than $20 billion in investments are being made across JFK, EWR and LGA airports to improve the traveler experience:
LGA is undergoing an $8 billion transformation to a single, structurally unified main terminal with better transportation access and first-class passenger amenities—the first complete rebuild of a US airport in over 25 years. All remaining construction is slated for completion in 2024.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in collaboration with American Airlines and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield Airports, is launching a $125 million commercial redevelopment initiative for Terminal 8 at JFK.
This project will introduce more than 60 new shopping and dining options, emphasizing local and diverse businesses, following a $400 million terminal expansion.
On January 12, 2023, EWR debuted the updated $2.7 billion Terminal A, offering 33 new gates serving Air Canada, American Airlines, JetBlue and United Airlines customers, directly connected to a multilevel parking facility.
EWR is also working toward a new 2.5-mile elevated guideway train system to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and ease traffic congestion.
The New York City subway system continued to rebound reaching a record 2.9 million paid rides on Saturday, December 9, representing the highest weekend day for ridership in four years.
Hotel performance remained strong in 2023, with an estimated 36.5 million room nights sold, approximately 8% below 2019 record levels.
New York City is again among the top three US markets and was the highest-performing hotel city in the US in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The demand for hotels remained strong and was supported by a steady increase in midweek business travel.
More than 70 new hotels creating more than 10,000 hotel rooms will be added to the City’s inventory in the next three years across the five boroughs.
Active or available hotel room inventory citywide continues to vary as hotels adjust to new marketplace conditions. As of December 2023, roughly 121,464 rooms were in active inventory.
Arts and Culture
The arts and culture sector continued to see the opening of new venues and exhibits. Employment in the arts and culture sector grew by 7% year over year to approximately 84,800 jobs.
The 2022–2023 Broadway season saw 12.3 million admissions, 16.8% shy of the record-breaking 2018–2019 season pre-Covid (the last complete season before the shutdown).
Broadway attendance was up 6% from 2022, while total grosses increased by 9% to $11 million.
America 250: In 2026, the US will celebrate 250 years since its founding. New York City will commemorate its status as the nation’s first capital, the birthplace of the American government and the place where the Bill of Rights was written.
FIFA 2026 World Cup: FIFA has announced New York/New Jersey as a host city for the 2026 World Cup. Additional details will be announced in the coming weeks, including which games will be held in the area.
New York City is currently on track to welcome 64.5 million visitors in 2024.
Sources: The Broadway League, MTA, New York City Tourism + Conventions, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Tourism Economics, STR Data, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of State
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.