And Another Fifty Million People Just Got Off of The Plane, by Michael Idov
Really interesting feature (and package) that covers New York City's booming tourism industry. Fifty million tourists will have visited by the end of this year, breaking a record. Apparently the milestone has been reached because of Michael Bloomberg's and NYC & Company's (a marketing type agency) initiatives, connections, outreach, etc. Read and you'll see. Anyway, thought the way their niche-marketing/advertising/PR strategies for potential tourists from the U.S. and abroad was interesting. And how they've been able to convince hotels, airlines, and other members of the industry to join them in their efforts.
"Among travelers from the top foreign markets, Australians are the most adventurous. They are the most likely to attend a sporting event, go dancing, shop, buy tickets to a concert or a play--anything, really. The French are the likeliest to attend an art gallery or a museum. The British, Irish, and Arab Middle Easterners are the least interested in art. Brazilians are emphatically anti-guided tours. The Japanese are seriously into Harlem, crowding gospel brunches and church tours (it is an open secret among New York's jazz community that our jazz clubs are, at this point, all but subsidized by older Japanese men). The Norwegians, Danes, Finns, and the Dutch are the wealthiest, with 18 percent of the arrivals earning more than $200,000. Indians are the thriftiest, in a sense--because they often stay with friends or relatives and avoid hotels, they spend only $88 a person a day. But they also tend to stay longer than other groups, spending $1,000 per trip. The "Russian oligarch" stereotype, statistically speaking, is fiction.
Our visiting compatriots, meanwhile, have their own quirks. Their behavior patterns fall into two main categories: day-trippers who tend to come from relatively nearby and get in and out quickly for a specific purpose, and overnighters, who swarm in from farther away and stay longer. While just about every day-tripper who comes to New York shops here, guests from D.C. are almost twice as likely as the average tourist to name that as their main reason to visit. Among overnighters, Angelenos do the most shopping, Miamians are the most inclined to hit an art gallery, and Bostonians tend to favor our nightclubs.
To capitalize on those and other differences, NYC & Company has launched niche-marketing campaigns for different places. While the efforts all share the upscale New York brand identity, they are tailored in unique ways. Asian ads focus on our main icons to entice first-time visitors. European markets get bombarded with messages meant to encourage repeat visits and a "live like a local" experience. In Italy and Germany, NYC & Company has been selling the notion of the city's "energy" and "vibrancy," as opposed to any specific sites. It's less Broadway and more Bedford Avenue--a place where you go to be cool. In the domestic market, the sales pitch stays largely the same: The ads for New York that appear in Texas are the same as those running in Connecticut."
"As their economy grew like never before, middle-class Brazilians abandoned traditional vacation destinations like Argentina for New York. NYC & Company quickly influenced American Airlines to create discount fares. After observing the Brazilians' consumer behavior and realizing they are disproportionately taken with Broadway theater, NYC & Company sent five musicals to Sao Paulo. "Nobody's paying for anything--AA is flying them in," says Fertitta, practically giddy. Between 2009 and 2010 alone, the number of Brazilian tourists in the city increased by an incredible 77 percent. And the typical Brazilian drops $415 a day here, about double the international average."
*For a few weeks this year I worked in a watch/jewelry store in midtown Manhattan that largely attracts tourists and I definitely noticed that many more than the last time (I also worked there in 2009) stemmed from Brazil.
Also, I loved Tourist Profiling and I thought Geotagging the Tourists was really cool. And I really, really want to have some oysters at Grand Central Oyster Bar one day soon!