|by Robert Firpo-Cappiello||0|
When the poet Emma Lazarus wrote the words “From her beacon hand glows world-wide welcome” in her poem “The New Colossus,” in 1883, she was celebrating the impending arrival, from France, of “a mighty woman with a torch” who would become one of the city’s, and, indeed, America’s, most iconic representatives to the world. Lazarus wrote the sonnet to help raise money for the substantial pedestal on which the sculpture, “Liberty Enlightening the World,” would soon stand, on Bedloe’s Island (now Liberty Island) in New York’s harbor.
Does New York City, does America, still extend that “world-wide welcome”? As a native New Yorker descended from immigrants, and as editor in chief of Budget Travel, I believe the answer is, and will always be, yes. Travel, whether it’s a weekend escape to a place you’ve never been or the life-altering transatlantic emigration my relatives made, is, and will always be, one of the most optimistic, courageous, and humane acts of which people are capable.
In that spirit, we applaud a new marketing campaign, “New York City - Welcoming the World.” The campaign, which is reaching leading international visitor sources, including the United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany, and Spain, is the work of NYC & Company, the marketing organization for the City of New York. NYC & Company notes in its latest travel forecast, produced by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company, that 2017 will see a dip in inbound international travel to New York City, a loss of about 300,000 visitors compared with 2016, the first such drop since the Great Recession began in 2008. “New York City - Welcoming the World” seeks to reassure international travelers that New York City’s core values remain the same, and that all visitors are welcome.
“While projected declines among travelers are concerning, the irrepressible hospitality and welcoming nature of New York City gives us confidence that our destination will continue to appeal to visitors from around the world,” said Fred Dixon, NYC & Company president and CEO. “We will work tirelessly to do all we can to preserve our city’s tourism industry in the months ahead.”