NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York may have lost the summer Olympics bid to London for the just-ended event, but that didn’t translate to a dip in tourism for the Big Apple.
The conventional wisdom is that the Olympics bring tons of tourists to the host city, but New York showed the world once again it can’t be beat.
WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports
“New York is so powerful that it doesn’t need the Olympics to succeed,” NYU Urban Policy professor Mitchell Moss told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman. “We continue to actually out-draw London without the games,” by more than 100,000 tourists a day, Moss said.
As Olympics host, London had to build new arenas to accommodate all the events, at a high cost.
“And what we did is we got the best of this. We got all the Olympic facilities, many of them, but we didn’t have the city disrupted. We had the city flourish as a tourist mecca while London actually lost tourists during the Games,” Moss told Silverman.
A survey of 250 tourism-related businesses in all of Britain showed an overwhelming drop in visitors and profits compared with the same time last year. Nearly 9 in 10 businesses reported losses, and visitor numbers were down 10% to 30%, according to the survey conducted by trade group UKinbound.
“In part because so many people in London decided to come to America, come to New York, rather than be there because there were warnings about gridlock and traffic jams,” Moss said.
London theater saw a 30% drop and hotel occupancy was down 12% versus the same period last year.
“Additional tourist attractions like the Tower of London and the British Museum, they had a 20-30% decline during the Games,” Moss said.
Professor Moss said he doesn’t think that would have happened had New York been awarded the Games.
“I think New York is actually much better equipped to handle big events,” he told Silverman.
Moss said it’s important to keep the momentum going to help strengthen the city’s economy.
“Tourism is one of our great anchor industries now,” Moss told Silverman.
The official number of visitors who were in Britain during the Olympics will not be released until next month.
Would you like to see New York host the Olympics one day? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below…