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NYC Tourism Impacted By Slew Of Negative Headlines? Not A Chance

Expert: If The City Wasn't Safe There's No Way Super Bowl Would Be Here

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — You’ve probably heard there’s no such thing as bad publicity. But does that saying hold true when it comes to negative news stories about New York City making headlines around the world?

CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes went in search of answers Thursday to the question of whether recent reports have tourists thinking twice about visiting the Big Apple.

It’s known as the city that never sleeps, but what happens when visiting and living in New York City seems more like a nightmare?

Many news stories out of the Big Apple have recently made national and international headlines — from the West Side Highway motorcycle altercation to the British tourist whose leg was severed by a cab. Fashion student Sian Green was on a trip to the city with her best friend when her life was turned upside down.

“You take your chance when you go anywhere in the world, so no, it didn’t stop us coming at all,” British tourist Michelle Millett told Grymes.

Grymes met a mother-daughter duo visiting from England — where they heard about Green’s horror trip. But despite her sad story, they said they loved New York and traveled here anyway.

NYU hospitality and tourism associate professor Donna Quadri-Felitti said isolated incidents like those are not enough to stop visitors from coming to New York.

“Sensational headlines will always grab the traveler’s attention. However, singular sensational headlines don’t really change a destination’s image,” Quadri-Felitti said.

“I would like to come back here every year!” added Tunisian tourist Becher Benkoussa.

Quadri-Felitti said further proof of New York City as a premiere tourism destination comes courtesy of the National Football League.

She pointed out, if the Big Apple wasn’t safe or visitors did not want to come here, there’s no way the metropolitan area would’ve been selected to host next year’s Super Bowl.

New York City official tourism group said the city is on track to achieve another record year for tourism — with at least 53 million visitors expected by year’s end, Grymes reported.

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