Additional Revenue Would Allow Boroughs To Promote 'Hidden Gems'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Queens lawmaker has proposed giving the outer boroughs more money from the state hotel occupancy tax.

State Sen. Jose Peralta has unveiled legislation to send up to $300,000 a year from the hotel tax to the outer boroughs to promote tourism.

People who come to New York also want to go elsewhere besides Manhattan,” Peralta told reporters including WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola. “When you talk about Citi Field, when you talk about the Louis Armstrong Museum.”

Peralta said the additional revenue would be used to allow each borough to promote its “hidden gems.”

Local officials said Queens has been generating tourism dollars for the city.

“Just in the last few years alone, we’ve added about 7 or 8,000 hotel rooms in Queens and the occupancy rates are very high,” Deputy Queens Borough President Barry Grodenchik said. “People are beginning to understand that you don’t have to spend $300 a night to stay in a New York City hotel. They’re doing that here in Queens and the other boroughs that are not Manhattan.”

Among other efforts, local officials said the money could help with updating tourism websites.

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