New York City Mayor Eric Adams emphasized the importance of travel and tourism to the Big Apple when he addressed attendees at the 44th annual New York University International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference last week.
In an interview with NYU Conference Chair Jonathan Tisch during the “Beyond The Boardroom” session, Adams also asserted that the city can no longer be shut down by COVID concerns.
“The city must open, we must thrive. We can’t allow these variants of COVID to stop us from functioning as a city. I need New Yorkers to get back to work,” he stated.
Adams described New York as an “international city” and detailed the importance of competing with other cities for tourism dollars.
“This is the most important city on the globe. We must be New York again and we’re going to go all over country to show why this is the best product. New York is the place you want to be to have the hotel and to ensure jobs—such as the hotel employee, the person who parks cars, and waiters or waitresses. That’s part of the ecosystem. We must understand when we have a hotel that opens, or we have another part of the tourism industry that thrives, it impacts us all,” he said.
Adams furthered the point in touting the city’s safety efforts in recent years referring to public safety as “the economic stimulus package.”
He explained, “When we made the city safe and tourism returned you saw that ecosystem [thrive] and you saw the hotels doing well. It pinpointed that tourism is the gauge for us on how well we’re doing as a city. We’re expecting 65 million travelers in 2023 and close to 57 million this year. It brings in people to explore the outer boroughs of the city and it really is a foundation; we must have tourism in the city,” he said.
Adams was asked about the possibility of adding gaming within New York City and the potential benefits.
“There’s several different sites and locations that we should look at; we’re hoping we can get two in New York City. I think there’s some great opportunities and good jobs. It can become a magnet to attract people from all over the country, if not internationally, and that gravitational pull can really allow us to help other ancillary businesses that would feed off it. I think it’s a real win. I think the governor is doing the right thing. Thumbs up, let’s make it happen, wherever it is located,” he said.
Adams, meanwhile, shared his experience as Mayor over the past several months since being elected.
“Everyone says this is the hardest second hardest political job in America and I say this over and over again, ‘when does the hard part start?’ This is what I’ve done for over 35 years. Every day I wake up knowing that I can do this job. It scares me that I’m not scared. The challenges are here, but my life has prepared me for the moment. I needed to be the Mayor and I’m here at the right time to do this job right now,” he said.