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Perelman Performing Arts Center
Perelman Performing Arts Center
Perelman Performing Arts Center
Perelman Performing Arts Center
Perelman Performing Arts Center
Perelman Performing Arts Center
Perelman Performing Arts Center
Perelman Performing Arts Center

Executive leadership from NYC Tourism and Conventions, the City of New York’s official destination marketing organization, updated over 40 foreign reporters on the latest in New York City’s $68 billion tourism economy highlighting major infrastructure improvements at the region’s airports, the latest in the arts and culture scene, and upcoming major events, including the 2026 FIFA World Cup. In 2022, the city welcomed 56.7 million visitors, recovering roughly 85% of its record 2019 visitation. In 2023, 59.6 million visitors are expected, including 48.8 million domestic and 10.8 million international travelers. The new Perelman Performing Arts Center, which opened in September as part of the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, hosted the engagement. Reporters also heard from the center’s executive and artistic directors before participating in a press tour of the landmark new facility with the lead architect, Joshua Ramus.




WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2023, 10:00 A.M. EDT


*Non-U.S.-government guests invited to address journalists through the FPC offer their views in a personal or organizational capacity and do not represent the official policy views of the U.S. government.*

MODERATOR: So good morning, everyone. There are a few seats in the front and on the couches for those of you who haven’t made yourself comfortable yet. I’m Daphne Stavropoulos from the Foreign Press Center. Good morning, and welcome.

I just want to take a moment to ask you to silence your cell phones, and thank our host today, PAC NYC, for hosting, and to New York Tourism and Conventions for today’s presentation. They have a great program for all of you. I’d like to remind everyone that the presentation itself is embargoed for release until 9 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning, the 26th.

And that – I – you’re not here to see me. (Laughter.) So I would like to introduce and give a warm welcome to the executive director of PAC NYC, Khady Kamara; and Bill Rauch, artistic director of PAC NYC. (Applause.)

MS KAMARA: Well, good morning, everyone. My name is Khady Kamara, and I am the executive director at Perelman Performing Arts Center/PAC NYC. We are now in our six weeks from having been open. Our first day we opened to the general public was on September 15th.

I wanted to take just a moment to talk a little bit about the architecture and how it relates to the mission of the space. This building has been 22 years in the making. It’s been – it’s always been part of the master plan to rebuild the World Trade Center, to have an arts institution in its space. And so with the leadership of Mike Bloomberg while he was mayor, as we were planning the start of the rebuilding all the way through to today as chairman of the Perelman Performing Arts Center, this is how this vision has become reality. And we are so thrilled to be able to welcome people into our community.

So our mission is to connect artists and audiences. And so the way we do that is through different forms of art, from dance to music to opera to theater and to film. And we are really interested in ensuring that there is an element of surprise and delight as patrons and artists come into the space. And that happens starting at our theater level and all the way down to this lobby.

So our theaters are three flexible spaces that can be configured in 60 different ways – 62, actually, different ways, from being in the round to being in a thrust to being in a proscenium. So there is an element of surprise and delight that our patrons get when they come into the space. Not only do they get to enjoy incredible art, but they can come into the space through one door and be in a theater in a round; come back into the space six weeks later, enter through that exact same door, and be in a thrust. So there is an element of surprise and delight that we’re thrilled to offer.

Beyond that, when it comes to our artists, we are able to offer the level of flexibility for them to dream about the way their art can be received by artists – by audience members. So doing so, again, to provide a level of intimacy and to provide a level of surprise, which we are delighted to be able to offer.

And then coming into the lobby, again, making connections is key to our mission, and the way we do that as people enter the lobby is to have an environment that we consider Lower Manhattan’s living room. You do not need to have a reservation; you do not need a transactional relationship to walk into the space. The space is open to the general public any time the building is open. And in addition to having the ability to just come into the space, come as you are and experience this space, you also have free programming on the stage that I’m standing on, which is the – which we call the lobby stage, where we’ll have an hour or two of free programming every day the building is open. It can be dance; it can be music; it might be spoken word. And so there is an ability to engage with art without necessarily having, again, that transactional relationship.

And last not but not least, within this lobby we have – and to my right – Marcus Samuelsson’s latest restaurant, Metropolis by Chef Marcus Samuelsson, which will be opening this next week. And as much as I can talk about how thrilled and how excited we are to be opening this space, we have the chef here himself, and I would love to welcome him to say a few words about this. (Applause.)

MR SAMUELSSON: Thank you, Khady. And I want to say thank you to Fred and his team from New York City Tourism to bringing all of you guys here. When you walk up the stairs, you can really – for me, I feel how special this project is, how special this city is. And it’s a lot of – with a lot of respect and humility and excitement that, yes, we’re a week away from opening the restaurant.

Twenty-two years ago I was one of the volunteers and part of working with food and supplying after tragic of 9/11, led by people like Danny Meyer and Chef Michael Lomanaco. To come back 20-plus years later and to be part of the resurgent and be part of this campus and this incredible building, and to have the opportunity to open Metropolis, it’s very, very exciting for us. We picked the name “Metropolis,” going back to New York City being an original city for culture and art.

It’s really, for us, I cannot tell you how excited we are to be part of the Perelman Performing Arts Center. We already have had some amazing, incredible performances and talks and all the things that culture offers. And now for us to open the restaurant that people will either come and just hang out and lounge and just have a reservation to go to the restaurant, or stay with us for hours, go upstairs, and after the experience upstairs, have a post-dinner here with us or a drink – the entire floor here between the lounge, the restaurant itself, and then the wonderful patio, offers a really, really unique opportunity.

And our menu, which is really a love letter to New York City – we’re really been inspired by the – all the five boroughs. We looked at fish from Rockaway and we thought about Queens and Staten Island, which is just south of us, and Brooklyn, and the city itself, and really talked to vendors and incredible craftspeople throughout New York City and New York State, and they will all be reflected in our menu here at Metropolis.

So with that, for those of yous guys can stay for another week – (laughter) – hang out; New York is the best city in the world. For those of you guys who are New Yorkers, we’re on OpenTable; see you in a week. And also I want to introduce our artistic director, Bill. (Applause.)

MR RAUCH: Good morning, everyone. We are so delighted that you are in our building today. Welcome. As artistic director, I’m responsible for the programming, the art that happens upstairs. So I want to talk a little bit about that.

To build on what Khady described, our mission is absolutely to create connections, to bring people together, and to contribute to civic healing. We are very mindful of our location both at the World Trade Center and also at a transportation hub. There are 13 subway lines within a few blocks of us. The PATH train to New Jersey is – comes up right here, and the Staten Island ferry is just a few blocks away. So we are at a true transportation hub, and so we have an extra opportunity and an extra responsibility to bring people together in this location.

We have a robust program that we call Civic Alliances. And our Civic Alliances are our relationships with community organizations from across all five boroughs. So it’s all part of our plan to bring people together.

We also are mindful of the fact that 93 countries were represented in the people who lost their lives on 9/11. And so we think about that all the time, too, our responsibility at the World Trade Center to be a truly international organization. For instance, our opening programming, we started with five concerts on the theme of refuge. And we had musicians from all over the world who are now rooted in New York, and we had different themes of that – sub-themes of that theme, refuge. So they were a very international group of artists, and that is part of what we feel we are here to do with great joy.

We are loading in right now upstairs – when you go up to the theaters – we’re loading in the scenery, the lights, the sound for our first world premiere, which is a piece called Watch Night. Watch Night is created by the renowned choreographer and director Bill T. Jones. The libretto is written by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and the composer is Tamar-kali, and it is a work of art that takes as its starting point the massacre in Charleston of the Mother Emanuel church and the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shootings.

So it’s a very serious work of art that deals with trauma in a very thoughtful and beautiful way.

At the other end of the tonal spectrum, I will be co-directing in next summer the final project of our inaugural season, which is a production of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical Cats. But this version of Cats is set in drag ballroom culture. So if you’re familiar with the documentary Paris Is Burning, or the television show Pose, or any of the other great popular culture expressions of ballroom, it’s a really important tradition that grew out of New York City, and we are very, very excited about that production. But we’ll also be hosting dance. In January, we will be hosting a dance festival – a street dance festival that involves street dance artists that are both local to New York and from other parts of the world as well. And we have an opera, a beautiful, beautiful opera this spring, called An American Soldier. The composer is Huang Ruo, a Chinese national who lives here in New York now with his family, and the librettist David Henry Hwang, and it is about Danny Chen, a young man whose parents were immigrants from China. And Danny lived here in Manhattan’s Chinatown community, and it is about the tragic story of his life and his death – a very, very powerful opera.

So we have a huge range of work. Those of you based in New York, we hope you will come back soon and often to eat in Marcus’s restaurant for sure, but also to experience the arts upstairs.

And the last thing I want to amplify from Khady’s beautiful remarks are we are very committed to access to bringing people together. We have memberships, for instance, that begin at $10 for the year, and the majority of our members who join PAC NYC, and the people who get access to tickets first whenever tickets go on sale are people who joined at that $10 level. So again, I hope you’re getting a sense from our programming, from our architecture, from the restaurant, from everything we’re doing, we want to welcome people into this building and make it a true gathering place for people from across the five boroughs and from across the world.

Again, so grateful that you’re here. And I’m not sure who I’m supposed to introduce – yes, I’m introducing the man of the hour – excellent. Fred, come on up, and thank you, everybody. (Applause.)

MR DIXON: Thank you very much.. Good morning, everyone.

AUDIENCE: Good morning.

MR DIXON: It’s great to see you all on this beautiful fall day in New York. The colors are here; I’m just delighted. I love this time of year when we’re cold in the morning and warm in the evening. Bill and Khady, thank you so much for your hospitality, and for being here, and for joining us. It is so exciting to have this space finally open. And it’s just remarkable what you’ve done with the programming, and I am personally here for Cats, the ballroom version. And so I want to make sure that I get one of those memberships today. And Chef Samuelsson, thank you for your support always. Marcus has served on our board for many, many years, and he’s just an inspiration for our entire team and he’s such a master of his craft. And so congratulations and good luck on Metropolis. I know it’s going to be a huge success. I look forward to coming back as well.

We appreciate everyone’s time, for being with us this morning. We’re pleased to welcome you all in partnership with our colleagues at the State Department’s Foreign Press Center. It’s a great new collaboration, and we look forward to doing it again and again. And as I’ve said, we’re so excited to be here at the city’s newest cultural venue, having just opened last month. And we are so appreciative of their hospitality and their partnership in hosting everyone today.

How many of you all had been inside the building already? Okay. A little ahead of the curve. For the rest of you, welcome. It is such a treasure, and we’re delighted to be able to show it off today.

So turning to today’s program, our goal is to share with you a broad overview of New York City’s tourism industry, some data insights, a product update on what is new and upcoming across the five boroughs. And as you can imagine, there is a lot to cover.

But first, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge my colleagues who are joining us today. There are quite a few NYC Tourism and Convention staffers in the back of the room. I want to thank them all. Much of our leadership is here, and I’m grateful for all that they do. But particularly from the Comms team, the folks that you interface with on a day-to-day basis, I want to make sure and acknowledge them. Tiffany Townsend has returned to our organization as executive vice president of global comms. Some of you may have known Tiffany when she was with us more than a decade ago. She went out in the world and became even smarter, and we’re thrilled to have brought her back into the fold. We’re also joined by Britt Hijkoop, vice president of international PR, standing right there in the back. Her colleague, Alyssa Schmid, vice president of domestic PR – and their two colleagues, Cristina Rodriguez, manager of international PR, and Shenell Renwick, assistant manager of domestic PR. So we divide the world in domestic and international just like New York.

The team has asked that I direct you to the press kit for today’s event. You can scan the QR code on the screen for some of our latest materials and announcements. We’ll also be around after the event and happy to chat some more.

So we know that many of you joining us today may cover topics and issues that might be tourism-adjacent or might focus exclusively on tourism. So just a quick background on who we are and our organization. NYC Tourism and Conventions is New York City’s official destination marketing organization for the five boroughs of New York City, also known as the convention and visitors bureau in some cities. Our focus is to maximize travel and tourism opportunities in all five boroughs of the city, service an economic engine, and spread the positive image of New York City worldwide. We represent the interests of nearly 2,000 member organizations. Those are our members like PAC NYC and Marcus’s restaurants – covering the entire spectrum of the tourism industry, from our iconic attractions and hotels to tour guides, arts and cultural organizations, and small retail businesses in every corner of the city.

Now, to briefly touch on our structure, our organization is made up of several groups that help us do this work and engage businesses and business and leisure travelers to generate visitation and obviously stimulate spending, spanning marketing research and analysis, tourism development and convention development, sports partnerships and licensing, and so much more. And we’ll dig into some specific examples of all of that work today.

We reach travelers from across the globe through a network of 17 agencies who represent New York City tourism across 28 global markets for both public relations and trade sales and marketing and educational efforts. Also, in many markets, we have deep expertise and outreach for the meetings, incentive, and corporate events markets.

While many other destinations have a similar setup, we are unique in the sheer breadth of our global reach. And as you all know, the international markets are critically important to New York, and we pull on all parts of the world for visitation.

In addition, our 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, which sits alongside us – the New York City Tourism Foundation – provides vital support to the arts and cultural community that contribute to the diversity and dynamism of the five boroughs. And since 1988 – or I’m sorry, 1998 – we have provided over $4 million in grants to small nonprofit arts and culture organizations across the five boroughs. And our next gala’s coming up December 4th, and we’re really excited to have all of that programming back on track.

Now, today’s update is also an important opportunity for us to reintroduce us. Some of you may have known us as NYC and Company, a name that we had for about 25 years. Prior to that we were the New York City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. So after 25 years, it was time for another facelift, and in March of this year we rebranded to become New York City Tourism and Conventions.

In addition to changing our name, our rebrand also included a new website: We were All of that, of course, has been redirected to, as well as a new visual identity system, a new logo, color palette, typography, and more. This was a real milestone for our organization, and the changes allowed us to be clearer than ever about who we are and the work that we do. I can’t tell you how many emails I got with consumers wanting to return an outfit they bought at New York and Company. There was a little confusion always in the marketplace. We had fun with that. But we wanted to indisputably say who we are and what our focus is, and that is New York City Tourism and Conventions.

Now, moving onto research, you can see the power of our industry here on this slide. In 2022 we welcomed 56.7 million visitors. We’ve recovered roughly 85 percent of our record 2019 visitation. These visitors generated $68.1 billion in economic impact and $6.2 billion in local tax revenue, and supported 344,000 jobs across the five boroughs.

Now, this year, we are expecting 59.6 million visitors, including 48.8 million domestic and 10.8 million international. Our latest forecast for next year shows 63.7 million visitors are expected to arrive in the five boroughs in 2024.

Our international markets are critical, typically making up 20 percent of our total visitation but 50 percent of the spending and hotel room nights because international travelers stay longer, they spend more, and they certainly set the trends. Where international travelers go, often domestic travelers will follow.

On the screen here you can see New York City’s top ten international markets for 2023. The UK remains our largest source of international visitation. As you may know, New York and London is the busiest air route and most profitable air route in the world, along with many other key markets in Western Europe. I think we’re back up to about 35 daily flights between New York and London at the moment, including – when you include, of course, Newark across the river. That’s the greatest frequency, really, of any city pair in the world.

For the most part, the rest of our markets have fallen into relatively normal pre-pandemic patterns. The outlier, of course, is China, which was our second largest market in 2019. My colleagues and I returned to Beijing and Shanghai just last month, following the resumption of group travel from China. If you follow that market, you saw the big announcement that happened in August. While there are still challenges relating, of course, to airlift and flight capacities, obviously the war in Ukraine is complicating flights over Russia, and so we do expect to see a wider return of Chinese visitors next year as the industry works through some of those challenges. And our colleagues at the State Department, I have to note, have done a tremendous job in reducing wait times for visas around the globe.

I learned an interesting fact from them that I just find amazing, and I don’t think it’s trumpeted enough. There are more American visa holders today in the world than ever before. So more people have the opportunity to visit the U.S. than at any time in our history. And many of those visas are, of course, 10-year visas. So that gives us an opportunity to encourage people to visit and return often. So our hats off to our colleagues who do all of that yeoman’s work at the State Department.

Now, New York City benefits greatly from being the number-one port of entry to the United States for international travelers, and that has not changed. In many ways it’s only strengthened. We are world’s busiest airport system. Atlanta gets a lot of attention as a single airport, but when you look at the network of commercial airports in the New York City metro area, managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, there are more flights coming through our airports than any other destination in the country, and passengers as well. As we continue to welcome visitors back, and with the busy fall business travel season upon us, New York City has held the number-one spot for hotel occupancy among the top 25 U.S. markets for the last five weeks.

And as part of our efforts to attract international travelers, we have just rolled out the newest iteration of our global tourism campaign. The campaign uses the Statute of Liberty, a worldwide beacon of welcome, to invite visitors to the five boroughs, and you can see some of the latest creative here on the screen.

And now with limited budgets, we work with our partners at JCDecaux, our airline partners, and other travel partners to amplify these efforts around the world. And we want to thank all of those partners. There are a number of them around the globe that partner with us to spread this message of welcome. Our website,, offers many travel planning tools and resources for visitors to help them even more deeply experience neighborhoods and boroughs.

And New York is one of the most diverse cities in the world, as we all know in this room, and a point of our strength as a destination. Our editorial content leans into this with three multicultural content hubs celebrating communities that make up the fabric of our great city: the Asian experience in New York City, the black experience in New York City, and the Latino experience in New York City. These are evergreen platforms which feature neighborhood guides, videos, interviews, and so much more content. And so we encourage you to check those out.

In recent years, we also launched a new halal travel guide for Muslim visitors, available in both English and Arabic, and we’re proud to be the first U.S. tourism organization to create such a resource of this kind. Now, the latest edition to this effort is our Local Legends video series. I just have to give a little shoutout to my team: Much of this work is what earned our organization three Emmy Awards last year. I think we might be the only tourism organization holding an Emmy, and I’m super proud of them for all of that great work that they do.

With this latest edition, our effort, called Local Legends, is where notable New Yorkers share their perspectives on some of the five boroughs’ most vibrant and culturally rich neighborhoods. These six-minute episodes showcase a personalized experience in each of the boroughs. Unfortunately, we don’t have to show you all of them. I encourage you to go to the website, but I’d like to share an introduction to the series with this trailer now.

(A video was played.)

Very good. Be sure to go and check out the full series.

And finally as rising inflation remains a concern worldwide, we are rolling out a proactive press messaging series to remind travelers that a New York City trip is attainable actually on any budget – and you all know that. The most walkable city in the world. You can actually dine very inexpensively if you would like. And so it is important for people know that they have access to New York no matter what the budget.

Following a press release spotlighting free and affordable activities and events this summer, we just issued a press release on how to travel to NYC affordably this autumn. We’ll be creating a similar announcement for the holidays coming up very soon. That’s important to us.

We also look forward to the return of NYC Winter Outing. Speaking of value, this program takes place January 16th through February the 4th. It’s returning. This annual program offers tremendous savings throughout the city. So January and February are our slowest times of the year for travel, right? We’re in the north. We’re a city. We know people go to the sunshine sometimes, but it is a tremendous time to come and take advantage of everything that New York offers. And everything is going to be at the best value of the year.

And much of that is delivered through our programs, including our 24 percent off hotel stays program, called New York City Hotel Week; Prix Fixe lunches and dinners at hundreds of restaurants for restaurant week, winter edition; two for one Broadway tickets, the only time of year you can get them outside of September – Broadway Week runs twice a year for Broadway Week; and two for one tickets for attractions, performing arts, and tours at Must-See Week. So everything you want to see and do in New York City is at the best value of the year in January and February, and we encourage travelers to come and check it out.

Now, before we dig into some product updates, I’d like to show you our brand-new welcome video, which we are sharing with the world. Take a look.

(A video was played.)

Very cute, right? We can applaud that. (Applause.) The big test is if I get goosebumps every time I watch it, and I did. Hopefully you all did as well.

Now, when it comes to new product, there is also plenty of good news to share. Starting with major events, we, of course, are all excited and look forward to welcoming back the New York City Marathon in just a couple of weeks, the world’s largest – November the 5th – with more than 50,000 runners from more than 100 countries and all their fans and followers; it’s a big moment for tourism. And of course the holiday season – it is hard to believe, but it is fast approaching. New York City is one of the world’s most iconic holiday destinations. I think that goes without saying. And we’re excited, of course, for the 97th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23rd, and of course the most iconic of iconic, the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop, of course, back in full form in Times Square on December 31st.

Now, a robust holiday season is another very strong indicator of, of course, New York City’s enduring popularity and recovery. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s alone, we’re expecting about 7 million travelers to come into the five boroughs.

Now, looking ahead in 2026, the United States is going to be celebrating 250 years, the semiquincentennial. Since its founding, as you may know, New York City was the nation’s first capital, the birthplace of American government, and the place where the Bill of Rights was written. I was just at a conference in Philadelphia yesterday, and I get it. The folks from Boston made a really funny joke. They did all the heavy lifting, Philadelphia did the paperwork. I thought that was funny, but wait until New York enters into the conversation because I think people have forgotten the roots of the American government in New York. Hamilton reminds us that on Broadway with their great lyrics, but as we approach the 250, it’s a real moment to talk about New York’s role in our country, the diversity of this city and its influence on the world, and how the American government was rooted here in New York with the first president and the first congress. So that’s going to be an exciting time. We’re going to be pulling on historians from everywhere. Stay tuned for another announcement on that coming up. But we are well under way planning the commemoration of this important milestone.

And, of course, one of the biggest events in the world, everybody is still talking about and will be talking about it, is the FIFA World Cup. We’re so excited to host the World Cup, of course, here in the United States, Mexico, and Canada in ’26. No place does events on a world stage quite like New York, and we are very proud to be partnering with New Jersey to be one of the host city destinations.

Now, this will be presented – this will be preceded, rather, in 2024 by COPA America. Does anyone remember when the COPA was here for its centennial? Quite remarkable a few years ago when the Latin American teams come and play. We’re looking forward to welcoming the tournament back to New York and New Jersey just next year. And we expect to know more soon about where all of the matches will be played for the World Cup. We’re all in contention, so we’ll see how that plays out. It’s probably going to be another couple of months before that announcement is made, but regardless, it’s going to be an enormous impact on our community in terms of economic factors.

Now, moving on to major infrastructure, there’s some great stories to tell as we continue to welcome visitors into New York, including an entirely transformed experience awaiting air travelers. Hopefully you all know all of this, but just a quick reminder: All of our airports are going through major upgrades with over $20 billion in investments across JFK, New York Liberty, and LaGuardia. As you may know, LaGuardia is the first complete rebuild of a U.S. airport in 25 years – hard to believe – and they kept it running the entire time. My hats are off – my hats are – all of my hats are off to them. The terminals which have opened to date are spectacular, and the entire project is expected to be completed next year.

It’s also worth noting that LaGuardia’s terminal B was recently named the best new airport terminal in the world based on a global customer survey by international transport rating organization Skytrax. We could not say that before, so it’s wonderful to have that there. At JFK, there’s a new Terminal 8 serving American Airlines and British Airways. And construction is currently underway at the new $9.5 billion international Terminal 1, which you see on the screen here, where the first gates are expected to open in ’26. We also recently saw the groundbreaking of the new $4.2 billion Terminal 6.

Now, at Newark Airport across the river, Terminal A opened this year with 33 new gates, serving Air Canada, American Airlines, JetBlue, and United. All of these developments are greatly improving the traveler experience, from efficiency to more beautiful terminals, often with expanded public art programs as you see here on the screen.

Now, infrastructure upgrades aren’t only limited to our airports. There are also new developments at our train stations, subways, bikes, ferries, and more. Moynihan Train Hall, for example, now features a dramatically improved arrival experience. This new station opened in ’21 across from Penn Station serving Amtrak customers. These infrastructure projects are not alone. There are several major developments happening throughout the city.

One example, most recently, is Gansevoort Peninsula, Manhattan’s first public beach, which opened earlier this month, located on the Hudson River near the Meatpacking District. The beach provides areas for sunbathing, a sports field, picnic tables, walking paths, and so much more, continuing to build out the offerings of Hudson River Park. And this is just across from the Whitney.

Rockefeller Center is redefining its campus and transforming Midtown at the same time. An enhanced visitor experience at Top of the Rock, the observation deck there, will debut next year, including a new ride, Lunch Atop a Skyscraper, where you get to recreate that famous photograph of the workers on the beam; and a new feature, the Skylift, which you see here on the screen as well. So new, exciting attractions coming to Rock Center. It was also recently announced that a Little Nell hotel – if you know Little Nell, the boutique hotel brand – will occupy ten floors above NBC’s Today Show in the next couple of years.

Now, moving a block over to Times Square, a massive mixed-use development called TSX Broadway has begun opening in phases. This 550,000-square-foot project includes a new hotel, theater, dining, and retail tower, as well as an 18,000-square-foot podium LED screen, where visitors and locals alike can upload 15-second videos, casting over the Crossroads of the World.

Another important project, of course, is the Javits Convention Center. If you haven’t been inside Javits recently, I encourage you to do that. It recently completed a $1.5 billion expansion, adding 1.2 million square feet of event-related space and a new rooftop farm and event venue. In addition to trade shows and conventions, Javits now has the capacity to host smaller business events. When it was originally constructed and designed by I.M. Pei, it was really more a trade show facility. It didn’t have a complete complement of meeting rooms to host multifaceted conferences and conventions. Now it does, and we’re super thrilled about that, including the large space on the top that can be used for ballrooms. Some of you have done events there recently. I know Skift did their global forum there, and thank you for doing that recently. It’s just stunning, and a tremendous upgrade for Manhattan’s West Side.

Now it is my pleasure to turn the program over to my colleague, who we are so thrilled to have back in the fold, Tiffany Townsend, who will talk you through some further updates. And I’ll come back with Tiffany for Q&A. (Applause.)

MS TOWNSEND: Good morning, everybody. Thank you, Fred. Good for – to have you all here, and just appreciate you making the time because we really couldn’t do the work that we do in terms of telling stories about New York City without your continued partnership. And I just want to say how much we really value that.

So moving on to hotels, New York City has one of the most active hotel development pipelines in the U.S., and so we’ve really got a range of brands and properties and price points across all five boroughs, and we expect to see about 10,000 new hotel rooms added in the next three years.

So one of the most high-profile openings that many of you might be familiar with is the 83-room Aman New York, which you see on the screen here. That property opened last August in the Crown Building on Fifth Avenue, which was actually MoMA’s former home.

Next we have Tempo by Hilton New York Times Square, which opened its doors in August. This is the first hotel from Hilton’s contemporary lifestyle brand, the Tempo brand. It features 661 rooms, a cocktail lounge with an outdoor terrace that overlooks Times Square, just adjacent to the TSX complex.

And in August the InterContinental Hotel Group also expanded its voco brand in New York City, with a new location in Flushing, Queens. And then we also saw the opening of two new Renaissance hotels, one in Flushing and a property in Harlem, which you also see here. And the former Williamsburg Hotel is now actually part of the Arlo hotel brand as part of the – it’s called the Arlo Williamsburg now, and as you may know, there’s also three Arlo properties across the entire city at this time.

UK-based Firmdale Hotels will open the Warren Street Hotel in Tribeca next year. The property will have a restaurant, drawing room, orangery, bar, and private event space. And Corinthia, the renowned luxury brand, will host its – or, excuse me, will open its first New York City location on the Upper East Side. It will be in the historic Surrey Hotel, where that hotel once stood, and so this will open in roughly spring or summer of ’24, and really the idea is to restore the property’s former glamour and sophistication. So we’re very excited about that.

Moving on to attractions, as you may know, New York City is now home to five observatories. We have the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, One World Observatory, New York Edge observation deck, and Summit One Vanderbilt. So in recent years the Empire State Building has gone through a $165 million reimagination. Enhancements include a new and separate entrance on 34th Street, second floor museum galleries, new uniforms for observatory hosts, and a new 102nd floor observatory, which you can see here.

And then we have the Edge, which opened at 2020 – in 2020 at Hudson Yards. This experience includes a very thrilling external building climb called City Climb, if you’re not familiar with it, which challenges visitors to scale the outside of the building and then lean out from a platform on the top, as you can also see here.

And then the newest observation deck we have in the city is Summit One Vanderbilt, as you see here, which opened in October of ‘21. And this is really an immersive art experience that takes visitors to the highest vantage point in Midtown Manhattan, with direct views of the Chrysler Building as well as an all-glass exterior elevator ride called Ascent.

Next we have Governor’s Island, which is a short ferry ride here – from here in lower Manhattan. That is now open year-round. And last summer, the island welcomed the QC NY Spa, which is a new destination spa and brand that hails from Italy.

Moving on to arts and culture, we always have plenty of updates there. Theater fans can visit the Museum of Broadway, which opened in Times Square in October of ’22. And this museum really celebrates Broadway’s history, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of over 500 shows.

And this summer the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, Queens opened a new cultural center, with an interactive exhibit, archival collection, and 68-seat jazz club and store. And the center, if you’re not familiar with it, it dedicated to celebrating the live and preserving the legacy of jazz musician Louis Armstrong.

Moving on to performing arts specifically, of course we’re standing here in the city’s newest venue, the Perelman Center for Performing Arts. And thanks again to the PAC team – you guys are all out there somewhere – for hosting us in this fantastic space. We’re just really, really excited to be here today and to be able to share this with all of you.

Other recent performing arts highlights include Lincoln Center. There’s a revamp to David Geffen Hall, which opened in fall of ’22, and this renovation project really created a premier home for the New York Philharmonic, which is really wonderful. And the iconic Apollo Theater in Harlem is also undergoing its first expansion in its history; and the Victoria Theater, which is actually just down the street from the Apollo, is actually set to open next year, and these two new spaces will give the Apollo a chance to really expand its artistic campus. So we’re also very excited to have that uptown.

And of course we couldn’t talk performing arts without mentioning Broadway. During the 2022-23 season, 12.3 million people attended a Broadway show; 40 productions opened, including 15 musicals and 24 plays. The upcoming season is sure to be great, as always. There’s a combination of long-running classics and new productions. Some of that includes musical productions of Water for Elephants and The Outsiders, which are both based on the best-selling books. Those are opening in February and March of ’24, respectively. And then we have the return of a few classics. Some of you are familiar with The Wiz, which will be back after a national tour with an all-new cast including Wayne Brady, singer Deborah Cox, and singer Avery Wilson, among others. And then Tony award-winning Monty Python’s Spamalot is also back, starting next week with performances.

Moving on to cultural exhibits, we have, again, lots coming up. So very briefly, I want to highlight through January 13th, MoMA will present Ed Ruscha/Now Then. So, this is actually the artist’s most comprehensive retrospective to date, so it features over 200 works, including paintings, drawings, prints, photography, and more.

Then through February 4th, the Brooklyn Museum is showing Spike Lee: Creative Sources. This is an installation that includes 350 objects from the filmmaker’s personal collection, so I like to say it’s sort of the people, places, and things that really inspired Spike Lee – artwork by prominent black American artists, musical instruments, photographs, and more.

And then moving down south to the Staten Island Children’s Museum, it debuted a new sensory space for kids, which is really exciting. And so it’s really meant to provide a calming space for any visitors who need a little time to recharge during their museum visit.

Then moving uptown, American Museum of Natural History will debut a special exhibition entitled The Secret World of Elephants. The exhibit reveals the new science both for modern and ancient elephants, highlighting their extraordinary minds and senses. And of course this follows the opening of the brand-new Gilder Center, which took place back in May, that many of you – hopefully you’ve visited by now.

In February, the Met will unveil a new exhibition called The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism. So, this is an exhibit of 150 works exploring the far-reaching ways in which black artists portray everyday modern life in the 1920s to 1940s.

Then from May to October of next year, the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx will host Wonderland: Curious Nature that you see here. This is a garden-wide experience inspired by Alice in Wonderland. So this will feature mind-bending horticultural displays and art installations in and around the conservatories, library building, and all across the grounds.

Next year the Whitney Museum of Art will celebrate two milestones. In March it will launch its 81st Biennial, followed by Edges of Ailey, which debuts in September. And this is the first large-scale museum exhibition commemorating the life of visionary artist Alvin Ailey.

Next up, looking at the retail sector, we know that shopping remains a top activity for travelers, and so there’s new experiences opening across the city as we speak. And so in September of last year, the heritage brand Hermès opened its five-story flagship on Madison Avenue at East 63rd Street, and this actually combined the men’s and women’s stores; and then we have a new Gucci flagship store, which opened this March in the Meatpacking District, featuring men’s and women’s clothing as well as luxury and beauty products.

On Fifth Avenue, the transformed Tiffany landmark store reopened in late April. And so this is actually the first time that the store has undergone a full renovation since opening in 1940, and so it’s 10 floors of one of Manhattan’s largest retail stores, and it’s home to custom artwork, never-before-seen jewelry, and other immersive displays, and it’s also home to the Blue Box Café operated by chef Daniel Boulud, whom I’m sure you’re familiar with. And so just as much retail as immersive experience, so very exciting.

Moving over to Brooklyn, the industry – Industry City opened the Brooklyn Made store in May. This is a shop that sells a variety of Brooklyn-themed merchandise from small businesses, including art, clothing, beauty products, housewares, jewelry, and more. And then just a couple of blocks away, Century 21 reopened in lower Manhattan. So, I know that was very exciting for all the deal seekers; I see a few heads nodding and a couple of smiles there. So everybody loves a good deal.

Moving on to dining, so New York City, of course, we believe is one of the dining capitals of the world, and we have so many new restaurants opening, but obviously we can only cover a few of them. So Tatiana at Lincoln Center opened in November of ’22 led by acclaimed chef Kwame Onwuachi, who’s actually in our brand video. And so this new restaurant serves Afro-Caribbean fare that was really inspired by his childhood growing up in the Bronx. And then of course, just behind us, Metropolis is opening soon and we’re so lucky to have chef Marcus Samuelsson here. It’s a contemporary American restaurant, he said, in partnership with executive chef Ed Tinoco, and it’s just a really stunning addition to our dining scene across the five boroughs.

And food halls actually continue to be a pretty big trend in New York. So one example of that is the Tin Building, which is over at the South Street Seaport. That is done by chef Jean-George Vongerichten, and that opened last summer in the Seaport District. Market 57 opened in April on the West Side. That’s near Pier 57 just around sort of the Meatpacking District, and that’s got vendors that are curated by the James Beard Foundation. There’s 16 different kiosks with a healthy showing of minority- and women-owned businesses, which is really exciting. And then in Flushing, the Tangram entertainment and shopping center opened in January featuring a curated selection of international vendors. And in June we also saw the opening of the Golden Mall food court, which features stalls by a lot of local Flushing favorites.

So again, we could go at this all day. There’s plenty that we probably – that we don’t have time to include, but I’m going to stop there and I’m going to ask Fred to come back up and we would be happy to take questions for a few minutes. So thank you, everybody.

U.S. Department of State

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