New alliance comes as New York City’s official tourism organization announces ninth consecutive year of tourism growth with a record 65.2 million visitors welcomed in 2018.
New York City is one of the most visited cities in the world, delivering unrivaled experiences and events across culinary, theatre, music, sports, arts and more. In a move to enable people to further experience all this unique city has to offer, NYC & Company and Mastercard today announced a new global, multi-year partnership.
From NYC & Company’s iconic programs including NYC Restaurant Week®, NYC Broadway WeekSM and NYC Must-See WeekSM to its other citywide initiatives, the two will collaborate to bring all that is Priceless about NYC to life. In addition, Mastercard will also become the preferred payment technology partner of NYC & Company and will be integrated into the organization’s global tourism promotional efforts.
Ranked consistently as one of the top cities for both travel and dining by Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index, New York City offers unique opportunities to both travelers and residents. Mastercard has always been deeply engaged in the growth and well-being of the city – whether through curated experiences for cardholders through Priceless Cities, identifying and solving urban challenges through City Possible, or by innovating and establishing its first Tech Hub in NYC.
Market and traveler insights from Mastercard will help NYC & Company’s business-to-business partners more effectively communicate the dynamic city to audiences around the world. Local businesses could also benefit from Mastercard’s support of NYC & Company’s successful Tourism Ready efforts, which trains emerging businesses big and small throughout the five boroughs to become better equipped to benefit from tourism.
The partnership comes as NYC & Company releases its 2018 year-end tourism figures. Last year, the City welcomed a record 65.2 million visitors, comprising 51.6 million domestic visitors and 13.5 million international visitors. 2018 represented the ninth consecutive year of tourism growth. A record 37.7 million hotel room nights were sold citywide in 2018, generating $623 million in estimated hotel occupancy tax revenues. The top five international markets for 2018 NYC visitation were: UK (1.24 million); China (1.1 million); Canada (1 million); Brazil (920,000); and France (807,000)
“This record-breaking year of tourism proves what every New Yorker knows: this is the greatest City in the world to live in and visit. New York City embodies true American values. We embrace diversity and are welcoming to all, and the more than 65 million visitors to our city were able to experience that first hand,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“While celebrating a new tourism milestone, it is an exciting moment to announce our new partnership with Mastercard, an iconic and innovative global brand, elevating our efforts to attract a broader worldwide audience to experience New York City’s unparalleled offerings,” said NYC & Company president and CEO Fred Dixon. “Through this unprecedented marketing collaboration with Mastercard, we will reach more consumers directly to grow overnight stays and expand neighborhood exploration across the five boroughs while also supporting small business development, continued job growth and opportunities for New Yorkers.”
“Experience lies at the heart of New York City and we are thrilled to partner with NYC & Company to support one of the world’s most visited cities while also giving our cardholders Priceless opportunities to experience it in new and meaningful ways,” said Cheryl Guerin, executive vice president of North America Marketing & Communications at Mastercard. “Together with this expanded relationship, we can further our local economic development efforts to continue to ensure New York City remains a must-visit destination.”
NYC & Company is predicting more than 67 million visitors will visit New York City in 2019, a “monumental year” with many large-scale openings and the City hosting WorldPride, the first time the celebrated event will be held in the United States.
New York City’s travel and tourism sector currently supports 9 percent of payroll employment— 391,000 employees—and generates approximately $66 billion in annual economic impact (based on 2017 data)
“We are proud to join forces with Mastercard on this significant partnership to strengthen New York City’s global reach around the world,” said Emily Rafferty, chairman of NYC & Company. “This new collaboration along with the City’s ninth consecutive year of tourism growth inaugurates our monumental year.”
NYC Restaurant Week, NYC Broadway Week and NYC Must-See Week are all part of NYC & Company’s new NYC Winter Outing initiative, a bundle of offers that encourages visitors and locals to enjoy the City’s restaurants, theaters, museums, attractions and performing arts from Jan. 21 – Feb. 10. More information can be found at nycgo.com/nycwinterouting.
As part of this partnership, Mastercard cardholders will get unique NYC Priceless experiences around key passion areas, have exclusive access, pre-sale opportunities and ongoing discounts at many merchants during iconic NYC & Company programs to make NYC Priceless year-round.