NYC Officials Hoping To Lure Tourists Back To City With New Campaign

New York City tourism officials are ramping up incentives to get international tourists back here, enjoying the city and spending money. The mayor laid out a new global marketing effort Wednesday; CBS2's Andrea Grymes reports.

Video Transcript

- New York City tourism officials are ramping up incentives to get international tourists back here, enjoying and spending money in New York City. The mayor laid out a new global marketing effort today. CBS2's Andrea Grymes reports.

ANDREA GRYMES: Taking in Times Square is just one part of a once-in-a-lifetime trip for Miguel Angel and his mom, Deborah, from Detroit, Michigan.

- It's one of my dreams to come to New York.

ANDREA GRYMES: Visitors, such as them, are exactly who Mayor de Blasio and city tourism officials are hoping to entice. Today, the mayor announced $30 million in funding for a new global marketing campaign to launch in June to ramp up tourism, an industry left reeling during the pandemic.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO: We need to let people know we're open for business. It's safe. Come here. Join this amazing moment.

ANDREA GRYMES: Pre-COVID in 2019, the city saw some 66 million tourists. In 2020, that number plunged to 22 million. 400,000 jobs in the city are tied to the industry.

FRED DIXON: We're gonna do all we can to accelerate tourism's recovery.

ANDREA GRYMES: NYC & Company, the city's official tourism organization, is getting the message out, producing videos such as this one--

- New York City is very much alive.

ANDREA GRYMES: --to let people know the city is reawakening. Today in a virtual presentation, they listed numerous upcoming events, including the reopening of the iconic Tavern On The Green and the Central Park Loeb Boathouse, to name just a few.

Mario Messina with the 29th Street Neighborhood Association in Midtown is hopeful tourism will return, but says the city needs to curb the spike in crime.

MARIO MESSINA: I believe that safety is priority number one. By reducing the number of shelters again, the crime will be reduced.

ANDREA GRYMES: City tourism officials project it'll take about two years to get back to pre-pandemic tourism levels here. And they say it all starts with locals inviting out-of-town friends and family to come visit. In Times Square, Andrea Grymes, CBS2 News.