New York: What makes a world-class destination?

On Thursday 2 February our Chief Executive Ros Morgan welcomed Maria Torres Springer, Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development, New York City Mayor’s Office as the fourth guest in our online webinar series.

The interview centred around how New York has bounced back from the impact of the pandemic, the role of art in enriching the city’s cultural offering as well as what the city is doing to combat the homelessness crisis.

Our top takeaways are:

  1. Partnerships & cross-sector collaborations are key to driving forward the success of a global city
  2. Diversification is necessary to attract both local and international tourists
  3. There is no economic recovery, if there is no cultural recovery
  4. Shorter transport transit times are fundamental to encouraging workers back into central business districts

During the pandemic, New York faced a 20% loss in jobs with 30,000 SMEs being forced to shut. Remarkably the city has since recovered 200,000 private-sector jobs alongside experiencing a drastic increase in international tourism. Tourism brings in approximately £72bn annually to New York’s economy making it one of the city’s key economic drivers. The Mayor’s tourism recovery plan involves bringing big events and conventions back to the city such as the FIFA World Cup in 2026.

Another key area of focus for the Mayor’s Office is how to tackle the homelessness crisis. At present, more than 60k people in New York are sleeping rough and over 50% of people are unable to pay rent. Over the past decade, the Mayor’s office has created five new jobs for every one home and are now taking one step further by announcing their growth plan to build 500,000 new homes within the next decade.

To end the interview Maria revealed her definition of a world-class destination: a place which has an enduring sense of opportunity.

To watch the webinar in full, click here.

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