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India recovers to pre-Covid level of visitations for New York City

With 336,000 Indians visiting New York City in 2023, the country has reached pre-Covid levels of arrivals for the key gateway city in the USA. During the Mumbai leg of their three-city India Sales Mission, Makiko Matsuda Healy, Senior Vice President, Tourism Market Development, NYC Tourism + Conventions spoke to TravelBiz Monitor about the “extremely important source market of India, and the long-staying Indian visitors”.

Healy said, “India is the fifth largest economy, and Indian visitors are long staying guests with an average length of stay of 11 days in NYC, which is an increase. Pre-Covid Indians spent less than 10 days in NYC. Currently, India is the second largest source market for NYC Tourism + Conventions, and 12th, globally. It has recovered to pre-Covid level of recovery with 336,000 Indian visiting NYC in 2023.” During 2022, NYC recorded 258,000 Indian visitors, and the forecast is to close 2024 with 383,000 visitors.

Elaborating further she said, Indian visitors spent USD 569 million in NYC during 2022, and the per-person per trip spend to NYC is USD 2,200. “During 2023, 68% Indians visited for leisure (including 35% VFR), and 32% for business. While NYC is the number one port of entry for Indians via Air India and United, Indians have options for one-stop flights via Middle East and Europe.”

She said with Mumbai and Delhi being primary markets, the travel trade in Ahmedabad is also well versed with knowledge about NYC because of a lot of VFR traffic moves to the US from Gujarat. “This time, I visited Ahmedabad for the second time after 2019, and with the international airport of Ahmedabad and now Surat, direct traffic coming into the US, make it more relevant for us.”

The NYC Travel Trade Academy, an online training programme, has been re-launched, and Healy is expecting good traction from the Indian market as well. With improvement in visa processing time and better air access, she is hopeful of consistent growth from the Indian market going forward.

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