New York City aims to attract 67 million visitors in 2021, a 10 million increase over the next six years, the city’s tourism board, NYC & Company, announced at its annual meeting.

The city surpassed its previous goal of 55 million visitors one year earlier than its 2015 target. A total 56.4 million visitors arrived in the city in 2014.

The forecasted breakdown of international and domestic visitors for in 2021, which NYC & Company made March 18, is similar to current statistics. In 2014, the majority of arrivals, 78 percent or 44.2 million travelers, came from domestic U.S. locations while 22 percent, or 12.2 million visitors, came from abroad.

NYC & Company forecasts 76 percent, or 51 million visitors, will come from domestic markets and 24 percent, or 16 million visitors, will come from international destinations in 2021.

The city’s most important growth markets are China, from which visitation increased 21 percent in 2014, and South America. NYC & Company recently expanded its marketing efforts beyone Brazil and Argentina to include Chile, Colombia and Peru.

Growth Strategy

Alicia Glen, New York deputy mayor, announced the new goal for visitors in 2021 and emphasized the organization’s 5-borough approach.

Various campaigns, including its Neighborhood x Neighborhood initiative, now referred to as NYCGO Insider Guides, urge tourists to explore Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Other initiatives developed to reach that goal include attracting major sports events, hosting seminars for tourism-related businesses, the development of the meetings and incentives sector and seasonal campaigns.

During the event, NYC & Company CEO Fred Dixon noted Visit California’s major media push and its increased appearance on TV, online and in print. He attributed the campaign’s pervasiveness to the tourism board’s budget, which was recently doubled to more than $100 million.

Photo Credit: Pedestrians take over New York City's Sixth Avenue for the International Street Fair. agent j loves nyc / Flickr