Last summer, my friend Sam and I decided to do “touristy” things in New York, where we live, just to see the city from a different perspective. We got on a double-decker bus, walked around Times Square, and even went to the West Village (we’re East side guys, and we all know there’s a difference between East and West). Granted, we had a flask of whiskey between us, but it was a good time and I have to admit, we actually had a blast. Now I no longer make fun of those tourists who visit the Empire State Building or take photos of that naked guy in Times Square. Furthermore, I applaud the record-breaking 48.7 million visitors of 2010 who came to our great city in spite of the bedbug scare, that weird rain thing, and annoying subway situations.
This past week, Mayor Bloomberg made an announcement about the astronomical 48.7 million visitors to the Big Apple, which went up 6.8 percent from 2009, and surpassed the projected 47.5 million. And the good news continues. The hospitality industry gave birth to 6,600 new jobs, and 7,000 new hotel rooms were added, so it doesn’t look like tourism is going to die down any time soon, especially when NYC & Company continues to offer sweet deals that get you free hotel rooms. The company (yes, it’s a real company) partnered up with 16 luxury hotels—including The Carlyle, The Pierre, St. Regis, and The Plaza—for the Signature Collection Third Night promotion, in which you get your third night free. The promotion runs now until March 7, 2011, coinciding with Art NYC. I Heart NY!