New York City launches largest-ever marketing campaign to help tourism recovery

New York City launches largest-ever marketing campaign to help tourism recovery

NEW YORK — New York City is going on a promotional blitz, launching its largest-ever global tourism marketing and advertising campaign to promote all that the Big Apple has to offer.

The unprecedented US$30 million tourism recovery campaign, dubbed ‘It’s Time for New York City,’ is being rolled out as restrictions continue to be lifted, with the first phase launching last week on June 24. In total there will be three phases featuring television, digital, outdoor media and partnerships, all of which has been made possible through American Rescue Plan Act funds awarded by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The campaign’s launch comes as New York City expects to welcome 36.1 million visitors this year, recapturing more than half of its record 66.6 million visitors in 2019.

“The Summer of NYC is here and now it’s time to tell the whole world about how this city is building a recovery for all of us,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Tourism impacts hundreds of thousands of jobs across the five boroughs and its return will fuel our recovery even more. The greatest travel destination in the world is ready to welcome back visitors from around the region, country and globe and we can’t wait to greet them.”

‘It’s Time for New York City’ will first target travellers in 23 markets across the United States, followed by Mexico, Canada and Latin America, with plans to expand farther internationally as other key markets reopen for leisure and business travel. 

The campaign will launch with a cooperative marketing and advertising partnership with AAA Northeast to boost regional travel this summer. Consumers can browse an official resource to Enjoy the Best of Summertime in NYC, including unique guides to each of the city’s five boroughs. The collaboration will also include special offers and the chance to experience personalized NYC packages for 8 million AAA members in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. It will also include travel agent trainings and promotions across digital and email.

As part of phase two, a TV and video spot will launch nationally in early July, asking American travellers to consider ‘Where Were You in the Summer of ’21?’ The video underscores the return of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and drives the message of urgency. A longer version of the video will also be featured on and in the coming months NYC & Company will create a series of videos that highlight seasonal, significant events throughout the boroughs.

In phase three, NYC & Company will focus on international markets and activate the campaign both digitally and through out-of-home advertisements with global media partner JC Decaux. It will first launch in Mexico this summer, followed by Canada and select countries in Latin America. International feeder markets will also include the U.K., Europe and other key regions as travel restrictions evolve.

Locals and visitors can engage with the campaign using the hashtag #ItsTimeForNYC and browse through new five-borough itineraries – and design their own – on, a new permanent tool. There are currently 24 unique itineraries online and counting, created by NYC & Company staff and well-known New Yorkers like A$AP Ferg, Rocco DiSpirito, the NY Knicks and NY Rangers.

To help stimulate the city’s meetings and conventions sector, the campaign will also include an iteration titled ‘It’s Time to Make It NYC.’ This week, NYC & Company will launch a B2B tool kit for the local business community that provides engagement opportunities.

The 2021 summer season in New York City promises to be an action-packed one, with Formula E taking place July 10-11, New York Auto Show on Aug. 19-28, Central Park ‘Homecoming’ concert in August and US Open Tennis from Aug. 30 to Sept. 12. This summer alone, the city expects to welcome 10 million people. Since the quarantine requirement for domestic travellers was lifted on April 1, New York City’s hotel demand has steadily risen from 338,367 rooms for the week ending April 3, to 457,568 rooms for the week ending June 19, a 35% increase.

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