“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“Tourism, media, and entertainment: These industries have long been at the heart of New York’s economy – but never before has the city made such comprehensive efforts to help them grow and thrive as we have the last few years. We’ve seen remarkable results – and this week brought even more good news.
“First, tourism. Last year, we welcomed a record 51 million visitors, making us the number one tourist destination city in the country. And this year, every indicator points to us being on pace to break that record. Airport arrivals, hotel occupancy, Broadway attendance – they’re all up from last year’s numbers. So is the most important number for New Yorkers: Jobs. Through the first seven months of this year, the number of jobs in the city’s leisure and hospitality industry, which relies heavily on tourism, was more than 352,000 – an increase of about 15,000 jobs from last year’s average. That’s great, but we want to do better. That’s why we’re setting a goal to welcome 55 million visitors by the year 2015.
“As more and more people are visiting our city, our hotel industry is growing at a record-setting pace, too – not just in Manhattan, but around the five boroughs. In 2010 and 2011, we added more than 9,300 new hotel rooms, to increase the city’s total rooms by more than 11 percent. This year, we’ve added about 1,700 more. That not only means more business and more tax revenue – it’s also meant more jobs. For instance, on Friday, I helped reopen the Westin Grand Central, which just underwent a14-month renovation that created 225 construction jobs. The Westin’s owner, Starwood Hotels, has opened nine hotels in three boroughs in the last two years – and their confidence in our future is going to continue paying off.
“A strong tourism industry is good for all New Yorkers – that’s why we’ve worked so hard to help it grow. We’ve done the same with our tech sector and film and television industry. Both are in the middle of historic booms, thanks in part to strategic efforts by the city. And this week, we took our investment in both a step further, by joining forces with the Independent Filmmaker Project to open the ‘Made in New York’ Media Center in Downtown Brooklyn.
“Like the groundbreaking business incubators we’ve built around the city, it will offer valuable resources to support artists and entrepreneurs as they get their ideas off the ground: things like low-cost rental space, classrooms, and post-production suites. And it will provide a unique, collaborative space for professionals from a number of rapidly converging media industries, including film, advertising, social media, and marketing, to work side by side and share ideas. By doing that, the ‘Made in New York’ Media Center is going to help foster growth, creativity, and innovation in new and traditional media – both of which are going to be at the center of our city’s future. And it will help keep our entertainment and tech sectors on the cutting edge, continuing to create new businesses, new ‘Made in New York’ productions, and new jobs for our city.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”