New York City has restarted its promotions in South-east Asia, and this time the iconic American city is looking to work its way into the hearts of Muslim travellers.
It has published the New York City Halal Travel Guide and is communicating the fact that the city is home to around one million Muslims.
Makiko Matsuda Healy, managing director of tourism development, NYC & Company, said: “The pandemic had us rethink how we want to present the city (to the market). We don’t want to just go back to where we were; we want to show that there is more to offer in New York City.”
As a melting pot of cultures, New York City is home to Asians, Latinos, Mexicans and others, which might not have been highlighted enough in the past, opined Healy.
“(Muslims) are actually one of the oldest communities in New York City. We have (halal) facilities ready as we have been serving the Muslim community (for so long),” she added.
Besides the Muslim traveller focus, NYC & Company is also encouraging visitors to “travel like the New Yorkers” and discover hidden spots throughout the five boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island) where they can engage with the local community and take home unique experiences. Visitors can look forward to food cart-hopping tours, food and fashion tours, vintage clothing shopping, as well as dining at restaurants that practice sustainable sourcing.
Healy said that companies offering these experiences work closely with the local communities.
Healy said New York City is on track to welcome 56.7 million visitors this year – 85 per cent of 2019’s performance. In 2019, South-east Asia contributed 220,000 arrivals.
“South-east Asia is important because it is a long-haul market that stays long and has high spending power,” she said, adding that Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia are especially valuable.