Tourism Boosts The Economy And NYC Job Market

The past two decades have been very fruitful for New York City. Recent reports say there has been a 90% increase in the annual number of tourists visiting NYC. This increase proved to be a boon for job seekers. The hike in the number of tourists has given job opportunities to many people. Today, the tourism sector has become one of the major pillars of the NYC economy.

The finance and tech sectors in the city account for 268,200 and 128,600 direct jobs respectively. The number of job opportunities in tourism has reached 291,084. This is twice the number in the technology sector.

The study conducted by the ABNY (Association for a Better New York) and Times Square Alliance says that middle-income jobs are backed by the tourism sector. About 91% jobs in the industry are dependent on tourism. There is no other sector that provides as many job opportunities. Even people who have no bachelor’s degree are getting a job in this sector. Central Park Tours has always welcomed local residents to join them and enhance the travel experience of tourists.

It is noteworthy that fluctuations occur in the tourism sector. NYC hosts around 60 million tourists annually and the city lacks the tourism infrastructure for such an enormous number of tourists. This leads to occasional ups and downs.

The report suggests that:

  • 24% of all the sales at eateries in NYC is a contribution by tourists. This was estimated after a study of Visa credit card transactions. This created job opportunities at eating and drinking places. In the past 20 years, the number of food and drink place jobs has reached 142,000.
  • Tourists contribute 18% of the total Visa transactions at NYC retail stores. Tourists account for 48% of sales in department stores, 35% at electronic stores, 29% at jewelry stores, and 23% at sporting goods stores. An increase in the number of jobs in the retail sector (about 71,000 jobs) has been noted.

NYC aerial view.

With the rise in online shopping culture, tourists are offering needed revenue for the local retailers.

Cultural institutions and the jobs associated with them have also seen a rise because of tourists. 73% of visitors at the Museum of Modern Art are tourists. Similarly, 70% to Whitney Museum of American Art and 60% to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts is attributed to tourists. The number of jobs rose 86%, with 4,500 more jobs.

The job opportunities related to sightseeing transport also doubled in the past 15 years. NYC accounts for 47% of the nation’s net job gain in the tourism sector. Central Park Pedicab Services have registered great growth in their business.

The boost in the tourism sector has also given a boost to the tech sector. Many travel-tech start-ups are garnering the benefits of the tourism boost.

The middle class thrives on the jobs backed by the tourism sector. NYC hotel jobs average $61,756. Since the year 2000, 12,000 more hotel jobs were created. Today, there are around 51,000 hotel jobs in the city.

About 65% people of color and 54% immigrants in New York City work in the tourism sector. The figure is 59% and 44% respectively for other sectors.

All five boroughs of NYC are garnering benefits from the boost of tourism.

The city is now gearing up to strengthen the tourism sector to manage the challenges. The recommendations include:

  • Upgrade tourism infrastructure
  • Enhance the tourism promotion budget
  • A long-term tourism program backed by economic development, planning as well as transport agencies
Shruti Gupta
Shruti Gupta is a writer and digital marketing consultant at She has a passion for technology, startups and other business topics. She lives and breathes digital marketing, and has contributed to a number of famous websites. Her aim is to spread her thought-provoking ideas to all generations.