There are many ways to guage the economic times and hotel room growth can be a useful indicator. By the end of 2011, New York City will be able to provide 90,000 hotel rooms to accommodate travellers and shows a growth in capacity and growth of 24% over the last 5 years. Why is this important? Hotel capacity is a little like a leading economic indicator. It takes lead time to plan, build, renovate and ensure finances to cover the future expenses involved in growing hotel capacity. To provide extra capacity above natural organic growth means considerable outlay and budget planning. Can the planners get it wrong in the face of what is seen as a severe economic slowdown in USA. Well, yes, they can, but when considering New York as a center of political and economic action, it goes some way to suggest that there is an optomistic forward outlook.
In 2011 alone, about 2,500 hotel rooms have been added to the city’s hotel inventory this year with a further 7,000 in the pipeline. Interestingly, 30% of the rooms already opened are located in boroughs outside Manhattan. Approximately 40 new projects are slated to open in the next 30 months, including 22 new hotels representing 4,120 rooms in Manhattan and 13 properties representing 1,865 rooms in boroughs outside Manhattan.
The mayor says that more people want to visit New York City than ever before. The flow-on affect of the tourist and service industry is well known and New York is no exception, here alone the tourism sector employs 323,000 people, and those jobs are now increasingly located outside Manhattan.
The upward trend for the city’s tourism industry means that NY welcomed a record 48.8 million visitors who collectively spent $31 billion. While some raised concerns of oversupply, surveys indicate that occupancy remains at nearly 85%, the highest in the nation.
Deputy Mayor Robert Steel aid that – “The tourism boom is driving a boom in hotel construction, which is creating thousands of jobs throughout the five boroughs.”