Tourism Rebounding In Lower Manhattan with the Oculus and WTC Still the Biggest Draws

There’s been a big surge in visitors to downtown Manhattan, up 59 percent in 2022 compared to a year ago although the tourism surge has yet to surpass the pre-Covid level. One encouraging sign: nearly half the visitors are coming to NYC for the first time.

| 28 Apr 2023 | 05:40

Lower Manhattan welcomed 12.1 million unique visitors in 2022, up 59 percent from 2021. The average visitor to downtown Manhattan is 40 years old, and 47 percent of tourists are in NYC for the very first time. That’s among the results of a new survey conducted by Audience Research & Analysis (ARA) between May and November 2022 for the Alliance for Downtown New York.

Unsurprisingly, Westfield World Trade Center (aka the Oculus) and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum are the most popular attractions in downtown Manhattan for tourists.

”What’s wonderful is when people come to visit New York now, Lower Manhattan is on their itinerary almost always,” said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York.

According to the survey, 40 percent of international tourism to downtown comes from just three nations combined—Germany, France and Britain. They are followed by Spain and Italy, which make up 5.9% and 5.2% of tourists respectively.

Tourism from Asian nations, meanwhile, still trails its 2019 numbers due to geopolitical issues and various travel restrictions.

“While more visitors may mean increasing competition to snag a table at your favorite downtown restaurant, rebounding tourism is great news for our restaurants, hotels, small businesses and the thousands who work in our hospitality industries,” said Lappin.