Give us your tired, your poorly attired, your huddled bachelorette parties yearning to drink free mimosas with the purchase of six entreés. New York City hosted more than 54 million tourists last year, and this year we're projected to see 55.8 million, but is 55.8 million enough? No. “While they’re still traveling, everyone’s pocketbook is a little strained,” Fred Dixon, the head of the city's tourism marketing group tells the Times. “They’re just spending a little bit less.”
"A bit less" means $41.3 billion in 2014, with a projected total of $61.1 billion by the end of the year. But the goal Father Bloomberg set was $70 billion by 2015, which we'll never get to if these tourists keep visiting on the cheap, sleeping in strangers' apartments and taking the icky subway instead of our efficient, world-renowned Carriage-Horse Commuter Corridor.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has voiced concerns about Airbnb, which the hotel industry fiercely opposes. But Mr. Dixon reserved judgment. If the service is deemed legal and can be properly regulated, he said, it could help fulfill the growing demand for “experiential travel.”
“People want to live like a local and experience neighborhoods like a local,” Mr. Dixon said.
Tourists: if you want to live like a local, spend all of your money here. Literally, all of it. You should spend so much on eating, drinking, sleeping, surviving, that glancing at your account balance in the tiny machine that charges you $2.50 for the privilege of looking at that balance should make you cry. Now you're a Real New Yorker!