NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams had just finished announcing the launch of a controversial police unit dedicated to rooting out illegal handguns and was headed to City Hall as more than 100 politicians and activists gathered outside the Tweed Courthouse, around the corner from his office.
The demonstrators — united under a new left-leaning alliance called “The People’s Plan” that has been several years in the making — were opposing as reductive and dangerous the very initiative Adams considers a necessary step in curbing the rise in violence across New York City. Instead, they called on him to invest more money in an array of municipal services.
The North won the original Civil War because we starved their economy by decimating their cotton trade by emancipating their slave labor. As a city it’s our collective responsibility to maintain a healthy tourism industry no matter what because millions of everyday New Yorkers and small business’s life blood comes from tourists visiting restaurants, bars, shops and Broadway shows.
Everyone in the world wants to visit NYC at least one time in their lifetime. Unfortunately, according to Business Insider, New York City is in the top three most expensive cities in the world to visit. It’s expensive because of corporate greed within the tourist industry. They markup tour packages by hundreds of dollars to unsuspecting tourists. Additionally, vulture companies based in Silicon Valley such as Expedia, Hotwire, Booking.com, Priceline and Hotels.com over the years have successfully positioned themselves as the middleman in the hotel booking process. They demand anywhere from 20% to 25% commission which the hotel passes on to tourists. Additionally businesses in the outer boroughs Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island hardly ever benefit from tourism dollars.
Our “See New York with a Real New Yorker” subway/walking tour will drastically reduce the cost of travel to New York City and make NYC one of the most affordable cities in the world to visit. When a potential tourist anywhere in the world is in planning mode and it’s a choice between Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina or NYC, New York City will win every time. We priced the five-day “See New York” tour package at $225 per person, plus $33 (the cost of a seven-day Metrocard).
For $258 and the prevailing rate of a hotel room, a couple or group could experience New York City the way it is meant to be experienced—by subway and on foot.
Every borough would benefit, not just Manhattan. The MTA would benefit by increased ridership. And logistically, we would control the flow of tourists, so they won’t have a major impact on peak transit times. This will force the powers that be to finally fix the system, and the influx of funds should stabilized fares.