Roll up for the great winter sale
I am not talking about clothes, electronics goods or brand new notebooks and i-pads but destinations. We are used to sales on airlines and offers for 2-for-1 at restaurants but how often does a whole city have a sale?
New York does.
During January and February the tourist board – NYC and Company -which doesn’t even sound like your traditional tourism board – promotes the city with a sale. Hotels offer an extra night free if you book two nights. Broadway Week and Off Broadway Week (which isn’t a week-long event but is closer to two) link a large number of theatres and shows which will offer two tickets for the price of one. A similar time-elastic event – NYC Restaurant Week which is over three weeks long – offers three course menus at reduced prices similar to the ones we are used to seeing newspapers provide over here.
Families are encouraged to visit the city by an appeal from the Muppets. More than 30 different hotels will offer room upgrades, free breakfasts for those under 12 and Muppet gift bags for every child staying with them. Add to this, discounts off attractions and you can appreciate that New York is trying very hard to attract you to visit them.
The reason why such a successful lure as New York does this is because January and February like so many other cities in the world, is quieter. Though how any city that has already attracted over 51 million visitors in 2012 can claim to have a quiet time is in itself a story. Most cities would be over-the-moon with a fraction of that number. And there’s the difference with New York City thinking. It is insatiable.
Unlike almost any big city you care to name they do something about it. They have got off their backsides, amalgamated a load of offers that your average visitor would want to do anyway and then packaged it like your favourite department store or clothes shop would.
Come to the winter sale whilst it lasts might be the marketing cry. So I am going to. I’ll let you know in the middle of January what I find. And I await the first British city to follow this idea and fill up some of their empty hotels, restaurants and attractions in slack periods. If our train companies can successfully package things like Club 55 in their quiet periods, why can’t whole cities promote themselves?