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Lawmaker Aims to Draw More Tourists to Outer Boroughs

by Katharine O'Marra
A A
New York State Senator Jose Peralta

Katharine O'Marra, WFUV

Tourism in Manhattan is booming, but one New York lawmaker wants to draw more visitors to the outer boroughs.

New York State Senator Jose Peralta announced a bill Tuesday that aims to promote tourism in the city's outer boroughs.

The bill would give each borough 4 percent of revenue its hotels collect from the state hotel tax. The amount would be capped at $300,000. The funds would go to helping local bars and restaurants attract more visitors to their boroughs.

The city's official tourism arm, NYC & Company, currently has a five borough economic plan to boost tourism across the city.

Senator Peralta’s bill would allow each borough to use the funds to highlight the lesser known attractions they want visitors to see.

Peralta said the outer boroughs, like his native Queens, have a lot to offer. 

“Queens represents what New York City is really about and that's why we’re here today,” he said, noting the borough's diversity, “to call attention to this tourism that is booming, but Manhattan is getting the bulk of it.”

Former City Council Member and current candidate for Queens Borough President Melinda Katz agreed.

“No one should ever come to the city of New York and leave without saying to themselves ‘you know what, I didn't go to Queens and I missed out on a major portion that that city has to offer,’” Katz said.

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