The two dollar pound

The weak dollar has somewhat predictably seen tourist inflows into the US from other relatively strong countries such as Australia and Britain. An MSNBC report notes that with the British pound breaking through the $2 mark for the first time in 26 years “foreign exchange specialist Travelex in the UK reported a 150 percent increase in purchases of dollars by British consumers between Monday and Thursday in the week of April 16 when the pound cleared $2.00”. New York City has certainly benefited from that influx. The report, however, points out that disincentives for travel to the US such as “international hostility to U.S. foreign policy and stiffer visa entry restrictions after the September 11, 2001, attacks” and high hotel prices in cities like the Big Apple as Trevor Gray, an Australian tourist lamented “So far the cheapest crappy hotel without bathroom in New York is something like $120 plus tax and that’s not cheap for travellers”. Nevetheless, New York remains distinctly more affordable than Moscow, Mumbai, London and Paris to name just a few international gateway cities with out-of-sight hotel prices.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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