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What do New Yorkers think of tourists?

mayo, ireland
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What do New Yorkers think of tourists?

I live in a small coastal town, very quiet execept for August, when you cant get a parking space or a seat in the pub, and the supermarkets are crowded. It is quite a relief when things get back to normal. How do New Yorkers cope with tourists all year round? Love or Hate?

New York City, New...
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1. Re: What do New Yorkers think of tourists?

NYers rarely agree on most things so asking how all NYers feel about anything is fruitless. While tourists can be annoying by blocking sidewalks or stairs, in general I think most NYers realize the tourist business is an important part of the economy. A visit from the President or some other head of state that ties up traffic is generally much more annoying than the average day with tourists.

I think the inconvenience to a small town like yours from tourist trade is much more pronounced than to a large city like NYC. The worst time of year is Xmas/New Year's when tourists descend on the city clogging midtown terribly.

New York NY
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2. Re: What do New Yorkers think of tourists?

It is much different here compared to a seasonal tourist town.

I think some of the upstate New York / Western Mass. towns where people live all year round but are inundated with NYC people making their summer exodus hate it like you've described.

New York City is different though because the visitors are here year round so there is an infrastructure in place.

It isn't like suddenly we're run out of our homes (or shut in our homes) for a month and can't get reservations in restaurants. It is actually the opposite. We have Broadway (shows), restaurants, and lots of people working in the tourism sector because of the strong robust numbers of year round visitors.

The visitors occasionally get in the way a bit when we're in a hurry and they're creating a bit of a roadblock but that is rare and I think something most people are happy to overlook considering the many advantages.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: What do New Yorkers think of tourists?

Also, it's worth bearing in mind that, for a variety of reasons, tourists tend to congregate in the same areas of town, eat at the same places, and so on, and those areas of town and those restaurants are not ones that locals tend to flock to, so the crowding you're describing doesn't impact most New Yorkers during their leisure time.

Brooklyn, NY
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4. Re: What do New Yorkers think of tourists?

I think that the Wiz has it right. New Yorkers rarely, if ever, agree on anything. You will hear the usual complaints about tourists clogging the sidewalks. But then, lots of NYers will come to their rescue when they get lost. And...sometimes it's the same person who was complaining. Take me for example. I have used some salty NY language at tourists who have wandered into the bike lane at the Brooklyn Bridge. But at the same time I am a BAG as well as a DE on Trip Advisor.

Crans also makes a valid point about the flocking instinct of many tourists. Many tourists on a three or five day swing through town stick to the predictable pathways and sites. They stay in a hotel room near Times Square, and maybe venture once into BK or Queens. The neighborhoods where we live are relatively tourist free.

Finally, there is a large difference between tourists and travelers. You will find tourists on the top of a HOHO bus wearing identical slickers - heading to visit "Ground Zero." You will get travelers wandering around Jackson Heights looking for the Indian restaurant they read about on Chowhound or Yelp.

Bettembourg...
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5. Re: What do New Yorkers think of tourists?

For me, it is not so much tourists in NYC, but when I've traveled to Europe, for example, I almost always encounter large tour groups that invade a site, museum, etc. and act oblivious to all the other vistors. Like being loud in places that call for quiet or complete silence like museums or churches, etc. I've encounter this far too many times and it is as if a tour group arrives and everyone else should stand off to the side and allow them full reign of the place. I guess it is the blatant disregard of others and misapproriated sense of entitlement appalls me.

Edited: 02 September 2011, 14:45
Queens, NY
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6. Re: What do New Yorkers think of tourists?

I would love to see more tourists in Jackson Heights. It would make me happy and proud of my neighborhood. I'm a bit sad that they don't come out to see what it has to offer.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: What do New Yorkers think of tourists?

In peak tourist times I allow for extra time coming and going because I am always giving directions, helping someone in the subway and sometime taking pictures of people. The biggest annoyance, as pointed out, is tourists who walk really slowly, several abreast, or otherwise block the sidewalks.

So- no love or hate of tourists, but agreed, when the President comes- that is a real pain. I used to work by the UN and the streets would be blocked in all directions. I am so glad Sept 11 is a weekend, because otherwise, I would have stayed home from work.

8. Re: What do New Yorkers think of tourists?

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New York City, New...
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9. Re: What do New Yorkers think of tourists?

I agree about tourists blocking sidewalks, but a lot of them just don't know any better since they come from smaller towns. They don't really know sidewalk etiquette, so I understand.

I love seeing the tourists enjoying the city. It puts a smile on my face when I see them excited about something normal to us, like the subway for instance.

New York City, New...
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10. Re: What do New Yorkers think of tourists?

I totally agree with kayeen's comment above: large tour groups with leaders and / or participants oblivious to others around them are really annoying. I have noticed it more in Europe, but that's perhaps because I'm more likely to be frequenting tourist haunts myself. Fortunately, some of the groups use earpieces in museums so everyone within earshot isn't subjected to the tour leader's comments. But they can still all huddle together in front of a work of art, thereby preventing others any chance of a view.

When I see tourists in NYC I'm generally happy to try to provide help, if needed. I figure it's my way of making up for all the kindness others have shown me when the roles were reversed and I was the lost or confused tourist.