Civic News new tourism site from the Chamber of Commerce

New tourism site for Brooklyn brings to mind other pieces of data we've found that seem to show visitors are definitely finding their way to our borough, but may also not be using traditional tourist resources (like cabs and hotels).

Brooklyn is going to get its own tourist focused website ExploreBK. The city has others, but none that are all Brooklyn, all the time.

It’s an initiative hatched by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and executed by BlankSlate, a local agency. We first learned about it by way of The Daily News.

The site is not live yet, but it does have a landing page up where you can sign up to be notified when it does open up.

The news coincides with another recent piece of analysis from Pratt professor, Ben Wellington, who has already gotten busy parsing newly released Citi Bike data.

Wellington found that Brooklyn seems to have a surprisingly high concentration of non-annual riders. You can’t know for sure, but that seems to suggest that they are tourists. It’s not only tourists that buy day and weekly passes, of course, but it’s something of a proxy. See all his maps here (which also explore age and gender).

Non-annual rider density map from IQuantNYThe Daily News writes, “The tourism website will cover events, restaurants, the Brooklyn retail scene and hotels. It will also have a searchable directory of local businesses in the borough.”

If the Chamber emphasizes hotel stays, there may be a tension between the sort of business emphasized by the site and how tourism is evolving here. We wrote about the density of the borough’s AirBnB stays.

From mid-2012 to mid 2013, there were 118,000 stays in Brooklyn via the home rental startup, which argues that its service spreads the tourism wealth over more of New York by giving visitors a less expensive option that was more equitably distributed across the city.



There will still be lots of people who want hotels, but there may be as many or more visitors looking to stay here a different way.

One other interesting bit of news about this project: a part of BlankSlate‘s incentive to do this work with the Chamber is a revenue sharing deal, where the agency holds onto part of the income for securing ads and sponsors for the new website.

Companies: Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
Series: Brooklyn

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