Can New York's tourism industry expect a Gay Marriage Effect?
What will the impact of the New York State Legislature's historic legalization of same sex marriage be on the tourism industry of the state of New York and its largest city, New York City?
According to a report by the Independent Democratic Conference, the state could benefit from a US$284 million windfall as a result of the legalization of same sex marriages over the next three years.
First of all, many of the gay and lesbian residents of the state that had been planning to head to nearby states where gay marriage was already legal to tie the knot - Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont or Washington, DC, the national capital – will be likely to cancel their plans, opting to get married in New York state instead.
An estimated 21,000 same sex couples from within the state of New York are expected to get married in the state within three years.
And gay and lesbian couples from the overwhelming majority of states in the United States in which gay marriage continues to be illegal will undoubtedly consider making their vows in the Big Apple or Upstate New York, as well.
And then there is the rest of the world to consider. Gay marriage is still legal in only a handful of countries.
Gay Marriage – Good for Tourism?
As a result, an estimated 42,000 gay and lesbian couple are expected to head to the Empire State, as New York is known, for a so called “destination wedding”.
New York City already has immense tourism appeal for gays and straights alike. With Central Park, that incomparable skyline, Broadway theatre, Greenwich Village, Lincoln Center, Bloomingdale's, the Staten Island Ferry – what better spot to get married?
New York's tourism industry – from hotels to restaurants to caterers to bars to department stores to purveyors of champagne to wedding planners to limousine operators – will be the big winners here.
The impact of New York's legalization of gay marriage will be both immediate and long term. And I can assure you, there will be some extravagant nuptials in the coming months. Is the rest of the world watching?
Copyright: Michael Taylor Pictured: There will be long lines at New York City Hall as same sex couples line up to get married Photo Credit: Urban via Wikimedia Commons.