Industry experts say city can fill oncoming slew of new hotels

The city is on track to hit 90,000 hotel rooms by the end of the year, thanks to a barrage of New Construction Ongoing Between West 36th Street and West 54th Street, DNAinfo reported. And even as the pace of new development shows no sign of slowing — an additional 7,000 rooms are in the planning stages — industry experts are insisting that the city’s tourism industry can support a surge in inventory.

“Overbuilding has always been a negative in this industry,” said Joseph Spinnato, president and CEO of the Hotel Association of New York. “When is the glass truly full? I don’t know. But right now… there are markets that haven’t fully been tapped.”

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Industry insiders point to New York’s high occupancy rates, the highest in the nation at 85 percent, as proof of sustained growth within the tourism sector. Room rates are also on the up, with visitors paying $261 per night on average so far in 2011, according to figures provided by the city.

“I think the very definition of a bubble is something that has artificially grown and therefore can’t sustain itself. But we’ve created new infrastructure,” said Kimberly Spell, chief communications officer at NYC & Company, the city’s tourism division. [DNAinfo]