A new resource is available for those who want to explore the borough.
The Bronx Tourism Council officially launched the first annual Bronx Visitors Guide on Wednesday, March 18.
The visitors guide is a 44-page booklet filled with destinations in the borough, 10,000 copies of which will be distributed at hotels and visitors centers in Manhattan and the Bronx, as well as at Bronx cultural institutions.
The creation of the visitors guide is a significant accomplishment in the tourism council’s mission to attract people to the Bronx, said executive director Olga Luz Tirado.
“It establishes the Bronx as a viable destination for tourism,” she said.
The number of visitors to the borough has increased in recent years—tourism increased 14 percent between 2012 and 2013, according to NYC & Company. Tirado hopes that the rate of growth can increase to 20 or 25 percent in the next few years.
As tourists begin to flock to the Bronx, the council hopes positive word of mouth will begin to spread abroad and across the country, changing perceptions about the borough, said Tirado.
They also hope that travel writers start writing about the Bronx, illuminating the multitude of attractions.
“Everyone knows about the big three,” said Tirado, referring to Yankee Stadium, the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo.
So a big part of the visitors guide is about exposing hidden gems that people outside the Bronx don’t know about, such as Wave Hill or the Bronx Museum.
“These are all places that are catering to tourists, and are hungering to have that traffic coming through,” she said,
In addition to the booklets, the guide is available online through desktops or mobile devices, so visitors can flip through it anywhere.
“It makes the book more dynamic, more accessible,” said Tirado.
The Tourism Council, a division of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, hosted a launch event for the guide at the Port Morris Distillery, one of the destinations featured in the booklet.
“This guide will play a huge role in telling visitors just how hot the Bronx is, from its must-see attractions to its cultural richness and history, and delicious cuisine,” Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company, who will distribute the guide at its Herald Square visitors center. “We can’t wait to introduce even more of New York City’s 56.4 million annual visitors to the Bronx.”
“People visiting New York City are starting to realize that this town is enormous and that there are many great sights to see right here in the Bronx,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “The Bronx Visitors Guide is a great way to highlight the amazing tourist destinations, eateries and other attractions our great borough that we have to offer those visiting New York City.”
The ultimate goal of the guide is to boost economic development by bring more attention to Bronx businesses and cultural centers, said Tirado.
“When people come here, they eat at our restaurants, they buy from our vendors, they go to our institutions,” she said. “It’s really all about increasing that foot traffic and increasing the client base.” The visitors guide can be found on the Bronx Tourism Council’s website at www.Ilove