NEW YORK CASHES IN ON GAY WEDDINGS
Tue, 24 July 2012
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that the city has reaped $259 million in economic benefits from same-sex marriages in the first year since they were legalised.
“Marriage equality has made our city more open, inclusive and free – and it has also helped to create jobs and support our economy,” said Mayor Bloomberg on Tuesday.
“New York has always been a great place to get married and since the passage of the Marriage Equality Act, we’re welcoming more and more couples, their families and friends from around the country and the world,” he said.
According to the city, more than 8,200 same-sex marriage licenses were issued in the first year of same-sex marriage equality, accounting for more than 10 percent of the 75,000 marriage licenses issued in New York City.
In addition to generating an estimated $259 million in economic impact, the same-sex marriages also generated $16 million in city revenues.
To make New York City the top wedding and honeymoon destination for all couples across the world, NYC & Company, the city’s official marketing and tourism organisation, launched the ‘NYC I Do’ campaign immediately following the passage of the Marriage Equality Act. The campaign appears to have paid off.
An economic impact survey found same-sex marriages generated significant additional revenue for New York City’s tourism industry with more than half of same-sex couples holding wedding celebrations in venues across the city.
More than 200,000 guests travelled from outside of the city to same-sex marriage events and more than 235,000 hotel room nights were booked at an average daily room rate of $275.
Only half of same-sex couples had a budget in mind when planning their wedding, but they averaged costs of $9,039 for their wedding celebration and 31 percent spent $10,000 or more.
More than 40,000 wedding announcements were printed, and 47,445 wedding favours were purchased all adding up to additional revenue for New York City.
“The widespread reach marriage equality has had in New York extends beyond the fundamental need to make sure all people are free to marry the person of their choosing,” commented City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn.
“Our economy has also reaped the benefits full equality has to offer and the impressive economic impact same-sex marriage has and will continue to have on our City is a boon for New York and for all those who fought so hard to make equality a reality in New York State.”