Time was, citizens of India came to New York to improve themselves economically. Now Mayor Bloomberg wants them to come here to improve us economically. Bloomberg and NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta announce that they’re opening a tourism and marketing office in Mumbai. The Mayor, a numbers man, points out that while foreigners represent 19 percent of New York’s visitors, “they account for more than 50 percent of total visitor spending.” Three cheers for the humiliatingly weak US dollar!
The office will advertise in India and import Indian stars for local tourism ads. Also, the Mayor’s film office is “actively recruiting the production of Indian films to New York City.” Imagine a Bollywood musical shot on the mean streets of Jackson Heights — West Bengal Story! This is good news for our local taxi and hotel wallahs, and for homeless folks who know enough to put ash on their foreheads to remind our rich subcontinental guests that alms are holy.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 13, 2008