Volcano Hits NYC Economy

Iceland’s volcano isn’t just wreaking havoc on the European economy, NYC has taken an estimated hit of $250M so far.

City officials are bracing for the loss of $250 million in tourism-related revenue as the ash clouds prevented nearly 12,000 European travelers from visiting New York over the weekend. “The people we were expecting are not coming and not spending money at restaurants,” said Marjan Inbar, a spokeswoman for the New York travel office NYC & Co. “They’re not shopping, not going to attractions,” Inbar added. The volcanic ash wafting over northern Europe is already costing the airline industry $200 million a day and devastating overseas tourist attractions. New York is about to feel that pain. “Until this … goes back to normal we can lose a lot of money,” Inbar said. International tourists make up only 20% of the visitors to New York, but account for 50% of tourism spending, city officials said.

On the very slightly upside, I was told last night that the city’s gay bars were packed with “stranded Euro-gays” this weekend.