New York Tourism Head Lauds London, Gives ‘Edge’ to NYC

New head of New York City Tourism slams the city’s reception of visitors.

Fred Dixon, the new head of NYC & Company, told the London Evening Standard: “London is in the best shape I think it’s ever been in. It’s clean, it’s safe, and very welcoming. I’ve never waited in line more than 30 minutes at Heathrow, even with the volume they do. The sense of arrival is something that we as Americans can learn from and strive for.”

Dixon criticized the customs and immigration lines at New York’s JFK airport, saying, “We have to figure out the arrivals experience. I think that’s a huge detriment, not just to New York but to the country as a whole. It’s really important that we share a strong and warm welcome message with people when they arrive and not have them standing in line for hours. It’s counter-intuitive, it’s counter to the brand and all the great work we do abroad to build this excitement for the destination and then you arrive on the doorstep and say ‘you need to wait three hours.’ It’s unfortunate. That’s the first thing we need to fix. Hopefully, help is on the way.”

Despite all that, according to the Standard, Mr. Dixon said that he believes New York still has the “edge” over London.

Do you agree with Dixon’s statements about New York and London? Tell us in the comments.

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By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo, Boston.com, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

E-mail her at cmorse@smartertravel.com.

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