The number of
tourists from across the United States and around the world
exceeded forecasts, city tourism officials said on Monday, and
topped last year's record by 1.8 million.
"The iconic attractions are always a big draw," said Fred Dixon,
president and chief executive of NYC & Company, the city's
official destination marketing organization. "These are the
hallmarks of a New York City visit, especially for the
The city's signature landmarks, including the Empire State
Building and Central Park, remain high on the list of must-sees,
but lower Manhattan has become a big draw for tourists as well.
Tourists are eager to pay their respects at the 9/11 Memorial
and Museum in the Financial District, peruse the exhibits at the
new Whitney Museum of American Art and take a stroll on the High
Line on the west side of Manhattan.
Many visitors are also venturing out of Manhattan to the
so-called outer boroughs, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and
the Bronx, in search off-beat attractions and restaurants -
trips that would have been inconceivable 40 years ago, when the
city fell to a financial and crime-ridden nadir.
"We've seen a real growth in that offering in New York, whether
it is small walking tours, sightseeing or double-deckers. Tours
are continuing to grow in new neighborhoods," Dixon added.
The allure of out-of-Manhattan experiences in reflected in hotel
stays in the five boroughs, which grew by 1.2 million to 34.9
million room nights, another record.
"Much of the hotel development is not limited to Manhattan. It
is throughout the entire city," said Christopher Heywood, a
spokesman for NYC & Company. "This idea of neighborhood travel
has become very, very popular."
About 80 percent of tourists in New York are from other parts of
the United States, according to the city, which tracks visitors
who have traveled more than 50 miles (80 kms).
Unsurprisingly, international tourists, estimated at more than
12 million this year, account for the biggest economic
footprint. They contribute about half of hotel and direct
Britain leads in the pack in foreign tourists visiting New York,
but China is a close second, having overtaken Canada, which
dropped to No. 3, followed by Brazil.
(Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
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