Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor, New York City and NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organisation, recently announced that the city ended the year with a record 50.5 million visitors, slightly higher than the 50.2 million estimated visitors announced in December. NYC & Company also estimates that the city welcomed 40.2 million domestic visitors and 10.3 million international visitors. The overall figure is an increase of 3.5 per cent over the 2010 figure of 48.8 million visitors. Visitor spending reached an estimated USD 32 billion, up from USD 31.5 billion in 2010. Warm weather at the end of December brought an influx of day-trip visitors to the city, contributing to the higher record-breaking total.
“The tourism industry remains a bright spot for New York City, contributing to more than 320,000 jobs across the five boroughs,” said Bloomberg. “We not only achieved our goal to attract 50 million visitors a year ahead of schedule, we beat it by even more than we originally thought. The city’s diverse offerings, events and activities, combined with a high quality of life, continue to make New York City the world’s premier destination for both leisure and business travellers.”
“The holidays are the peak travel period for New York City and 2011 proved that once again with even higher visitation levels than initially anticipated,” said George Fertitta, CEO, NYC & Company. “The unseasonably warm weather during the last two weeks of the year provided an additional incentive for visitors to travel to New York City, helping the industry achieve its best year yet for overall visitation, spending and economic impact across the five boroughs.”
Hotel occupancies closed with a year-end average of 85 per cent. A record 27.15 million room nights were sold through the end of the year, a five per cent gain over 2010 levels. Airport arrivals through November were 48.4 million, a 1.4 per cent increase over 2010. Non-commuter Amtrak arrivals through the end of year rose 7.4 per cent to 4.27 million. Attendance at a selection of cultural venues and tourist attractions reached a record 21.9 million visitors in 2011, a 3.4 per cent increase over 2010.