New York, you have excellent taste.
Whether you’re here for work, play, or something in between, a study released Monday confirms what the rest of us might have modestly predicated: New York is the most popular tourist destination in the country.
Although tourism was actually down slightly (45.2 million visitors last year as opposed to 47 million in 2008), the city has in fact overtaken Orlando, Florida (read: Disney World) as the most popular tourist spot in the USA. We always knew the mayhem could beat the Mouse.
The city was the top spot for visitors from overseas as well: 8.6 million international tourists stopped by, more than twice the number that visited Los Angeles. (Movie stars have nothing on Abercrombie and Fitch.)
New York took the top honors for the first time since 1990; unusual in a time of economic downturn. Mayor Bloomberg also stated that employment levels rose in the leisure and hospitality areas, even passing the pre-recession levels.
Interestingly, predictions for tourism in 2009 in New York were fairly grim, planning for a 10 percent decrease. A combination of strong promotions, perhaps coupled with the city still being a good value for foreign visitors, most probably led to the high turnout. In addition, Americans are taking the opposite approach from those foreign visitors–staying closer to home and not traveling overseas as much.
An increase in tourists is expected for next year, with a potential 46.7 million visitors alighting in our fair city.
New York is aiming to receive 50 million visitors a year by 2012.
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