They say there’s no place like New York City, and tourists agree. On one of the busiest days for tourism of the year – New Year’s Eve, where tens of thousands descent upon not only the iconic ball drop in Times Square but in bars, concert halls and other venues throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn; New York City reported that they had attracted a record 52 million tourists. This number represents an all-time high, and a 2% increase over 2011.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg set a goal of 55 million visitors and $70 billion in economic impact from tourism by 2015. The city has spent significant resources in promoting tourism, with marketing offices throughout the world and targeted marketing campaigns. This year, tourism and hospitality created an economic impact of almost $56 billion and visitors spent $37 billion. Tourism and hospitality provided almost 360,000 jobs this year, up 25% from 2000. The city aimed to improve it’s tourism and hospitality industry to gain additional revenue and become less reliant on traditional revenue streams such as the presence of the financial industry.
17 new hotels were opened in the city this year, bringing the city’s total number of hotel rooms to almost 92,000. Despite so many available rooms, hotel occupancy was almost 90% throughout the city during the year, with of course, peak periods during holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve. From hotel tax revenue alone, the city collected over $500 million.
New York City has always been associated with business – Manhattan offices of marketing, finance and accounting firms in Midtown and the Financial District now being joined by the rising tech industry throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. With the focus on business, it’s easy to forget all the exciting things to see and do – the Rangers and Knicks at Madison Square Garden, the beauty of Central Park, the excitement of Times Square, theaters, music venues and more! For both residents and visitors, there’s no place quite like NYC.