NYC set records in 2010 for the number of tourists who visited The Big Apple from all over the world, and from elsewhere in the USA. Nearly 49 million tourists visited NYC in 2010, up 6.8% from 2009, part of the reason NYC suffered less from the national economic recession than other parts of the USA. Tourists spent $31 Billion on restaurants, hotels, shopping, theater, museums and other cultural institutions and activities, supporting the jobs of more than 320,000 people in the leisure and hospitality industry, also a record number. NYC also set records for the number of hotel rooms added in 2010, and for attendance at the city’s cultural institutions including museums and Broadway theater shows.
For those of you who love numbers, here’s the complete rundown:
- 48.7 million people visited New York City, up 6.8 percent from 2009 and surpassing early projections of 47.5 million;
- 39 million of theese visitors were from the U.S. and 9.7 million from abroad – both records;
- The hospitality industry added 6,600 jobs. The tourism industry employs the most people in summer, when NYC gets the most visitors (the other top tourism season is Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s);
- 25.7 million room nights were sold, a new record, more than 2 million room nights more than in 2009;
- Unfortunately, the cost of those hotel rooms was up 8.9% in December, when many hotels were sold out;
- New York City’s 1,200 non-profit cultural organizations generated an estimated $18 billion in 2010 thanks to tourism, with average attendance up five percent from 2009;
- Attendance to Broadway and Off-Broadway theater shows so far this season is above 7.55 million, which is up 3.8 percent from this point last season.
So thank you to all the tourists who visited in 2010, and I hope you return this year. And to those of you who have not visited my hometown before, or haven’t been here in years — what are you waiting for? This is the greatest city in the world.