NEW YORK (CBSNewYork / AP) – Bursting with pride, Mayor Michael Bloomberg stood at the crossroads of the world Tuesday to announce the big tourism numbers.
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“This year, New York City will host a record 50.2 million visitors,” his honor said in Times Square.
He said people around the world “think of New York as a place of wonder and a place of magic.”
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Selected as the 50 millionth visitors were Craig Johnson (a carpenter) and his wife Lucy Johnson of Litchfield, England, who just got married at the Top of the Rock.
They were given gift cards, Broadway show tickets, and a promise of a $10,000 travel package and $10,000 spending money if they return in a year.
“Just looks nice. It’s absolutely amazing – everywhere you go, everywhere you look, everything you do,” said Lucy.
She said New York is just brilliant.
Bloomberg said of the tourism numbers, “That means more guests in our hotels, more shoppers in our stores, larger audiences in our museums and theaters.”
When Bloomberg first announced the goal of 50 million visitors in 2006, the most recent yearly total was under 43 million.
He projected it would take until 2015 to reach 50 million visitors. In 2008, he moved the deadline up to 2012.
The city’s official tourism arm, NYC & Company, projects tourists will spend $32 billion in the city this year, helping to support about 320,000 jobs.
Tourists spend more in New York than anywhere else in the nation.
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