NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – It’s shaping up to be a record-setting year for tourism in New York City.
Official predictions show that a record 54.3 million visitors will have arrived in the city by the end of 2013. Of those, nearly 43 million came from elsewhere in the U.S. while about 11.4 million traveled internationally to visit the city.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday that the number of annual tourists has jumped by 20 million since he took office in 2002.
“Since 2002, overall tourism here has grown more than 50 percent, while international visitation has increased more than 100 percent. In addition, more and more people are visiting attractions outside of Manhattan, thanks in part to our efforts to support cultural organizations in neighborhoods across the city,” the mayor said in a statement.
By year’s end, visitors to the city will have generated nearly $59 billion in overall economic impact and $39 billion in direct spending.
Bloomberg says tourism plays a vital role in the city’s economy.
He has long credited it with helping New York bounce back quicker than most cities from the national economic downturn.
Bloomberg predicts the city should top 55 million tourists in 2014. He leaves office at month’s end.
New York annually ranks as one of the top tourist destinations in the United States.
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