NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New Yorkers might love to hate tourists in Times Square, but Tim Tompkins of Times Square Alliance says you should probably learn to love them.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell On The Story

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“They may be slightly annoying to you, but they are generating jobs and economic activity,” he said. “This tiny area – 1 percent of the city’s landmass, produces 10 percent – 1 out of every 10 jobs in New York City.”

Over the past five years, the economic growth in Times Square has been more than double the city’s as a whole.

“If we get more tourists here, that drives a lot of jobs very easily and we don’t have to spend a dime to get them come here,” Tompkins told WCBS 880 reporter Peter Haskell.

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Out-of-towners account for 83 percent of Broadway ticket sales.

“Every year, whether it’s New Year’s Eve or the Macy’s parade, the image of Times Square is a very important advertisement for people to come here,” Tompkins said.

The hustle and bustle of Times Square generates more than $100 billion in economic activity for the city.

So maybe the next time you’re in Times Square, you can give a tourist a hug.

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What’s your favorite thing to do in Times Square? Sound off in the comments section below!