In 2013 The City Welcomed 54.3-Million Visitors

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — It has been a big decade for tourism in the Big Apple. In 2002, the city had 35-million visitors. In 2013 the city has welcomed a record 54.3-million visitors. It’s an increase of nearly 54 percent.

In a city of hustle and bustle the bustle may be a little bit slower because of all of those tourists.

“It’s good to have them around but they’re a little bit annoying,” one New Yorker told CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian, “You’re at the curb and the light says you can walk and they stop and they’re taking pictures right there.”

The boom in tourism has been ten years in the making. It was spearheaded by Mayor Bloomberg.

The city re-zoned for more hotel development and launched a global outreach program selling promotions like restaurant week and Broadway week that offer discounts so deep that even New Yorkers take advantage of them.

In 2013, visitors generated nearly $60-billion which directly reduced taxes. That spending saved every household in the city roughly $1,500 in taxes.

Tourism has also been credited with creating more than 300,000 jobs for people like Gary McNair.

“This is our lifeline, at least my lifeline so therefore, by all means if this is coming across the country, come to New York we’d love to have you,” he said.

December, may be the season for tourists but at least one Grinch who spoke to CBS 2’s Dardashtian despises them.

“I don’t like them,” the green man griped, “They don’t tip.”

Aside from that, tourism may be one of the city’s best investments.

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