New York City was host to a record 52 million visitors in 2012, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday, the last day of the year.
Two percent more tourists traveled to the Big Apple this year than in 2011, generating an estimated $55.3 billion for the city’s economy, Bloomberg and NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta said in a news release. The visitors’ direct spending totaled $36.9 billion.
About 41 million of the visitors lived in the U.S., and about 11 million were international. New York City is the country’s biggest draw for overseas tourism.
“New York City continues to attract people from all around the world who want to experience our unique culture, food, parks, shopping, arts and energy,” Bloomberg said. “The tourism industry is thriving, creating thousands of jobs for New Yorkers at all rungs of the economic ladder. We are well on our way to achieving our new goal of 55 million visitors and $70 billion in economic impact by 2015.”
Another 2012 record, New York City sold 29 million hotel room nights, generating $504 million in hotel tax revenue.
The hospitality industry across throughout the city’s five boroughs now employs 356,000 New Yorkers, according to the release.
Photo: Times Square tourism official website