Tourists Flock to NYC in Record Numbers

A record 48.7 million tourists visited New York City last year, a figure that shows the industry is on the rebound from the recession, Mayor Bloomberg said Tuesday.

“We don’t have the kind of manufacturing jobs we had before,” Bloomberg said. “But we’ve replaced it with another industry -- one where NYC has something unique and we can compete with other cities around the world.”

The number of tourists who visited New York is up 6.8 percent from 2009 figures. There were 39 million from the U.S. and 9.7 million from abroad, according to the Mayor.

The hospitality industry brought in $31 billion and created 6,600 jobs, Bloomberg said.

“It’s creating jobs for people starting their ways up the economic ladder -- whether that’s in entertainment or food or retail or transportation,” Bloomberg said, suggesting the trend has helped reverse the economic downturn locally. “All of these are reasons our job creation continues, while others are having a problem.”

He said average hotel occupancy in 2010 was 85 percent -- which was 25 percent higher than in other comparable cities -- with average daily room rates last month at $330. That figure is a nine percent increase over 2009. Hotels last year sold 25.7 million room nights, and the city added 7,000 new hotel rooms to its inventory.