Seven years ago, London beat out New York in the competition to host the 2012 Olympics. So with the lights snuffed out on the dazzling cauldron of torches at London's Olympic Stadium, it becomes official: New York wins in the tourist Olympics, even without the games.
Over the past two weeks, New York beat London in tourists-per-day by a score of 538,000 to 429,000. New York's hotel occupancy was higher too, at 93 percent compared to London's 80 percent. These numbers come from NYU's Rudin Center for Transportation Policy. The two cities are roughly the same size, so it's not a population disparity.
The authors, Professor Mitchell Moss and Carson Qing, cited average figures from tourism boards in the two cities. Moss says New York's loss to London in a bid to land the Olympics, wasn't so bad after all: "The key point about the Olympics is that the people who go there, they go to watch the sports. Tourists who come to NY, they come here to shop, they come to look at other people, they come here to go to the museums."
Moss posits that fear of Olympic crowding led non-games-related tourists to cancel or postpone their trips to London. He's also a New Yorker.
According to the report, New York also far outstripped London in museum and theater attendance over the past two Olympic weeks, though the researchers regrettably neglected crunching the numbers to compare Olympic men's field hockey attendance with recent Mets games.