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Despite Sandy, NYC draws record 52 million tourists in 2012

January 01, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Tourists flock to New York City's Times Square before the ball drop marking 2013. The city welcomed a record 52 million tourists in 2012.
Tourists flock to New York City's Times Square before the ball drop… (Emmanual Dunand/AFP/Getty…)

Hurricane Sandy, the closure of the Statue of Liberty and the canceled New York City Marathon didn't put a damper on tourism in the Big Apple last year.

Before the city's famous ball drop at Times Square as the clock moved to midnight on New Year's Eve, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that tourism in 2012 had hit a record high of 52 million tourists, up 2% from last year's visitors. That translated into 41 million domestic visitors, 11 million foreign visitors and $55.3 billion in economic impact for the city, Bloomberg said.

Hotel taxes from the city's 91,500 rooms (and counting) brought in $504 million. The occupancy rate at New York City hotels remains at 87%, the highest in the nation.

"We are well on our way to achieving our new goal of 55 million visitors and $70 billion in economic impact by 2015," Bloomberg said in comments made during a news conference at the American Museum of Natural History.

On the international scene, the city has increased overseas visitors from 28% in 2006 to 33% last year. It has successfully courted and in some cases more than quadrupled the number of tourists from Brazil, China, Argentina and Australia since 2006, according to a statement.

Mary.Forgione@latimes.com
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