Oh, goody. The New York Times‘ City Room reports that tourism in New York City hit a new high last year, raking in a record 48.7 million slow-walking, skyscraper-gazing, sidewalk-congesting, Century 21-shopping visitors.
Mayor Bloomberg announced the numbers at a press conference at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this morning. The Times says he hopes to draw “50 million visitors annually by next year,” and that 2010’s numbers are almost seven percent higher than 2009’s, when “tourism in the city dipped to slightly more than 45 million.”
The Times also points out many tourists, including many “flush with foreign currencies that had extra buying power against a weak dollar,” spent $31 billion in the city last year, despite rising ticket prices and hotel room rates.
Oh, and did you know tourists flock to New York to see Brooklyn? It’s true! …Says Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president. Via the press release:
“New York City’s banner year for tourism is due in no small part to Brooklyn’s own success as the destination choice for millions of visitors from across the globe. Brooklyn is ‘proud host to everyone from everywhere,’ with our unique cultural attractions, hot music scene, historic, hip and diverse neighborhoods, boutique and budget-minded hotels, amazing restaurants, great shopping and, of course, world-class wonders like Prospect Park, Coney Island and the spectacular new Brooklyn Bridge Park. I like to say that Brooklyn has it all, but if visitors want to take a day trip to Manhattan, that’s ok too — and judging from these record numbers, a lot of them do!”
You hear that, tourists? “Destination choice for millions of visitors from across the globe.” So get out of our way and go do some shopping at Fulton Mall, take a scenic walk along the Gowanus, and spend the evening strolling around East New York. It’ll be fun, we promise. Hope the L train is running!