Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Robert K. Steel and NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta announced that New York City drew a record-breaking 48.7 million visitors in 2010.
The higher-than-projected 6.8 percent increase over 2009 keeps the City on pace to meet its goal of attracting 50 million annual visitors by 2012 – a goal set by the Bloomberg Administration in 2007, prior to the national recession. The hospitality industry added 6,600 jobs over the past year, employing more New Yorkers in 2010 than ever before.
In 2010, New York City set a record for hotel rooms added and hotel rooms sold, while attendance at cultural institutions rose. Mayor Bloomberg was joined at the announcement at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Council Member Karen Koslowitz and Brooklyn Botanic Garden President Scot Medbury.
“This past year was New York City’s most successful year for tourism ever, and we’re well on our way to achieving our goal of attracting 50 million visitors a year,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The strength of our tourism industry is one of the reasons New York City was less impacted by the national recession than other cities, and it continues to be one of the reasons we’re growing faster than other cities today. The industry employed more New Yorkers in 2010 than ever before, and the $31 billion visitors spent this year supported our restaurants, shops, hotels and cultural institutions. We’re constantly looking for ways to strengthen and diversify our economy, and growing our tourism industry is an important part of that work.”
Even as local economies across the country remained sluggish following the national recession, 2010 was a banner year for New York City’s hospitality industry and cultural community. In 2010:
* 48.7 million people visited New York City, up 6.8 percent from 2009 and surpassing early projections of 47.5 million;
* 39 million of the visitors were from the U.S. and 9.7 million from abroad – both records;
* The hospitality industry added 6,600 jobs over the past year across all industry sub-sectors; the industry employs the most people in summer, and July 2010 set a all-time record for total jobs with 323,200; the annualized average jobs for 2010 through November was 315,000, an all-time high, and all of 2010 is expected to set the new record when December job data is released later this month;
* 25.7 million room nights were sold, a new record, exceeding the previous high by 2 million room nights;
* A net total of nearly 7,000 new hotel rooms were added to the City’s inventory, a seven percent increase over 2009;
* Average daily room rates rose to $330 in December 2010, an 8.9 percent increase over 2009;
* New York City’s 1,200 nonprofit cultural organizations, which generate an estimated $18 billion in economic activity due to tourism, reported an average attendance increase of five percent;
* Broadway attendance so far this season is above 7.55 million, up 3.8 percent from this point last season.
Throughout 2010, the Bloomberg Administration continued to invest in the tourism industry and initiate new programs to attract visitors. NYC & Company launched programs – such as NYC Restaurant Week, Fashion’s Night Out, Get More NYC, On the House, Signature Collection Third Night Free and Culture Spot – helped contribute to the record number of visitors to the City in 2010. In addition, NYC & Company launched a first-ever ‘Live More Tour,’ a collaborative effort to bolster tourism and promote travel between New York City and Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles. NYC & Company also showcased attractions throughout the five boroughs globally through participation at several key travel and conventions, meetings and trade shows.
NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs. Under the Bloomberg Administration, NYC & Company has been transformed into a high-performing marketing group with global reach. The organization now has 18 offices serving 25 markets in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
“When the national recession hit, many worried if New York City could attract visitors in the numbers it had become used to. In 2010, the City attracted more than ever,” said Deputy Mayor Steel. “We’ve put in place a series of global marketing programs to showcase New York City and attract visitors, and it’s clear that those efforts continue to pay off.”
“Thanks to our safe streets, flourishing cultural attractions, and distinctive neighborhoods, a record number of visitors from every corner of the globe were drawn to our world-class city last year,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Even in the wake of the global economic recovery, these record-breaking numbers are proof that New York City’s tourism and hospitality industries are only getting stronger.”
“New York City’s banner year for tourism is due in no small part to Brooklyn’s own success as the destination of choice for millions of visitors from across the globe,” said Borough President Markowitz. “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 by these record numbers, a lot of them do!”
“The tourism industry in New York City is known for its world class service,” said Council Member Koslowitz. “Even during these tough economic times, tourism has held strong. This is a tribute to the wonderful attractions of New York City. As Chair of the Council’s Economic Development Committee, I will work to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to boost tourism in all five boroughs of our great city.”
“Many people do not realize how important tourism is to New York City,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. “Every visitor to our city helps support our hotels, restaurants, stores and attractions and, most importantly, they help stabilize and grow our workforce. NYC & Company is very proud of our contributions to the tourism effort of the past year and we are dedicated to maintaining this momentum and reach our 2012 goal.”
“New York City is home to more than 1,200 cultural organizations that enhance our identity, impact the economy and improve quality of life,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin. “From tango in Queens to tigers in the Bronx – culture is the backbone of the tourism industry and continues to draw audiences from around the world to experience neighborhoods across the five boroughs.”
“This has been a remarkable, record-breaking year for New York City tourism,” said Metropolitan Museum of Art President and NYC & Company Chairman Emily Rafferty. “I’m particularly gratified to see our City’s cultural institutions reporting attendance increases across the board. Our museums, galleries and other attractions are an essential part of the fabric of New York City and their vitality is essential to continued tourism growth and success.”
“As one of Brooklyn’s most popular cultural destinations, BBG saw increased attendance in 2010, our centennial year,” said Brooklyn Botanic Garden President Scot Medbury. “We now look forward to our second century of service in New York, providing an essential place of refuge, beauty, and environmental education for visitors from across the street and around the globe.”