The number of visitors to New York City will reach an all-time high this year as tourists swarm the Big Apple to enjoy its attractions.
A record 54.3 million tourists will have visited the city by the end of the year, according to official projections, topping a record set in 2012 of 52.7 million, The New York Post reports.
"Tourism plays a vital role in our city's economy, and the work that we've done to strengthen tourism over the past 12 years has helped our city weather the national economic downturn and come out in far better shape than most other cities," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Hotels are experiencing firsthand the effects of the tourism trend, operating with an 88 percent occupation rate along with a 4 percent increase in the average daily rate to $296.
When Bloomberg took office in 2002, 35.2 million tourists visited New York that year. A spokeswoman for the city's Hotel Association credits him with driving the increases, saying it's a result of the time and effort he has put in to promoting the city and his success in "showcasing New York on the global stage."
Others say it's the city's wide range of attractions that explains why visitors are flocking to New York.
"It's common sense — New York City has one-of-a-kind attractions, world-class shopping and food, and, most important, safe streets and neighborhoods," Mark Marmurstein of Twin America Gray Line New York Sightseeing, told the Post.
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