New York City will reach a record 54.3m visitors in 2013, Canada the top foreign market

New York City will reach a record 54.3m visitors in 2013, Canada the top foreign marketNEW YORK — New York City will reach 54.3 million visitors in 2013, a new all-time high and an increase of nearly 20 million additional annual tourists from 2002, according to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, NYC & Company Chair Emily Rafferty, and NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta.

In that period Canada has passed the UK as the top international market.

By the end of this year, visitors to New York City will have generated US$58.7 billion in overall economic impact and $39.4 billion in direct spending, while jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector are anticipated to reach a monthly average of more than 370,000 by year’s end, demonstrating the importance of the tourism and hospitality industry to New York City and its economy.

The Mayor also announced that the City is on pace to reach 55 million annual visitors by next year, one year ahead of his original goal of 2015.

“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 Mayor Bloomberg.

“Since 2002, overall tourism here has grown more than 50%, while international visitation has increased more than 100%. In addition, more and more people are visiting attractions outside of Manhattan, thanks in part to our efforts to support cultural organizations in neighborhoods across the city.”

In 2012, 52.7 million visitors came to New York City – a record high at the time. This year’s new record of 54.3 million visitors represents a nearly 54% increase since 2002, when the City was attracting approximately 35 million visitors.

Of the more than 54 million visitors in 2013, 42.9 million travel to New York City domestically, while 11.4 million travel from international locations. Hotel demand in 2013 will also reach a projected 30 million hotel room nights sold, which represents an increase of 1 million room nights sold as compared to last year. Hotel average occupancy for the year is anticipated to finish at 87.8%, while average daily room rates citywide are up for 4% to $296.

Hotel development is expected to reach 100,000 rooms by the end of 2014.

Top market performers continue to reflect the strong pull of New York City in the international arena, with the leading international markets being Canada, United Kingdom, Brazil, France, Germany and Australia in that order.