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NYC Mayor Touts Increase in Tourism Dollars

By Kristen Meriwether
Epoch Times Staff
Created: October 15, 2012 Last Updated: October 18, 2012
Related articles: United States » New York City
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New York's Times Square is one of the top tourist destinations as it can be seen here during the annual New Year's Eve celebration on December 31, 2011 in New York City. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

New York's Times Square is one of the top tourist destinations as it can be seen here during the annual New Year's Eve celebration on December 31, 2011 in New York City. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

NEW YORK—Mayor Michael Bloomberg took to the airwaves Sunday morning for his weekly radio address, focusing on the thriving tourism industry in the city.

“Last year, we welcomed a record 51 million visitors, making us the number one tourist destination city in the country,” Bloomberg said via 1010 WINS’ broadcast, adding the city is on pace to break that record this year.

Bloomberg cited an increase in airport arrivals, hotel occupancy, and Broadway attendance over the last year, but gave no specific numbers.

According to New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) data, the hotel occupancy rate was 92 percent in August, and April through July had occupancy between 90 and 91 percent. In 2011 hotel occupancy ranged from 88 to 89 percent for the same months.

The high occupancy rates are even coupled with the addition of 1,700 new hotel rooms in the city, adding to the 9,300 rooms built in 2010 and 2011.

Air traffic at the region’s airports for June 2012 was 10 million passengers, up 3.1 percent from 2011, according to EDC data.

Broadway attendance from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1 rose from 9.03 million in 2011 to 9.54 million in 2012, according to The Broadway League. Broadway theaters, along with many businesses, were shut down during Hurricane Irene in September 2011, which may account for the increase over last year.

Bloomberg said the increase in tourism would create more jobs. In the first seven months of this year, there was an increase of 15,000 jobs in the city’s leisure and hospitality industries, compared with last year’s average.

The city’s unemployment rate still remains at 10 percent.

Bloomberg also spoke about the Made in NY Media Center, which is scheduled to open in downtown Brooklyn in Spring 2013. The center is the next step in a growing television and film industry in the city, and will, according to Bloomberg, feature “valuable resources to support artists and entrepreneurs as they get their ideas off the ground.”

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