Tourists love New York in record breaking numbers, according to the city. Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC & Company, the city's tourism wing, announced Monday that there were 56.4 million visitors in 2014, a 2 million increase from 2013 and a record.
Those tourists, who came from destinations both within the United States and around the globe, generated a $61.3 billion economic impact last year.
Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company, said visitors flocked to the usual hot spots such as Times Square and the up-and-coming neighborhoods spotlighted by the Neighborhood x Neighborhood program.
"New York continues to be a beacon for people around the world," he said.
Two years ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg set a goal of 55 million tourists by 2015 and spearheaded the Neighborhood x Neighborhood program promoting outer boroughs and other less-than-familiar spots.
Areas featured have included Jackson Heights, the South Bronx and St. George. Dixon said the areas saw a growth in tourists, though his agency can't calculate specifics. An increase in hotel rooms in areas such as Downtown Brooklyn have helped spur the growth, as has a boost in the local travel industry. There were 359,000 travel-related jobs in the city last year, an 11,000 jump from 2013, Dixon said. "It's widely important as an economic sector in New York," he said.
Although the agency met its goal way ahead of schedule, Dixon said he and his team will not relent in their push for another tourism record. With more than 60 hotels in the pipeline, Dixon said the city will be ready for visitors."We're excited about the year ahead. A lot of new investment has come into the marketplace," he said.