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New York is the world's favorite city: Poll

Lower Manhattan skyline. (Charles Eckert)

Lower Manhattan skyline. (Charles Eckert) Photo Credit: Lower Manhattan skyline. (Charles Eckert)

The Big Apple is the top banana.

New York ranks as the world's favorite city, beating out the likes of London, Paris, Sydney and everywhere else, according to a new poll from Ipsos MORI, which surveyed more than 18,000 people in 24 countries.

New York was followed by London at No. 2 and Paris at No. 3, with Abu Dhabi and Sydney rounding out the top five, the poll said.

Not only is the city the world's favorite, but it is the fifth-best place to live, the second-best place to visit and the absolute best city in which to do business, the poll said.

"Of course the Big Apple is the big winner of this poll! The world loves New York City because New York City is home to the world; everyone has family here," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

"The compliments fly in just as fast and frequent as the visitors from around the globe, all wanting a taste of what we have to offer," he said.

Kamran Mumtaz, a spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office, added the city's record of safety is one of its major draws.

"Thanks to our unique culture, foods, parks and arts, New York City is one of the world's premier tourist destinations," Mumtaz said. "We are also on pace to have one of the safest years in recorded city history -- and that is why we continue to attract people from across the globe."

Indeed, the tourism industry in New York has never been healthier. Last year, a record 52 million people visited the city, bringing with them $55.3 billion in economic impact. Bloomberg's office wants that number even higher, setting the goal for the city at 55 million annual visitors by 2015.

Lucy Grosspitsch, 28, of Nuremberg, Germany, has visited New York three times, most recently in March, and said that no other city holds a candle to New York.

"I saw Berlin, Munich, London and Paris, and they are all breathtaking in their own special way, but nothing compares to New York," Grosspitsch said.

"Everything about this city is unique," she said. "I walked down the street and all I did was smile ... the world has a lot of other great places to offer, but New York is 'my' city."

She added: "Every time I visit I am surprised how helpful and nice everyone is." "People smile at you in the streets," she said.