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This Is Why a Record Number of Tourists Visited New York City

Picture of Julia Goicochea
Updated: 26 March 2018
As if New Yorkers needed one more reason to brag, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC & Company recently announced that in 2017, New York City hit a new tourism record for the eighth year in a row. A staggering 62.8 million people visited New York City last year. Here’s why.

How does NYC & Company explain New York City’s 2.3-million-visitor increase since 2016? For starters, several buzzy attractions, including Opry City Stage, National Geographic’s Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, and the NFL Experience, landed in the city in 2017. These, along with the May launch of New York City’s ferry system, made 2017 an ideal time to visit the Big Apple. Finally, the addition of 4,000 new hotel rooms (bumping New York City’s total number of hotel rooms up to 116,500) provided a place to stay for all who came.

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Visitors snapping photos of the Statue of Liberty | © Free-Photos / Pixabay

This last point was particularly emphasized by Mayor de Blasio and NYC & Company. In an effort to counter the “negative rhetoric” coming out of the White House, NYC & Company launched two campaigns in 2017, “New York City – Welcoming the World” and “True York City,” to reaffirm New York’s position as an “open and welcoming global capital,” said the company’s President and CEO Fred Dixon. Additionally, the company partnered with more city tourism boards, including some in Cape Town, Tokyo, and Toronto, than in any previous year. These efforts had their intended effect: last year, international visitors accounted for 13.1 million of New York City’s tourists, 400,000 more than in 2016.

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Central Park, New York City | © Roberto Nickson / Unsplash

It will come as no surprise to locals that even despite the federal government’s restricting travel to the United States, New York City has and will continue to prevail. Many New Yorkers were in agreement when they heard Mayor de Blasio vow in a recent statement: “We’re keeping our door to the world open.” With NYC & Company projecting an estimated 65.1 million visitors in 2018, let’s hope the rest of the world heard too.