Some 52 million people visited New York City in 2012 in a third straight record-breaking year for tourism.
More than a million additional tourists visited in 2012 than in 2011, a 2.1 percent increase, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office and NYC & Company, New York's tourism and marketing organization, said in a news release.
New York received 41 million visitors from elsewhere in the United States, and 11 million from a foreign country. The tourists spent USD$36.9 billion directly and generated an estimated economic impact of USD$55.3 billion.
The city set a goal of welcoming 55 million visitors by 2015, Bloomberg said on Monday in a news release. The old goal of attracting 50 million visitors by 2012 was surpassed a year early, according to Chris Heywood of NYC & Co.
New York has seen a record number of tourists each year since 2002 with the exception of 2009, Heywood said.
The growing number of visitors to New York also reflected the current boom in tourism across the globe. A record 1 billion travelers visited a foreign country in 2012, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
New York ranks among the top five destinations in the world, along with Paris, London, the Turkish resort of Antalya, and Singapore, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
One in three overseas travelers to the United States visited New York, another new record, Heywood said, citing US Department of Commerce figures.
In 2011, the United States ranked first in international tourist receipts, with USD$116.3 billion spent by tourists that year, and second in international tourists with 62.3 million, according to UNWTO. France ranked first in international tourists with 79.5 million.