New York -- NYC & Co., the city's tourism marketing
organization, measured the number of visitors to the Big Apple last
year and found that their numbers -- 35.3 million -- increased
slightly -- 0.3% -- compared with 2001.
New York, though, set a record for domestic visitors and held
onto its position as the No. 1 destination for overseas
Still, despite commanding 22% of the overall market share for
international visitors, about 10% fewer overseas travelers visited
the city last year.
The city received nearly 5.1 million international visitors in
2002, a loss of 573,000 from 2001.
Since 2000, the city has experienced a 25% drop in international
visitors, YYC & Co. found, which has hurt the city's
Although they represent only 14% of the total visitor market,
international travelers generally contribute about 40% of total
direct visitor spending.
Last year, tourists spent nearly $21 billion in New York's
hotels, museums, restaurants, attractions and shops, down 7% from
2001 and 18% from 2000, a record year that saw visitor spending hit
According to NYC & Co., the statistics reflect several
trends: The city saw a record 10.7 million "family travelers" last
year, up 4% from 2001; leisure travel was up 3.2% to a record 25.9
million visitors on the strength of the domestic market; business
travel is showing signs of a recovery, especially during the last
quarter of 2002; and "cultural travel" grew above 2000 levels to
16.9 million, a sharp increase after the precipitous decline at the
end of 2001. So-called "cultural visitors" spent about $7.6 billion
To contact reporter Jorge Sidron, send e-mail to [email protected].