NYC anticipates record tourist numbers

NEW YORK -- A record 39.4 million tourists are expected to visit New York City next year, about 1 million more than the number projected for this year, according to the city's convention and visitors bureau.

Although signs point to a U.S. economy in the process of slowing down, visitor spending is expected to top $17 billion next year, up 3.1% compared with this year's projected revenue.

Next year's projected spending would represent a 50% jump from 1995, the year tourism officials point to as a turnaround milestone after two years of declining tourism in 1993 and 1994.

For the first time, the number of international visitors to the city is expected to surpass 7 million, a 4.1% spike over projections for 2000. Domestic visitors are expected to increase to just over 32 million, up 2.2% over projections for 2000.

Officials said the 2.6% increase in visitors predicted for next year was "conservative" because the economy could pick up.

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