New York sees record number of visitors in 1999

NEW YORK -- This city welcomed a record 36.7 million visitors in 1999, an 11% increase from 1998, when 33.2 million tourists visited the Big Apple, according to statistics released by the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The bureau said visitor spending in 1999 rose 6% compared with 1998, to a record $15.6 billion.

The bureau said it expects 38.4 million tourists will visit New York in 2000 and spend as much as $16.7 billion. The increasing numbers of visitors is fueling hotel development.

Last year, New York added more than 1,000 hotel rooms and will open another 3,000 rooms by the end of this year, for a total of more than 66,000 rooms.

According to the visitors bureau, the city's tourism industry supported 276,800 New York jobs and contributed $2.9 billion in tax revenue in 1999.

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