NYC Breaks Tourism Record in 2014, Sees Increase in Chinese Visitors

February 2, 2015

After our commute this morning we couldn’t help dreaming of getting out of this city for a couple of weeks (or months, who’s counting), but 56.4 million people had the exact opposite idea in 2014. That’s how many tourists visited the big apple this past year, smashing the previous record of 54.3 million visitors in 2013. One country that helped with the increase was China, not surprising considering the growing trend of wealthy Chinese investing in the NYC real estate market. According to the Times, “City officials estimate that more than 740,000 visitors came from China in 2014, almost five times as many as in 2009.”

Taylor Swift, NYC Global Welcome Ambassador
Via NYC & Company

Tourism in the city has been on the upswing since the recession ended, which has had a positive impact on the city’s tourism, though not as fast as projected. The city’s tourism promotion agency NYC & Company (the ones who crowned Taylor Swift NYC’s Global Welcome Ambassador) estimates that visitors to the city supported 359,000 tourism-related jobs and aided in $61.3 billion worth of economic activity in 2014, but that’s not even close to the $70 billion goal for 2015. NYC & Co. attributes this to shifts in the global economy, but now that the value of the dollar is rebounding, city officials hope to lure more visitors from relatively untapped locations, such as China.

In 2014, China took over from France the fourth-place spot for number of foreign tourists, following Britain, Canada, and Brazil (44.2 million visitors were from within the U.S.). Plus, the Chinese are the largest group of foreign visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And with a new policy that will extend Chinese visas from just one year to ten, this international group is predicted to grow and lean toward a “higher-spending, longer-staying, upper-middle-class and luxury market,” which is evident in recent big Chinese-based real estate purchases like that of the Waldorf Astoria and Oosten Williamsburg Condos.

[Related: NYC Real Estate Firms Cater to Chinese Investors]

[Via NYT]


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