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New estimates from the city’s tourism promotion agency, NYC & Company, show that the number of visitors to New York City will increase again this year, making 2017 the eighth straight year of record-high tourism. As the New York Times reported, the city will take in 61.8 million visitors this year, an increase from 60.5 million visitors in 2016. However, the agency does expect the first drop in international visitors to the city since 2009, due to President Donald Trump’s “America First” rhetoric and his revised restricted travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries.
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For the past decade, the number of Chinese tourists visiting NYC has been on the rise, and of the city’s record-breaking 60.3 million visitors in 2016, more than 950,000 were from China. This is a “sevenfold increase since 2007,” reports the Times, which notes how the city’s tourism department, NYC & Company, is catering to the growing demographic, as they’re spending more freely than visitors from Europe who have seen the value of the euro decrease in comparison to the dollar.
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Welcome to the “city of romance and excitement” in a time “where all roads lead to Gotham.”
This fascinating film produced by the city’s PR arm back in the ’40s is a total time warp that will transport you to the better days when everyone enjoyed travel by train, dapper suits were daily uniforms, and the New York skyline was downright demure with just the Empire State Building and Chrysler piercing the sky. Though all the landmarks featured are ones you’d expect to see (Grand Central, the Top of the Rock, The Statue of Liberty) and don’t appear all that much different than they do now (kids were bathing in Washington Square Park’s fountain back then too), a number of the shots and commentary provided by the film’s narrator really highlight how much our city has changed (imagine a harbor full of Titanic-like ocean liners and no 432 Park). Watch the 22-minute video ahead.
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If you’re a New Yorker who grumbles at the sight of slowpoke tourists lollygagging down Manhattan’s crowded streets, you’ll want to see this map created by data artist Eric Fischer called “Locals & Tourists.” Fischer collected tweets from across the five boroughs (and beyond) to determine what areas were most concentrated with out-of-towners (the red) and what areas were dominated by locals (the blue).
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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.”
More on the record-breaking tourism trend