New York City set for record 50 million tourists

NEW YORK Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:54pm EST

A tourist poses for a picture next to a television camera as media gather outside of the building where Dominique Strauss-Kahn is currently staying on house arrest in New York City May 21, 2011.  REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

A tourist poses for a picture next to a television camera as media gather outside of the building where Dominique Strauss-Kahn is currently staying on house arrest in New York City May 21, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A record 50 million tourists will have visited New York City by the end of 2011, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Tuesday, up about 1.5 million from last year despite a slowing global economy.

The Big Apple is the most popular tourist destination in the United States, said tourism agency NYC & Company, which expects the city to have attracted 10.1 million international visitors and 40.1 million domestic visitors by the end of the year.

"New York City's quality of life has contributed to this great success and we are confident we will sustain the success of our tourism industry in the months and years ahead," Bloomberg said in a statement.

New York City is also on track to generate $32 billion in visitor spending and the tourism industry helps support about 320,000 jobs. The highest number of international tourists were from Britain with more one million visiting in 2011.

Since 2006 the number of New York City hotel rooms has increased by a quarter to 90,000. This year the city is set to have sold a record 27 million hotel room nights, up 4.5 percent from 2010.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Patricia Reaney)

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