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Travel + Recreation
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Downturn of 2 million visitors in New York City in 2009
As the number of visitors to New York City fell by almost 2 million last year, one can assume that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will have a less optimistic outlook on the downturn, or at least voice fears that there could be a further drop in 2010.
Mr. Bloomberg said he was satisfied with the 45.25 million visitors for the year even though that number was down nearly 4 per cent from 2008. The city still attracted about 3 million more visitors than the tourist authorities had predicted a year ago, he said, pointing out that New York had performed better than other top travel locations in the United States.
"It' s down a little down, but it's down a hell of a little less than we feared," Mr. Bloomberg said at Greenhouse Coffee, a brick-and-brass pub in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. In spite of the decrease, Mr. Bloomberg said New York had led Orlando as the nation's No. 1 touristic destination. n. The Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau predicted in December that the number of visitors in 2009 would fall by 9.4 per cent year-on-year to 44.3 million.
Much of the momentum, such as the overall economic downturn and the fear of SWF, was slowing down the scope for New York for business and entertainment, Mr. Bloomberg said. Now that the economy is recovering in several different cities, city leaders are predicting that the number of visitors will increase by around 1.5 million or 3.2 per cent this year.
To get there, an average 3.5 per cent per year over the next three years would be necessary. The Tourism Economics consultancy, NYC & Co., expects the number of travel to the United States internationally to rise by 2.75 per cent in 2010, said David Goodger, the consultancy's chief financial officer.
Mr. Goodger said that trips to New York City should be increasing at a higher pace than to other United States stores because it is one of the first places that come to mind if people in other lands choose to go anywhere. Said he expects global tourist activity to slowly expand once nations recover from the global economic downturn.
An obstacle to New York and other US tourist destinations could be a stronger US dollar, which would undermine the purchasing strength of the visitor currency, Mr Goodger said. He said his corporate projection is that the greenback will "slowly strengthen," but will not revert to its most recent high in 2002.