Big Apple Tourism Numbers to Fall in 2009

According to a recent report in Crain’s New York Business, the city expects 44.5 million people to visit this year, down from 47 million in 2008. The setback could delay Mayor Bloomberg’s long-term plan of reaching 50 million visitors to the city by 2015. The lack of foreign travelers, who normally spend more than other tourists, is a key factor.

Major NYC attractions are also feeling the sting from the lack of tourists; overall attendance at the Met was down five percent in January compared to the same month this past year. On the hotel front, Jonathan Tisch, chief executive of Loews Hotels, also said in the report that hotel revenues per available room will be negative this year for the first time since September 11, but that the NYC hotel industry could fair better than other major U.S. cities.