New York Mayor Bloomberg Announces
High Tourism Activity in Radio Address

NEW YORK, New York (NYC) — "Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. How do you capture the energy and optimism of New York City? The rich diversity of culture, commerce, and cuisine that can be found in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs? Countless writers and artists have thrilled us with their interpretations, but sometimes, you just have to come and experience the Big Apple for yourself. Last year, more people did that than ever before.

"Tourism projections show that a record 46 million people came to visit New York during 2007. That includes some 8.5 million people from other countries – an all-time high. This incredible surge puts us well on our way to reaching our goal of drawing 50 million annual visitors by the year 2015. And it’s helping to bolster our local businesses even as the economy is slowing down nationwide.

"Our 46 million visitors spent an estimated $28 billion in our city during 2007. The impact of those dollars reverberated in every sector of our economy: from our neighborhood shops and restaurants to our hotels – which sold a record 22.8 million rooms, to arts and cultural institutions. In fact, City-owned cultural institutions across the five boroughs saw a combined increase of 855,000 visitors since 2006.

"Who can blame so many people for wanting to visit New York? Especially since our neighborhoods are cleaner and safer than ever before. Thanks to the men and women of the NYPD, our city’s crime-fighting gains are breaking records and outpacing national trends. Statistics released by the FBI last week show that New York remains the nation’s safest big city – and that’s going to help push our tourism numbers to new heights in the years ahead.

"Over the past several months, we’ve laid the groundwork that will not only attract new visitors, but also keep them coming back. We’ve opened new tourism offices in Asia, South America, and Europe, we’ve launched the city’s first-ever global communications campaign in ten countries on four continents, and we’ve begun targeting advertising in countries where strongly valued currencies make a trip to the greatest city in the world also the greatest deal in the world.

"We’ve also taken steps to help visitors plan ahead. On the city’s tourism website, nycvisit.com, travelers can now create trip itineraries tailored to their individual interests – and heir budgets. And to make tourists more comfortable while they’re here, we’re drawing on the power of our greatest asset: All of you, the eight and a quarter million people who live in the five boroughs. Our "Just Ask the Locals Campaign," which began running last summer, asks New Yorkers to share what we know about the best places to go and things to do. It also offers visitors insider tips from New York celebrities, as well as pocket-sized tour maps of New York neighborhoods.

"Tourism is one of our biggest industries, so next time you hear someone asking for Hew-ston" Street, or puzzling over the fact that Manhattan Beach is actually in Brooklyn, why not point them in the right direction? You’ll be doing a service to our visitors, and also to the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers whose jobs depend on those visitors.

"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."