NEW YORK – Official predictions show that a record 54.3 million visitors will have arrived in New York City by the end of 2013.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday that the number of annual tourists has jumped by 20 million since he took office in 2002.
By year's end, visitors to the city will have generated nearly $59 billion in overall economic impact and $39 billion in direct spending.
Bloomberg says tourism plays a vital role in the city's economy.
He has long credited it with helping New York bounce back quicker than most cities from the national economic downturn.
Bloomberg predicts the city should top 55 million tourists in 2014. He leaves office at month's end.
New York annually ranks as one of the top tourist destinations in the United States.