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NYC counts a record 52 million visitors in 2012


The Big Apple is a bigger-than-ever tourist draw.


Tourism officials say a record 52 million visitors converged on New York City this year, up more than 1 million from last year. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the number Monday.


The statistic is based on a model that includes surveys, hotel data, airport information and other sources. It includes business travelers and vacationers.


While New York has always been a magnet for visitors, Bloomberg has emphasized tourism as an economic development priority during his 11 years in office. The city's tourism arm, NYC & Co., has opened 18 offices in countries ranging from Australia to China to Sweden in roughly the last decade.


The city says this year's visitors generated $37 billion in direct spending.

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