Ultimate Destinations


America’s two largest cities posted bi-coastal record-breaking visitor numbers last year, with New York snagging top honours by beating out Los Angeles by a whopping 13 million arrivals, reports Montreal editor, Mike Dunbar in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.

The all-time record for New York was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio and now stands at 56.4 million. The mayor stated, “Our excellent quality of life, low levels of crime and constant dynamism continue to attract record tourism each year and 2014 was no exception.

According to NYC & Company, the city’s tourism marketing agency, 44.2 million visitors were domestic in origin, while 12.2 million were international. Total visitation for the year was up 4%.

Those visitors generated a record $61.3 billion in overall economic impact and supported 359,000 tourism-related jobs as well as $21 billion in wages.

Over in LA, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a fourth consecutive year of record-breaking tourism for the city and all-time high passenger numbers at Los Angeles International Airport.

Garcetti said 43.4 million visitors made Los Angeles their ultimate destination last year, while an estimated 70.7 million passengers travelled through LAX.

He reported that, in addition to the 2014 record set for visitation – an increase of 1.2% over the 2013 total resulting in $18.4 billion in direct spend – all-time highs were set for international visitors at 6.5 million; hotel occupancy rate at 79% and most room nights sold at 28.04 million – up 3.2% over 2013.

The mayor also reported that LAX’s record passenger total was 6% higher than the 66.7 million passenger throughput in 2013. The previous record was 67.3 million pax, set in 2000.

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier by clicking here.