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They REALLY love NYC: Tourism set to hit record high in 2016

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NEW YORK — New York might need to churn out some extra “I Love New York” gear: The city is more more popular than ever with tourists.

An  all-time high of 60.3 million tourists are expected to visit the city this year by the time New Yorkers ring in the new year in Times Square, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.  New York has been on a record-breaking roll; this will be the seventh consecutive year of tourism growth for the city.

“More tourism means we have more people investing in New York City and are able to create more sustainable jobs for more people,” de Blasio said.  “New York is a culturally rich and diverse city, with so much to offer those who visit.”

The tourism boom has been a  massive boon to the city’s hotel industry. Hotel demand has grown by 1.2 million this year, city data shows. New York is expected to add 24,000 hotel rooms by the end of 2019.

About 375,000 people are employed in the city by the tourism sector.