If typically tourist-heavy parts of New York City seemed more crowded than normal in 2018, that’s because they were: NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism arm, will announce today that a record-breaking 65.2 million visitors came to NYC last year, according to the New York Times. Most of those folks came from other parts of the United States, but in terms of visitors outside the U.S., the biggest numbers of tourists from Great Britain (1.24 million) and China (1.1 million).
That number is a jump from the 62.8 million tourists who came to the city in 2017, and is part of a larger pattern of growth—this is the ninth straight year that the city’s tourism numbers have gone up. Out-of-towners spent $44 billion in New York City last year.
“We embrace diversity and are welcoming to all,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told the Times. “And the more than 65 million visitors to our city were able to experience that firsthand.”
That pattern of growth is likely to continue this year, as major events—both old (the NYC Marathon) and new (WorldPride, which happens over the summer around the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots)—continue to draw tourists to the city. NYC & Company estimates that as many as 67 million out-of-towners will come to the city in 2019.