Lower Manhattan has had a substantial increase in tourism, seeing 9.8 million visitors in 2011. That’s 800,000 greater than in 2010, with a 40% growth since 2008. What gives? The new 9/11 Memorial has been visited by 1 million people since opening last year. Despite the morbidity of these statistics and the Memorial’s ridiculously exuberant construction and maintenance costs, turns out it’s working out splendidly for the city’s economy.
Tourists spent $32 billion in New York’s five boroughs last year. “The secret is out — Lower Manhattan is a destination of choice in the region, nationally and around the world.” So, give me your fanny-packed, your picture-snapping, your slow-walking masses yearning to gawk thee. Just, uh, tell them to leave their guns at home.