NEW YORK — The Big Apple is on track to host a record number of visitors in 2010.
City officials say preliminary data show New York is on course to host 47.5 million tourists and visitors this year. That's half a million more than the record set in 2008 and a 4 percent increase over 2009.
As Americans reined in their spending last year amid the recession, New York City's tourism numbers slipped for the first time since 2001, to 45.6 million.
Tourism is New York City's fifth-largest industry, pouring about $30 billion a year in direct spending into the economy.
One in nine workers in New York City are employed in hospitality jobs such as hotels, restaurants, museums and theaters.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a goal of reaching 50 million visitors by 2012.