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Lower Manhattan Tourism has Record-Breaking Year in 2011 with 9.8 Million Visitors (Updated)

Federal Hall on Wall Street (Courtesy photo) Federal Hall on Wall Street (Courtesy photo)

As the steel rises at the World Trade Center site, tourism in lower Manhattan is reaching new heights. According to the 2011 Year in Review released by the Alliance for Downtown New York, 9.8 million tourists flocked to lower Manhattan’s major museums, events, and attractions last year – 800,000 people more than in 2010.

“The secret is out – Lower Manhattan is a destination of choice in the region, nationally and around the world – for leisure and business travelers alike,” says Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance.

The National September 11 Memorial, which opened in September 2011, has been a significant draw to the district, attracting one million visitors in its first three and a half months alone. Update:  Read more about the Downtown Alliance report and see a multimedia photo display of memorial visitors at

“More than a million visitors have traveled to the September 11 Memorial since its opening on the 10-year anniversary, honoring and remembering those we lost in the 9/11 attacks,” 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels says. “The Memorial is already an important part of this historic neighborhood and its visitors are helping make Lower Manhattan thrive.”

The number of tourists visiting below Chambers Street was 7 million in 2008, grew to almost 8 million in 2009, and reached 9 million in 2010. The growth – an eight percent increase over 2010 – reflects growing interest in all that lower Manhattan has to offer and comes amid a citywide tourism boost. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and NYC & Company, the city’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, recently announced that New York City ended 2011 with a new record 50.5 million visitors, with visitor spending reaching an estimated $32 billion.

Learn more about the Downtown Alliance’s year-end review.

By Nicole Kolinsky of the Downtown Alliance