Record Number of Tourists Visited Lower Manhattan Last Year

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Lower Manhattan saw nearly 9.8 million tourists visit last year, a record number for an area revitalized by development and the World Trade Center site.

Many of those were drawn here by the newly-opened September 11 Memorial, which has already attracted more than 1 million visitors in the four months it has been open.

Downtown Alliance President Liz Berger said in a statement: "Tourism is thriving in Lower Manhattan like never before. The secret is out -- Lower Manhattan is a destination of choice in the region, nationally and around the world."

All of this signals a new revival for the area, which was previously only populated by PACE students, bankers, and the occasional mosque controversy.

But all this is no accident -- the city government has been actively encouraging people to visit the area of New York below Chambers Street, launching an elaborate ad campaign last summer touting the benefits of visiting FiDi.

While it certainly is annoying to have to contend with that family from Michigan walking five-abreast on the sidewalk and gawking at tall buildings, we should really be thanking them -- the city says that visitors brought nearly $32 million to businesses in New York, as the number of visitors continues to increase yearly.

[keyana.stevens@keyanastevens]

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