The high number of people booking flights to New York last year made the city the most popular tourist destination in the US during 2009.
This has been confirmed by Michael Bloomberg, the city’s mayor and NYC & Company chief executive officer George Fertitta, meaning it is the first time that the Big Apple has claimed the title since 1990.
Some 45.25 million people visited New York, which is a 3.9 percent decline from 2008 – an impressive figure given that the global recession was in full swing.
Mr Bloomberg said that efforts to make New York "an even more exciting place to visit" had boosted the city’s appeal considerably.
"For the first time in 20 years, we were the most popular tourism destination in the country, surpassing Orlando," he commented.
New York hopes to attract 50 million annual visitors by 2012, with last year’s numbers consisting of 36.7 million domestic tourists and 8.6 million international city breakers and business visitors.
Delta Air Lines recently confirmed that it will launch new flights to New York’s JFK Airport from Copenhagen in May.