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City on Track for Record 52.4 Million Visitors in 2012

By Jill Colvin | September 27, 2012 4:06pm

NEW YORK CITY — New York City is on track to welcome a whopping 52.4 million tourists in 2012, according to NYC & Company, the city's tourism wing.

The numbers put the city on track for yet another record-breaking year, and represents a 4 percent jump from 2011, when the city welcomed 50.5 million visitors — the most ever.

George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, revealed the gains — which are preliminary until the end of the year — on Thursday.

He credited the city's sky-high name recognition as well as booming interest from the newest flock of tourists pouring in from South America, including Argentina, Colombia and Brazil.

"South America's really where it's at right now," he told DNAinfo.com New York, noting that New York is now the number-one destination for visitors from Australia and Brazil.

He said the city has also benefited from more positive portrayals in the media and new interests from families, whose visits have spiked eight percent in the last two years.

"People never thought of New York as a family destination," he said. "But between the walking and everything to do that's free and all of the new parks and the new development, it's just changed the whole concept of New York City."