Great World Travel Destinations

How Business Travel Surge Has propelled New York To Outpace Toronto with 56.7 Million International Arrivals

Monday, June 24, 2024

Reading Time: 4 minutes

New York and Toronto the two business capital of USA and Canada respectively share many similarities, including their subways, skyscrapers, and big city sights. New York welcomed a total of 61.8 million travelers in 2023, in the same year Toronto attracted 8.95 million International tourists. Both cities boast thriving arts scenes, major financial districts, and multicultural neighborhoods, along with abundant shopping, galleries, and museums.” Each city features distinct neighborhoods that are sure to captivate visitors, from Toronto’s vibrant Kensington Market to New York’s glittering Manhattan.

New York City stands as a global icon, captivating hearts with its towering skyscrapers and its representation in film, music, and art. This fascination has positioned it as a top urban travel destination globally, where tourism’s economic impact soared to $123 billion in 2022, marking a robust recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The city witnessed a surge in visitor spending, surpassing pre-pandemic figures, with an impressive count of 56.7 million tourists in 2022. Additionally, in the digital realm, New York secured the second spot as the most popular travel destination on TikTok in 2023.

In 2022, New York City solidified its status as one of the most popular destinations worldwide, attracting 47.4 million domestic and 8.9 million international travelers. The city continued its upward trend by welcoming a total of 61.8 million travelers in 2023, achieving an overall recovery of 93 percent. Currently, in 2024, New York City is on track to welcome 64.5 million visitors.

TTW CEO Mr. Anup Keshan said, “New York City spans over 300 square miles and is home to more than 8.5 million people. It offers superior entertainment options, a vibrant nightlife, a diverse food scene, and enjoys favorable weather conditions, being delightful in the summer and snowy in the winter. On the other hand, Toronto, covering approximately 243 square miles with almost 3 million residents, boasts of being safer, cleaner, and more economical. It is generally considered a better choice for families. Explore Toronto before taking a quick flight of less than two hours to New York. Known as “the City that Never Sleeps,” “Gotham,” and most famously as “the Big Apple”—a term popularized in the 1920s by sports writer John J. Fitz Gerald and later cemented by a 1970s tourism campaign—New York offers a stark contrast with its packed attractions and vibrant culture. While Toronto is quieter and ideal for avoiding winter.”

Activities attracting visitors to New York

The city bursts with vibrant attractions ranging from the theatrical spectacles on Broadway to the electrifying atmosphere of Madison Square Garden. During the 2022/23 season, Broadway shows saw around 123 thousand attendees, while the New York Knicks attracted an average of 19.4 thousand fans per game, often reaching full capacity. The Metropolitan Museum of Art remains one of the world’s most frequented museums, outpaced only by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Moreover, tourists enjoy numerous free attractions, such as Central Park, Times Square, and the New York Public Library.

Accommodation in New York?

In New York, the bulk of tourist expenditures goes to accommodation, with spending reaching nearly $26 million. New York led North America in hotel rates in 2023. Following the enactment of Local Law 18 in September 2023, short-term rentals became significantly restricted, limiting Airbnb options to about 11 percent of listings.

Nevertheless, New York offers a plethora of renowned hotels like the Plaza, the Waldorf Astoria, and the historically rich Hotel Chelsea, with both the Plaza and the Waldorf Astoria.

Through both lodging and entertainment, New York’s tourism industry not only bolsters the local economy but also significantly contributes to the broader U.S. economy.

In 2023, New York City’s tourism industry significantly supported the state and city economy by generating a $74 billion economic impact, with direct spending contributing over $48 billion (not adjusted for inflation). This economic activity sustained more than 380,000 leisure and hospitality jobs, accounting for roughly 9% of the city’s workforce, and bolstered thousands of small and minority-owned businesses across all five boroughs. Visitor spending generated more than $6 billion in tax revenue, which saved each New York City household approximately $2,000.

New York City Tourism + Conventions, the city’s official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau, released its final 2023 forecast. The City attracted 61.8 million travelers, recovering 93% of the record visitation levels seen in 2019.

In 2023, domestic travel will see 51.1 million visitors, a 7.9% increase over 2022. International visitation, responsible for nearly half of all visitor spending, is projected to reach 10.8 million, marking a 14.9% increase year-over-year.

As of December 2023, more overseas travelers possess valid US visas than ever before.

The five largest international markets for New York City in 2023 will be the United Kingdom (974,000), Canada (864,000), France (728,000), Brazil (589,000), and Germany (554,000).

Toronto, historically nicknamed “Muddy York,” was once known for its lack of a drainage system. Today, the name hearkens back to the early years of the Canadian city when it was known as the Town of York. Despite the bright lights and high-rise skylines, Toronto is notably cleaner, more relaxed, and perhaps friendlier, with distinctive districts like Little India and Greektown, lakeside trails, and green spaces such as Edwards Gardens and the Toronto Sculpture Garden.

In 2023, Toronto welcomed 8.95 million visitors, marking a significant increase from the 6.5 million visitors who came in 2022. This surge in tourism highlights the city’s growing appeal as a travel destination, reflecting its diverse attractions and vibrant cultural scene.

Overall business travel destination spending accounted for 65% of total U.S. business travel expenditures:

  • California
  • New York
  • Florida

Hotels in New York

  • Park Hyatt
  • Mandarin Oriental
  • Four Seasons Hotel
  • The Ritz-Carlton

Popular tourist attractions in New York

  • Statue of Liberty
  • Times Square
  • Central Park
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • World Trade Center

Toronto’s must-visit spots

  • Toronto Island Park
  • CN Tower
  • Ripley’s Aquarium
  • CF Toronto Eaton Centre
  • Scarborough Bluffs

Toronto Pearson, Canada’s busiest airport, ranks as the largest in the country by total passenger traffic and the second largest in North America for international traffic.

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