Statue of Liberty visitors' boost from quicker security checks

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty Image by Sue Waters / CC BY 2.0

The number of visitors travelling to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York reached post 9/11 record heights in 2014.

The 4.2 million paying customers made the numbers the islands’ third highest ever in visitation just behind the peak year in 2000 which had almost 4.4 million tourists.

The  horror of the 9/11 attack in 2001 saw the number of visitors plummet due to fear of another hit and also because the National Park Service was forced to impose airport-style security measures before passengers could board boats.

This had the knock-on effect of up to two hours in queues, which in turn discouraged many tourists from making the journey to climb the iconic New York site.

However, one of the main reasons for the dramatic climb in numbers in 2014 was the improved security clearance process at Battery Park, reports the American publishing conglomerate, Crain.

“We have brought the wait times down from two hours to 20 minutes on a busy day,” said Michael Burke, chief operating officer of Statue Cruises.

An estimated 55 million people visited New York in 2014, up by 1.5 million on the previous year, according to the city's tourism bureau, NYC & Company.

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