NEW YORK (AP) ¿ The number of tourists visiting New York City fell by nearly 4 percent last year.

The drop came amid a nationwide decline in tourism that made New York the most popular destination in the country since 1990.

City officials say 45.2 million tourists visited New York last year, down 3.9 percent from 2008. The industry tracks visitors through the region's airports and major rail hubs.

New York City beat out Orlando, Fla., as the nation's most visited city last year.

Tourism officials on Monday predicted the number of visitors would be up by 3.2 percent this year and that last year's drop was much smaller than expected.

(This version CORRECTS that New York City is the most popular destination for tourists since 1990.)
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