AT ITB BERLIN, NYC & COMPANY SHOWCASES NEW ATTRACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS THAT WILL CHANGE FUTURE TOURISM LANDSCAPE OF NEW YORK CITY

— Whitney Museum of American Art, One World Observatory and New York Wheel and Empire Outlets Join NYC & Company to Promote ‘New’ New York City—

—German Visitation to New York City Hit Record High of 627,000 in 2014, an 18 Percent Growth Since 2010—

Berlin, Germany (March 4, 2015) – At ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show, NYC & Company president and CEO Fred Dixon was today joined by representatives of leading New York City attractions and developments to discuss the changing tourism landscape of the City. This news comes on the heels of last month’s announcement in which Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed New York City welcomed an all-time record 56.4 million visitors in 2014, far surpassing the organization’s goal of 55 million visitors by 2015. Similarly, German visitation to New York City hit a record high in 2014, with 627,000 visitors last year—an 18 percent growth since 2010. This week in Berlin, Dixon is joined by a delegation of 18 New York travel industry partners; as well as NYC & Company Senior Vice President of Global Tourism Development, Makiko Matsuda Healy; and NYC & Company Senior Vice President of Global Communications, Christopher Heywood.

To kick off ITB Berlin this morning, NYC & Company hosted a press conference where Dixon and Heywood highlighted new developments throughout New York City’s five boroughs. These range from transportation infrastructure and remarkable hotel development to new and renovated museums and attractions, and from hot NYC dining spots to upcoming retail offerings. For the first time ever, NYC & Company was joined by guest speakers from the Whitney Museum of American Art, One World Observatory and the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets. These projects, beginning this May, will change New York City’s tourism landscape, further enhancing the NYC visitor experience, specifically in the Meatpacking District, Lower Manhattan and Staten Island’s St. George neighborhood.

“This is an exciting time in New York City, with development happening in all five boroughs. We are pleased to be at ITB Berlin, showcasing the City’s newest attractions, cultural institutions, retail offerings, hotel developments and more,” said Dixon. “We are joined by three of the City’s top developments—the Whitney Museum of American Art, One World Observatory and the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets, all of which will play an important role in New York City’s tourism industry for years to come.”

At ITB Berlin, NYC & Company today also launched the newest iteration of its NYCGO Insider Guides neighborhood program with a spotlight on Manhattan’s East Village. This month’s feature highlights the eclectic shops, restaurants, historic sites, nightlife and more in a documentary-style video and editorial content featuring local’s recommendations of what to see and do in the East Village. Since March 2013, the neighborhood program, formally known as Neighborhood x Neighborhood, has highlighted more than 30 different neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. Neighborhood content can be found at nycgo.com/insiderguides.

Highlights of developments discussed today at NYC & Company’s press conference include:

  • The Whitney Museum of American Art’s new building in the Meatpacking District will debut on May 1, 2015. Designed by Renzo Piano and situated on Gansevoort Street between the High Line and the Hudson River, the new nine-story building will greatly increase the Whitney’s exhibition and programming space, providing the first comprehensive view of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art (whitney.org).  
  • The One World Observatory, opening in late spring 2015, is a three-level observation deck atop the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The new observatory will occupy floors 100 to 102 of the recently opened One World Trade Center. At the top, guests will experience a movie celebrating New York in the See Forever Theater, enjoy a bevy of dining choices and explore the observatory filled with interactive exhibits hosted by friendly tour ambassadors, who will interpret and point out the sights (oneworldobservatory.com).
  • Located in St. George, Staten Island, the Empire Outlets will debut in 2016 with 1.1 million square feet of retail space including approximately 100 shops and an extensive array of waterfront food and beverage concepts, in addition to a 190-room boutique hotel. The St. George development also includes the 630-foot-tall New York Wheel, which will be the tallest observation wheel in the world and the only one in New York City when it opens in 2017 (empireoutletsnyc.com, newyorkwheel.com).

Since 2006, international travel to New York City has increased by more than 67 percent, from 7.3 million visitors in 2006 to 12.2 million last year. NYC & Company continues to attend international trade shows, host sales and media missions, and conduct other travel trade business to expand the organization’s reach around the world, with the ultimate goal to increase international visitation.

NYC & Company member organizations attending ITB include: 9/11 Memorial & Museum; Broadway Inbound; Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises; CityPASS; The Empire State Building Experience; Entertainment Cruises; Heartland Brewery; Hotel Metro; Liberty Helicopters; Long Island Convention and Visitor’s Bureau; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Opera; The New York Pass; New York State Division of Tourism; One World Observatory; Smart Destinations; Top of the Rock/Rockefeller Center; and Wine, Water and Wonders of Upstate New York.

About NYC & Company:
NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For more information, visit nycgo.com.

About New York Wheel and Empire Outlets:
Located on Staten Island’s North Shore, St. George is the borough's leading destination and the largest commercial waterfront development in New York City’s history.  At the centerpiece of this $1 billion initiative is the New York Wheel, the world’s largest observation wheel; Empire Outlets, New York City’s first and only premium outlet shopping destination; and Lighthouse Point, a  waterfront esplanade boasting a collection of dining, cultural and local retail built within St. George’s restored historic buildings. A 22-minute free ferry ride from Lower Manhattan, St. George is already home to a range of cultural and recreational offerings including Snug Harbor Cultural Center, St. George Theater and the Staten Island Yankees. Visitors will experience a harbor cruise, breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty, world-class shopping, waterfront activities, great dining, culture, entertainment and much more. For more information, visit destinationstgeorge.com. 

About One World Observatory:
One World Observatory, the highly anticipated destination that will operate as the crown jewel atop One World Trade Center is poised for a public opening in the late Spring of 2015. Legends will develop and operate the three-story observatory at the top of One World Trade Center. Near the very top of this architectural marvel on the 100th -102nd floors will be One World Observatory, the tallest observatory in New York City, providing visitors unparalleled views of the City and beyond. One World Observatory will provide unique, panoramic views of New York City, its most iconic sites, and surrounding waters.  A customized guest experience will complement the seemingly endless views - which evoke feelings of the city’s signature pride, hope and determination - and include exhibits and dining options, including a sit-down restaurant.

About Whitney Museum of American Art:
The Whitney Museum of American Art is the world’s leading museum of twentieth-century and contemporary art of the United States. Focusing particularly on works by living artists, the Whitney is celebrated for presenting important exhibitions and for its renowned collection, which comprises over 21,000 works by more than 3,000 artists. With a history of exhibiting the most promising and influential artists and provoking intense debate, the Whitney Biennial, the Museum's signature exhibition, has become the most important survey of the state of contemporary art in the United States. In addition to its landmark exhibitions, the Museum is known internationally for events and educational programs of exceptional significance and as a center for research, scholarship, and conservation. Founded by sculptor and arts patron Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1914 as the Whitney Studio Club, and later established as a museum in 1930, the Whitney Museum of American Art was first housed on West 8th Street in Greenwich Village. In 1954 the Museum relocated to West 54th Street, before moving, in 1966, to a building designed by Marcel Breuer on Madison Avenue at 75th Street. On May 1, 2015, the Whitney returns downtown to open its new home, designed by Renzo Piano, at the corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets in the Meatpacking District, adjacent to the southern entrance of the High Line. The new building, which has generated immense momentum and support, will enable the Whitney to expand its exhibition series, to show far more works from its renowned permanent collection, to offer a greater variety of performances and programs, and to welcome many more visitors as the Museum continues to grow and evolve.

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Contact: NYC & Company / Chris Heywood 212-484-1270
          NYC & Company / Britt Hijkoop 212-484-1270