July 14, 2014    

INAUGURAL EAST COAST USA SALES MISSION
KICKS OFF ITS WEEK-LONG TOUR OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Australia and New Zealand are top performing markets on the Atlantic Coast; East Coast, USA Mission aims to continue its popularityDown Under’

Tourism representatives from New York City, New York State, Washington DC and Florida are set to host a series of events in Australia and New Zealand to inspire and update local retail travel trade.The inaugural East Coast USA Mission will feature Agent Expos, B2B meetings and appointments commencing in Sydney on July 14, followed by Melbourne on July 16 and concluding in Auckland on July 17. 

The Mission is a joint initiative by destination marketing bodies NYC & Company, New York State, Destination DC and VISIT FLORIDA, which identified an opportunity to better package and showcase the leading East Coast travel destinations to the lucrative Australian market.

As a destination, the East Coast is packed with a range of experiences from beaches and history, to culture and family style offerings. This first of its kind Mission aims to show off the diversity to be found and features 15 exhibitors including hotels, attractions and cultural institutions.

Exhibitors will includeBike and Roll DC, The Broadway Collection, Heartland Brewery, Marriott International, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Newseum, New York Hilton Midtown, Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, The Roosevelt Hotel NYC, Starwood Hotels of New York, Tour Hero and Travel Advocates Group Hotel Specialists.

According to President and CEO of NYC & Company, Fred Dixon, “Australia and New Zealandare important international markets for us because they have a tendency to stay longer in hotels and shop more.  In New York, the Australian, Brazilian and Chinese markets have been very buoyant and have delivered on visitation sending more tourists to the city recently than markets such as Germany or Italy.”

In the current competitive global marketplaceit is crucial for the East Coast to remain top of mind and the aim of the Mission is to communicate the destination’s diverse attributes, strengthen existing relationships as well as boost awareness of, and visitation to, the East Coast.

"We want to ensure the trade has the contacts, relationships and tools to make this happen,” Dixon said.“New York City is a real hook for Australians, as the United States' number one big city tourism destination, New York City's five boroughs offers unparalleled experiences with a unique energy, vibrancy and diversity all its own."

In 2013, New York City welcomed 26,000 visitors from New Zealand and 619,000 from Australia.Australia and New Zealand remain a strong source of international visitors to New York City and Washington DC, ranking within their top five overseas markets.

“This East Coast USA Mission is a valuable opportunity to engage with travel professionals to encourage continued future visitation growth to our destinations from the South Pacific. With more than US $8.5 billion of development taking place in our city including new hotels, restaurants and attractions, it’s a great time to plan a trip to our nation’s capital,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, President and CEO of Destination DC.

In 2013, Florida welcomed 303,000 visitors from Australia who spent more than US $218 million, representing increases of 8 percent and 6 percent respectively over 2012 figures.  Australia comprises 24 percent of Florida's volume of all emerging market visitors combined and provides 20 percent of the spending by emerging market visitors.

"As key emerging international markets for Florida, this Mission provides a tremendous opportunity to engage with travel trade in Australia and New Zealand," said Will Seccombe, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA.  "From shopping and theme parks to museums and cultural-heritage sights, we look forward to sharing the Sunshine State's diverse array of activities and destinations during this week-long series of events."

In 2013, New York State welcomed a projected 618,000 visitors from Australia. To continue the growth in visitors, it will be opening a new Australian I LOVE NEW YORK office later this year.

New York’s attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls, to the wine trails of the Finger Lakes, the West Point Military Academy in the Hudson Valley and in the Adirondacks you can find an abundance of outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking and boating.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to showcase the State’s world class sites and activities.  Tourism is central to New York’s success and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors from Australia in the years to come.  New York State’s Division of Tourism, I LOVE NEW YORK couldn’t be more excited about our participation in the East Coast Australia and New Zealand Sales Mission,” said Gavin Landry, Empire State Development’s Executive Director of Tourism.

-Ends-

MEDIA CONTACTS
Australia, Sarah Stevenson -sarah.stevenson@hotmail.com, +61 438 798 222

NYC & Company, Chris Heywood,cheywood@nycgo.com, +1 212 484 5458

New York State, Melanie Klausner, melanie.klausner@finnpartners.com, +1 212 754 6500

Destination DC, Alicia Malone,Alicia.malone@destinationdc.com, +1 202 789 7053

VISIT FLORIDA, Laura Cassels, lcassels@VISITFLORIDA.org, +1 850 205 3839

BOILER PLATES
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 general information on New York City, see www.nycgo.com and for press information, see www.nycgo.com/press. For images, go to www.nycgo.com/pressphotos (username: media@nycgo.com / password: media@nyc11). For the latest imagery and B-roll, see the Neighborhood x Neighborhood folder.

NEW YORK STATE features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York’s attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls, to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it’s wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like fishing, hiking and boating, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers. For more information, visit http://www.iloveny.com. Media can find press releases and more at www.iloveny.com/thebeat.

DESTINATION DC, the lead destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of more than 850 businesses committed to marketing the District as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. Visit www.washington.org for more information.

VISIT FLORIDA, the state's official tourism marketing corporation, serves as Florida's official source for travel planning to visitors across the globe. As the state's number one industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming a record 94.3 million visitors in 2013 who spent US$76.1 billion, generating 23 percent of the state's sales tax revenue and employing nearly 1.1 million Floridians. VISIT FLORIDA has 129.5 employees in Florida and an international team of contracted staff covering Canada, China, India, Germany, Latin America and the United Kingdom. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, go to www.VISITFLORIDA.com or follow the corporate blog at www.SunshineMatters.org