NYC & COMPANY ANNOUNCES
WHERE’S WALDO?® AS NEW YORK CITY’S

OFFICIAL FAMILY AMBASSADOR

—Campaign Encourages Visitors to Discover New York City’s
Five Boroughs by Highlighting Family-Friendly Attractions, Parks,
Activities, Neighborhoods, Hotels and More—

—In 2012 New York City Welcomed an Estimated
15.2 Million Family Visitors, Contributing Approximately

$15 Billion to the City’s Economy—

New York City (June 4, 2013) — NYC & Company, New York City’s official tourism, marketing and partnership organization, announced that Where’s Waldo?® will serve as New York City’s fifth official Family Ambassador. As part of the yearlong collaboration, Waldo, the iconic world traveler, will encourage family travel to the City by highlighting the best ways for families to discover, experience and enjoy the many neighborhoods, cultural institutions, parks, attractions and hotels across the five boroughs. In 2012 New York City welcomed an estimated 15.2 million family visitors, a 2.7 percent projected increase over 2011, contributing approximately $15 billion in direct spending to New York City’s economy. 

“Waldo has been traveling and exploring cities across the world for more than 25 years, and we are extremely pleased to have him as our new NYC Family Ambassador,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. “With immeasurable international and domestic recognition, Waldo will enable us to reach and influence people of all ages, encouraging them to bring their families to New York City this year.”

“We are thrilled to partner with NYC & Company to encourage exploration of one the greatest cities in the world,” said Nicole Blake, Head of Franchise for DreamWorks Classics, the home of the Waldo brand. “With its five boroughs of limitless sites, cultural institutions and landmarks, NYC provides the ideal backdrop for people of all ages to continue their search for Waldo.”

The program will feature editorial content that highlights things to do and see for visiting families as well as locals. Starting today, on nycgo.com/waldo, Waldo will guide people to family-friendly summer destinations across the five boroughs including the Hudson River Skatepark on Pier 62, the City’s 14 miles of beaches, the Friedsam Memorial Carousel in Central Park, Pesso's Homemade Italian Ices in Queens, Best Pizza in Brooklyn, the Audubon Center in Prospect Park, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and many more.

In addition, to help visitors navigate all of the City’s terrific offerings, NYC & Company is collaborating with longtime partner Smart Destinations on a limited-edition Where’s Waldo? NYC attraction pass that provides savings of up to 45 percent on admissions to top museums, tours and attractions across the City. The exclusive Where’s Waldo? New York Explorer Pass can be purchased online at nycgo.com/waldo or at the Official NYC Information Center in Midtown Manhattan.

The program will also highlight over 40 family-friendly and summer-themed hotel offers including incentives such as free picnics in the park, special gift bags, free breakfast, complimentary passes to top attractions and more. Participating hotels include the Affinia Manhattan, InterContinental New York Times Square, Millenium Hilton, New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge and the Sheraton New York Times Square. The offers are available through Labor Day on nycgo.com/waldo.   

The Family Ambassador campaign will be promoted through bus shelters across the five boroughs, Taxi TV and digital media targeting the City’s top regional markets like Boston, Philadelphia and Washington; domestic markets such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami; and top two international markets, the United Kingdom and Canada. Additionally, NYC & Company will be asking their more than 2,000 members, City residents and visitors to help guide Waldo throughout the City by posting interesting photos, fun facts and their favorite family-friendly destinations using the hashtag #WaldoNYC.

First published in 1987, Where's Waldo? is one of the most recognizable characters in the world and a pop-culture icon. A publishing phenomenon with 59+ million books sold, the successful series is published in more than 30 countries, has been translated into more than 38 languages and has close to 5M Likes on Facebook. Where’s Waldo? is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The NYC Family Ambassador program was created in 2009 to help position New York City as a safe, welcoming, family-friendly destination and to encourage families to visit during the summer. Where’s Waldo? is the fifth NYC Family Ambassador after The Muppets in 2012, The Smurfs in 2011, Dora the Explorer in 2010 and Sesame Street in 2009. Since the program began, family visitation to New York City has grown by 15 percent and currently comprises 29 percent of total visitation to New York City.

For more details on the Where’s Waldo? NYC Family Ambassador campaign, check nycgo.com/waldo. Follow @nycgo_press on Twitter for the latest information about New York City travel and tourism.

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 Where’s Waldo?
Created by Martin Handford and first published in 1987, Where's Waldo? is one of the most recognizable characters in the world and a pop-culture icon. A global publishing phenomenon with 59+ million books sold worldwide, the successful series is published in more than 30 countries, has been translated into more than 38languages and has sold 7.3 million Apps to date. JOIN THE SEARCH! as the ultimate world traveller embarks on A Fantastic Journey to celebrate his 25th Anniversary this year. Online, in-store, or at events–who knows where Waldo will be spotted next? Keep your eyes open.  You won’t be the only one searching. www.whereswaldo.com

About Smart Destinations:
Smart Destinations, a leader in the travel industry, lets travelers enjoy more activities in their destinations for less. With its multi-attraction passes, travelers enjoy flexible purchase options, savings of up to 55 percent off combined gate prices and the convenience of skipping the line at most popular attractions. Available online and at walk-up retail outlets, Smart Destinations passes, including Go City Cards, Go Explorer and Go Select Passes, provide admission to more than 450 attractions across nine North American destinations, including New York, Orlando, Oahu, San Diego, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Boston. For more information, visit: smartdestinations.com.  

-30-

 

Contact: NYC & Company/Kimberly Spell 212-484-1270
              NYC & Company/Emily Mayrath 212-484-1270