NYC & COMPANY’S FIVE BOROUGH TOURISM READY INITIATIVE BEGINS TODAY IN THE BRONX

—NYC & Company Leads More than 60 Businesses and Attractions to Boost Visitor Spending and Job Creation—

New York City (March 30, 2015) — NYC & Company today launched its latest tourism initiative at The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, empowering borough businesses and attractions to collaborate in order to more effectively harness the power of tour operators and boost local economic activity.

Tourism Ready, NYC & Company’s newest initiative, is inspired in part by former Borough President Marty Markowitz’s success in branding and increasing tourism to Brooklyn during his 12-year borough presidency. Now, as NYC & Company’s VP of Borough Engagement and Promotion, Markowitz is working with the destination marketing nonprofit organization to strengthen tourism to all boroughs.

“The Bronx has so much potential—you can see it in the food and culture it has to offer visitors, along with the dedication and creativity of its leaders,” said Markowitz. “Its potential is beginning to be realized, and I can’t wait to see the results of Bronx businesses and attractions’ collaboration.”

“Tourism is up 14 percent in the borough, and this year we will push that number even higher,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “With NYC & Company’s newest initiative, Tourism Ready, we expect the Bronx to see even more attention from tourists and visitors from across the region and around the world. Thanks to cross promotion resulting from this initiative, many local businesses will benefit from visitor spending and, at the same time, contribute to the creation of new jobs. The Bronx is the place to be, and we will continue to work with NYC & Company, The Bronx Tourism Council and others to show the world all this borough has to offer.”

For the next year, Tourism Ready will bring the expertise of NYC & Company to borough businesses and attractions. Under the guidance of Jen Ackerson, a destination marketing expert and NYC & Company consultant, those businesses will be guided through a collaborative process that enables cross promotion, packaging of goods and services, and engagement with the tourism trade to increase visitation and visitor spending locally.

“This initiative has the potential to set the Bronx on a path toward strength through tourism,” said Ackerson. “Its success hinges on the dedication and collaboration of borough restaurants, hotels, museums and other businesses with a stake in borough tourism.”

Tourism Ready builds on NYC & Company’s longtime commitment to bringing the benefits of tourism to the Bronx. The borough is featured at nycgo.com/bronx and is soon to be spotlighted in the international campaign NYCGO Insider Guides. In 2014 City Island and Pelham Bay Park were promoted around the world as must-visit neighborhoods as part of NYC & Company’s Neighborhood x Neighborhood program. NYC & Company leads international media on tours of various Bronx neighborhoods as well, increasing coverage of the borough in articles read by visitors who then include a trip to the borough in their New York City itinerary.

Tourism Ready is expected to continue the growth in the benefits related to tourism that the Bronx has already experienced. According to NYC & Company research, visitation to the Bronx increased by 14 percent between 2012 and 2013. Spending by visitors increased by 8 percent, and jobs related to tourism in the Bronx increased by nearly 6 percent.

About NYC & Company
NYC & Company is New York City’s official destination marketing nonprofit organization, 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.

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Contact: NYC & Company / Chris Heywood 212-484-1270
           NYC & Company / Dena Libner 212-484-1270