PR: First Offices in Japan

Contacts: Chris Heywood, NYC & Company, 212/484-5458,
Tiffany Townsend, NYC & Company, 212/484-5404,


—NYC & Company promotes tourism from Japan through
representation on the ground in Tokyo—

Tokyo, Japan (June 26, 2007)—Building on the strong economic and cultural connections between New York City and Japan, NYC & Company—the marketing and tourism organization for the City of New York—today announced its first office opening in the capital city of Tokyo. Given Japanese residents' increased interest in traveling abroad, and the importance in particular of the long-standing relationship between the sister cities, fostering tourism from the region will be critical to achieving New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's goal of welcoming 50 million visitors annually by 2015.

"It's a privilege to represent New York City today and to mark this important moment for our travel and tourism industry," said NYC & Company chief executive officer George Fertitta. "As financial and cultural centers, New York City and Tokyo have long been global partners with many common interests. And as New York City continues in this period of unprecedented growth, now is the time for visitors to come and see for themselves why the five boroughs remain such a dynamic and multicultural destination."

The new office also marks the first time NYC & Company has established a presence in Japan, and is the next step in the organization's plan to build a global network and boost international travel to New York City. The organization now has representative offices serving 19 countries. The formal launches of new locations in Shanghai, China, and Seoul, South Korea, will take place in the coming days.

The Tokyo office opening was announced today at a press conference at the Roppongi Hills Club. Fertitta was joined at the event by Kayoko Inoue, Managing Director of the Japan Office. It was preceded by meetings with key industry partners, including representatives from the US Embassy and the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA).

The Tokyo office is located at 6-2-31 Roppongi, Minato-ku in the Roppongi Hills North Tower.

For some time Japanese travelers have been considered among the most sophisticated in the world, with interests that run from dining and shopping to sightseeing, sports and cultural pursuits. Tourism from Japan to international destinations in general has been booming for years—and with all that overseas travel experience comes the confidence and curiosity to seek out new and different experiences.

Japanese travel to New York City, meanwhile, shows particular signs of growth. The country represents the third-largest overseas market for New York City, and though recent years have been marked by incremental gains and losses in the total amount of Japanese visitors, forecasts call for the number to rise in 2007 to 294,000.

"There is no better time for travelers from Japan to visit New York City," said Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman and chief executive officer of Loews Hotels and chairman of the NYC & Company board. "As always, visitors will enjoy taking the time to walk through Times Square and to see landmark attractions like the Empire State Building. But as New York goes through a renaissance perhaps unseen in its history, visitors will also find there is much to discover throughout the five boroughs."

In the Bronx, for example, plans are under way to build a new Yankee Stadium. The existing stadium, meanwhile, has been selected to play host to the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Brooklyn was recently named one of the world's top travel destinations, a nod to the growing art and restaurant scenes in areas like Williamsburg, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. Among the cultural highlights are the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

The diverse neighborhoods of Queens continue to thrive, with specialty restaurants serving up authentic food from around the world. The Noguchi Museum, dedicated to the life and work of the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, also recently reopened after extensive renovation. Staten Island, meanwhile, offers much in the way of history and natural beauty. Among the more moving experiences is a trip to the Staten Island September 11 Memorial, located on the promenade adjacent to the ferry terminal. Further in, LaTourette Park offers hiking trails, a golf course and more.

Among the latest cultural developments in Manhattan are the new Greek and Roman Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The newly opened New Museum—the city's only museum devoted exclusively to contemporary art—is already getting noticed for its cutting-edge architectural design and is slated to open on the Bowery in the fall.

In addition to the three new offices in Asian markets, NYC & Company this year has added representative offices in Spain, Russia, Amsterdam—serving the Benelux countries of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands—and Stockholm, serving Finland and the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Other locations are in Argentina, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

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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.