PR: First Offices in South Korea

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


— NYC & Company Promotes Tourism from South Korea through
Representation on the Ground in Seoul

Seoul, South Korea (July 2, 2007)—NYC & Company—the marketing and tourism organization for the City of New York—today announced its first office opening in the capital city of Seoul, South Korea. The high volume of South Korean business travel to New York City coupled with residents' increased interest in leisure tourism opportunities makes the region among the most important in the campaign to achieve New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's goal of welcoming 50 million visitors annually by 2015.

"This is an important moment for our travel and tourism industry," said NYC & Company Chief Executive Officer George Fertitta. "As cultural and economic centers, New York City and Seoul have many common interests. And whether South Korean visitors travel for work or to visit friends and family, they will find New York City to be a thriving, dynamic destination with exciting things to do throughout the five boroughs."

The new office also marks the first time NYC & Company has established a presence in South Korea, 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. In late June, locations also opened in Tokyo, Japan, and Shanghai, China.

The Seoul office opening was announced at a press conference today in the Grand Hyatt Seoul. NYC & Company Vice President of Communications Kimberly Spell and Vice President of Tourism Development Fred Dixon were joined at the event by Michael Merner, Managing Director of the Korean office.

The offices are located at 58-7 Seosomun-dong, Joong-gu Seoul.

As the South Korean economy has steadily matured over the past two decades and with travel restrictions no longer a barrier, outbound travel from the country has grown tremendously. New York City is the number one destination for visitors from South Korea, and in recent years the visitor numbers have jumped sharply—from 81,000 in 2002 to 228,000 visitors in 2005. Reports call for the growth to continue, with an estimated 251,000 visitors forecast for 2007. It currently represents New York's eighth-largest overseas market.

Business is the top reason for South Korean residents to travel to New York City, followed closely by trips to see friends and family. And with increasing numbers of South Korean students looking to further their schooling in the United States, New York City continues to stand apart for its breadth of options. Among other educational draws, the city is home to Columbia and New York Universities as well as premiere art schools such as the Pratt Institute and Parsons the New School for Design.

"There is no better time for South Korean travelers to visit New York City," said Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels and chairman of the NYC & Company board. "It continues to be a dynamic and multicultural destination that offers visitors exciting things to do from designer shopping and dining out to sightseeing at landmark attractions like the Statue of Liberty and Times Square."

New York City in fact offers some of the top designer shopping experiences worldwide, from luxury boutiques on the streets of SoHo to flagship stores such as Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Popular sightseeing attractions also include the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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.

# # #

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.