PR: ITB 2007

Contact: Kimberly Spell, NYC & Company, 212-484-1270,
Chris Heywood, NYC & Company, 212-484-5458,


—Unprecedented Financial, Creative Resources Elevate Campaign
To New Level for Travel and Tourism Industry—

Berlin, Germany (March 7, 2007) — NYC & Company, New York City’s tourism, marketing and events organization, today announced a slate of international office openings, the latest in an ambitious campaign to build a global network—and in the process remake the face of New York City’s travel and tourism industry.

With the new offices, NYC & Company has more than doubled its international presence in the last year. Recent additions include outposts in Spain, Russia, Scandinavia and Amsterdam, which serves the Benelux countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. NYC & Company now operates 11 international offices in 19 countries.

The expansion is just one facet of the organization’s dramatic transformation since mid-2006. Following the June merger with NYC Marketing and NYC Big Events, NYC & Company emerged with a new strategy aimed at achieving the City’s goal of attracting 50 million visitors to New York City annually by 2015. To that end, the new NYC & Company is also operating with an additional $15 million in annual funding from the City and more than $60 million in media and promotional assets—an unprecedented store of resources directed toward municipal promotion.

“Travel and tourism is a critical industry for our City – one that supports an estimated 330,000 jobs and generates more than $24 billion in spending – which is why we have redoubled our efforts to promote and market the City to prospective tourists in every corner of the globe,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said. “In 2006, we project that a record 44 million tourists visited New York, and we are ahead of schedule towards reaching our goal of attracting 50 million tourists to the City by 2015.”

News of the international offices came during a press conference at ITB, the leading trade fair for the global tourism industry. Held each year in Berlin, Germany, the five-day event draws roughly 10,900 exhibitors from 180 countries and almost 163,000 total visitors, including nearly 84,000 trade professionals. NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion and Vice President of Tourism Development Fred Dixon were all on hand to represent the city and answer questions about the future of New York City tourism.

Fertitta, who has been at the helm since last June, outlined NYC & Company’s new approach, which comes at a time when travel and tourism in New York City have reached an all-time high. The number of visitors to the City has been steadily increasing since 2002, and an estimated 44 million in 2006 – a record.

“We are capitalizing on our strong economy, the value of the dollar versus foreign currencies, historic lows in the City’s crime rate, the vibrancy of our cultural attractions and many other factors,” Fertitta said. “Our job is to think well into the future, and with Mayor Bloomberg’s investment it provides us with the financial wherewithal to achieve goals that—before now—were never even contemplated.”

The goals include drawing up an innovative marketing campaign that reaches more people worldwide and attracts more major events to the city. It is supported by more than $60 million in media assets, including New York City bus shelters, phone kiosks, street banners and television and radio. These also will be traded for in-kind media in international markets, the result of an historic street furniture contract signed with Cemusa. NYC & Company has already begun placing billboards in European countries including England, Italy and Spain.

In addition, NYC & Company directs the licensing program for the City—enabling it to sell official New York City apparel among other things—and plans to enhance its online presence with a redesigned state-of-the-art Web site.

With so many outlets, the message itself is being carried well beyond the scope of any traditional marketing initiative.

“What has been particularly illuminating is just how much of a difference can be made when you take the New York City message on the road,” said Dixon, who has attended all the overseas office launches. “The City is such a diverse microcosm of cultures, neighborhoods and experiences, and sharing our story first hand with potential visitors will have a positive impact for years to come.”

The multifaceted campaign both reinforces the City’s accessibility to visitors—including its affordability and safety—and teases out the breadth and diversity of the New York City experience.

The point was emphasized by Carrion, who held up the expansion of the Bronx Museum of the Arts and plans to build the new Yankee Stadium as examples of both the existing attractions and the dynamic changes taking place throughout the five boroughs.

“As New York goes through a renaissance perhaps unseen in its history, it’s important that we showcase all the city has to offer, from Manhattan and Brooklyn to the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island,” Carrion said. “And speaking for our borough, we’re proud to be an integral part of the authentic New York City experience.”

Some early results of the new NYC & Company’s work are already evident. NYC Big Events—originally founded in 2002 to attract high-profile events and create new ones for the City—was instrumental in bringing the Latin Grammys to the city for the first time last year. This year, the City announced the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be held at Yankee Stadium. On the marketing side, the organization has rolled out its NYC Open/Book campaign, a consumer and trade initiative tailored to individual international markets and designed to draw visitors to the city during traditionally slow travel periods.

“We New Yorkers are passionate about our city—and with good reason. It is vibrant, culturally diverse and has the potential to be the most powerful brand in the world,” Fertitta said. “What we have here is just the beginning. And as we move ahead, we will watch carefully to make sure not a penny is wasted, and that our energies and talents are all leveraged toward making sure the rest of the country and the world experiences that passion as well.”

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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.