—Tourism Legislation Could Allot Up to $100 Million to Promote Travel to the U.S. and Generate 40,000 Jobs Nationwide—

—As Nation’s Leading Tourism Destination and Top Port of Entry, NYC Expects Direct Boost to Local Economy and Job Market—

New York City (February 26, 2010)— NYC & Company—New York City’s tourism, marketing and partnership organization—today applauded the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Travel Promotion Act (TPA), which now awaits enactment by President Obama. The bill, S. 1023, calls for the creation of a non-profit corporation to establish the nation’s first-ever national promotional program to attract visitors to the United States. Early projections expect the program to generate $4 billion in economic growth and 40,000 new jobs nationwide. NYC & Company officials expect the Travel Promotion Act to have a significant impact on New York City, which led the country with more than 45 million visitors in 2009 and remains the number one port of entry for overseas visitors.

“Much credit should be given to Congress for passing this incredibly important legislation,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. “The Travel Promotion Act will be a tremendous revenue and job creator, not only for New York City, but the country as a whole. For too long the U.S. has lacked a unified voice for promoting itself around the world to potential visitors, however the TPA marks a new direction and recognizes the importance the travel and tourism industry plays in our economy.”

In January, NYC & Company projected a 3.2 percent increase in visitation for 2010 and announced that New York City remained on track to achieve its goal to attract 50 million visitors annually by 2012. In addition, New York City was the most popular U.S. destination for international visitors in 2009 with 8.6 million tourists—twice as many as the nearest competitor, Los Angeles. These totals are expected to increase with the support of a national marketing program that will target international visitors—visitors who typically spend five times more than their domestic counterparts.

“Every dollar of direct tourist spending translates into $1.50 of economic activity in New York,” said Fertitta. “Encouraging more visitors to come to our great City will pump more money into our economy—helping businesses grow and people stay employed.”

The TPA will be funded—at not cost to the American taxpayer—by a $10 fee paid by overseas visitors along with matching funds from the private sector. Federal funding could reach $100 million and the Congressional Budget Office reported that the bill would reduce the deficit by $425 million and increase revenues by $135 million over the next ten years.

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 promoting the positive image of New York City worldwide.

For more press inquiries please contact Kimberly Spell at 212.484.1270.