New York City’s Marketing and Tourism Chief Joins Metropolitan Museum President to Highlight Italian Market Outreach Strategy for 2008

Milan, ITALY (February 18, 2008) NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta and Metropolitan Museum of Art President Emily Rafferty were in Milan to announce a joint promotional outreach to potential Italian visitors. At the press conference, held at Four Seasons Milan, both organizations previewed several programs and initiatives designed to attract Italians to New York City and the Met.

“With so many common interests—from fashion, to culture, to food, to film and art—Italy and New York have a very authentic connection,” said Fertitta. “This connection becomes even more apparent following our record-breaking Italian visitation numbers this past year. It is clear that Italians want to come to the City and, in turn, we are more than happy to welcome them.”

Early forecasts predict approximately 425,000 Italian travelers came to New York City in 2007—almost a 34% increase from 2006. NYC & Company research shows that shopping, dining and cultural attractions are the top three most popular activities for the Italian visitors.

“We are gratified that so many of the Italian visitors to New York City cross the threshold of the Metropolitan Museum—around 70,000 last year alone—to explore the artistic treasures within our walls, dating across 5,000 years of culture from around the globe,” said Rafferty, “We welcome our Italian friends and colleagues all year around with special amenities, from Italian-speaking staff and tour guides, to extensive printed materials and recorded tours. Visitors can easily spend a whole day or more at the Met, enjoying the art in the galleries and taking part in our vast array of complementary programs, as well as our superb dining areas and our shops.”

The press conference was highlighted by the announcement of NYC & Company’s expansion of the global communications campaign “This is New York City” into the Italian marketplace. Beginning in February, the new campaign television spot will begin airing nationally across Italy. Additionally, outdoor advertising will appear in various cities; including, Milan, Genoa, Parma and Bologna. This $30 million campaign was designed to show the friendly-nature, diverse cultural surroundings and navigational ease of the City.

“Obviously, Italy is one of our most successful and fastest growing markets,” said Fertitta. “We felt it was imperative to expand our mission into Italy through our brand campaign and local advertising, and I expect to see even more growth as a result of these efforts.”

Additionally, the Met previewed some of its upcoming exhibitions and newest galleries, including the New Galleries for 19th and early 20th Century European Paintings and Sculpture, Giorgio Morandi, 1890-1964, and Jeff Koons on the Roof, as well as the offerings of its world-renowned Costume Institute.

For more information on New York City and the This is New York City campaign, please go to

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.


Kimberly Spell
NYC & Company
tel 212 484 1270

Elyse Topalian
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
tel 212 570 3951