NYC & COMPANY TESTIFIED ON THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF TOURISM ON LOWER MANHATTAN

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NYC & COMPANY TESTIFIED ON THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF TOURISM ON LOWER MANHATTAN

—NYC & Company Outlined How the Tourism Industry Prepared for the Expected Rise in Visitation to the Neighborhood—

—International Visitors Spent Nearly $1 Billion Downtown in 2011—

New York City (September 28, 2012)—Today, George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, testified before the Committee on Lower Manhattan Redevelopment on the successful preparation for the expected rise of visitors to Lower Manhattan during the past year. Mr. Fertitta outlined for committee members the extensive groundwork laid by a collaboration of private and public sectors to prepare for the influx of visitors and announced that international visitors spent nearly $1 billion downtown in 2011. Mr. Fertitta was joined at the hearing by tourism industry partners Travis Noyes, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at New York Water Taxi and Circle Line Downtown; Jan Larsen, General Manager of Millenium Hilton; Annaline Dinkelmann, Owner and President of Wall Street Walks and original member of the Downtown Culture Pass; and Julie Bose, Executive Director of The New York City Police Museum, emphasizing the importance that was placed on maintaining a balance between visitors and residents.  

“Everyone knew the world’s eyes would be focused on Lower Manhattan when the 9/11 Memorial opened last year, and the City was accurate in predicting an influx of millions of additional tourists to the downtown area,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. “Our main focus leading up to the opening was how we could work with the private sector and the City to ensure the tourism industry did its part in protecting the quality of life for residents while showcasing the rebirth and revitalization of Lower Manhattan to the world.”

For several months leading up to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, NYC & Company engaged with numerous agencies, the Downtown Alliance, elected officials, tour operators, travel agents, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Cultural Affairs and the 9/11 Memorial to prepare for the expected rise in visitation to the neighborhood and to connect them with downtown hotels, businesses and cultural organizations. The institutions included: Bridgewaters, The World Financial Center and Winter Garden, Museum of American Finance, Cipriani Wall Street, the National Museum of the American Indian, Patriot Tours, Hornblower Cruises, Governors Island, South Street Seaport, the W New York –Downtown, Andaz Wall Street, World Center Hotel and DoubleTree by Hilton New York City – Financial District.

The culmination of these meetings was the creation of Get More NYC: Lower Manhattan, a global communications and marketing campaign to show much there is to see and do in Lower Manhattan beyond the Memorial.

In addition, as part of the planning process, the NYC & Company tourism development teams engaged in numerous conversations with the Department of Transportation and bus operator organizations, such as the National Tour Association and the American Bus Association, to get feedback on the City’s congestion plan. Significant efforts were made to address the anticipated rise in demand of tour busses to Lower Manhattan. NYC & Company worked to secure New York Water Taxi as an official transportation provider for the 9/11 Memorial, encouraging visitors to use public transportation such as the ferries to access Lower Manhattan. It is estimated that the New York Water Taxi program alone prevented more than 2,000 charted bus trips to the neighborhood. 

“NYC & Company fully anticipated the increase of visitor traffic to Lower Manhattan and was ahead of the game in planning and preparing for the influx,” said Travis Noyes, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at New York Water Taxi and Circle Line Downtown. “They provided New York Water Taxi and several other Lower Manhattan businesses the opportunity to speak with meeting planners, tour operators, large associations and the City in order to fully collaborate and prepare for the increase of visitors to the neighborhood. With the help of NYC & Company, we carried over 100,000 passengers to the 9/11 Memorial by boat over the past year.”

“For more than a year, NYC & Company has worked with Lower Manhattan hotels, including the Millenium, to promote downtown Manhattan as a unique destination for domestic and international visitors,” said Jan Larsen, General Manager of Millenium Hilton. “The hotel packages created as a part of NYC & Company’s Get More NYC: Lower Manhattan campaign encouraged extended and weekend stays and, to date, 680 packages have sold, totaling 1,400 additional room-nights. We are thankful to NYC & Company for their continued collaboration and support of the entire Lower Manhattan community.”

“The cultural attractions across Lower Manhattan appreciate the support of NYC & Company to promote and drive visitors to their institutions and exhibits,” said Linda Rapacki, Founder of the Downtown Culture Pass. “Through their promotion of the Downtown Culture Pass and their continuous efforts to encourage visitors to explore all of Lower Manhattan, we have been able to showcase our offerings to a global audience.”

NYC & Company and the Downtown Alliance have been collecting data to track visitor numbers and spending in Lower Manhattan. It is estimated that international visitors from more than 160 countries spent nearly $1 billion over the past year in the neighborhood. The initial results confirm Downtown Alliance’s projection of a record 9.8 million visitors in 2011.

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. For more information, visit nycgo.com.

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Contact: NYC & Company/ Kimberly Spell 212-484-1270
              NYC & Company/ Emily Mayrath 212-484-1270