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NEW YORK CITY AND SÃO PAULO CREATE PARTNERSHIP TO CROSS-PROMOTE TOURISM

 

—American Airlines Offers Special Airfare of $1,099* Between the Two Cities to Encourage Travel—

—Brazil Ranks as One of NYC’s Fastest-Growing Markets for Inbound Travel—

São Paulo (March 29, 2011)—NYC & Company, New York City’s marketing, tourism and partnership organization, and São Paulo Turismo, São Paulo’s tourism board, today announced a partnership to boost travel between the two cities in 2011. As part of this first-ever initiative, both destinations will exchange best practices as well as marketing, online, social media and communications assets in an effort to cross-promote visitation to their respective markets. In conjunction with this partnership, American Airlines unveiled a limited-time reciprocal airfare of $1,099* valid for round-trip travel between São Paulo and the three primary New York City airports (JFK, LGA, EWR). Reservations must be made and tickets must be purchased by April 8, 2011. Travel is valid through September 30, 2011, with embargoes from July 9, 2011, to August 6, 2011. In 2010, New York City attracted an estimated 423,000 visitors from Brazil—a new record—ranking it as the City’s sixth-largest inbound overseas market. NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta, São Paulo Turismo President Caio Carvalho and American Airlines’ Director of Sales and Marketing in Brazil, Dilson Vercosa Jr., made the announcement at Hotel Emiliano in São Paulo.

“New York City and São Paulo are the commercial, industrial and financial capitals for their respective countries,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “In working together, it is our hope to create more business and drive more travelers to each other’s markets, in turn, directly supporting jobs in the tourism industry. The economic impact of visitation to New York City last year alone reached an estimated $46.5 billion, which supported employment for 320,000 New Yorkers.”

“Brazilians seek dynamic and bustling destinations much like their own when it comes to travel,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. “Brazil is currently the largest South American market for inbound travel to New York City, sending more than twice as many visitors as Argentina, the second-largest market. Paulistanos in particular seem driven to our vibrant culture, comparable to their own; our City’s style, restaurants, big events and cultural institutions complement São Paulo’s unique infrastructure."

Today’s partnership comes on the heels of President Obama’s first visit to Brazil last week. The announcement also comes one day after Fertitta’s remarks at Forum Panrotas Tourism Trends 2011—in front of more than 2,000 leaders and professionals across the tourism and economic sectors—and one week after NYC & Company’s first sales mission in Brazil since opening an office in São Paulo in October 2007. This is the second international press conference for Fertitta since his appointment by the Obama Administration to serve as Vice Chair of Marketing on the Corporation for Travel Promotion, a public-private organization dedicated to promoting increased international travel to the United States.

As part of this collaborative effort, both destinations will exchange best practices, as well as a variety of communications, social media, online, marketing and other assets, to cross-promote visitation to their respective markets in key need periods. Starting today and running through April 8, 2011, geo-targeted pop-up messages about the special American Airlines airfare will appear on the websites of NYC & Company, nycgo.com, and São Paulo Turismo, cidadedesaopaulo.com. Both tourism sites will also feature information on each other’s city, as well as suggested itineraries on what to see and do.

“São Paulo is a cultural center and economic hub for South America, last year welcoming approximately 11.7 million visitors—1.7 million of them being international,” said São Paulo Turismo President Caio Carvalho. “Today the city connects to 50 destinations around the world and receives 65% of all international flights arriving to Brazil. São Paulo showcases the best of its country with its large events, various trade fairs and consumer markets. It is a unique city that continues to reinvent itself and strives for excellence in tourism hospitality.”

“This special fare between São Paulo and New York City should help increase tourism to and from Brazil and New York City,” said Dilson Vercosa, Jr., American’s Director of Sales and Marketing in Brazil. “We offer service to the US from six cities in Brazil and operate more than 60 weekly flights and are committed to continue to develop the market as we have done for more than 20 years.”

From Brazil, American offers nonstop service to New York-JFK from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro as well as connecting service from Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Recife and Salvador.

Brazil is one of New York City’s fastest-growing inbound overseas markets, ranking sixth overall. An estimated 423,000 Brazilian residents traveled to New York City in 2010—a new record. The top-ranked activities for travelers include shopping, dining and cultural tourism. New York City welcomed a record-breaking 48.7 million visitors, who contributed $31 billion in direct spending. Tourism is the fifth-largest industry in New York City supporting nearly 320,000 jobs across the City’s five boroughs. The City remains on track to meet the Mayor’s goal of attracting 50 million visitors annually by 2012.

The US is the number-one market for Brazilian travel overseas; an estimated 1,197,000 Brazilians visited the US in 2010—34% more than in 2009. Conversely, approximately 667,000 Americans traveled to Brazil in 2009, making it the number-one destination for American travelers visiting South America.

The Corporation for Travel Promotion and the US Travel Association have urged the White House to consider Brazil for the Visa Waiver Program. On March 19, President Barack Obama traveled to Brazil to meet with President Dilma Rousseff and announce an open skies agreement between the two countries, aimed at boosting air traffic, a trade and cooperation agreement, and progressive dialogue on modifying visa rules for travelers between the US and Brazil.

The Visa Waiver Program currently allows for business and leisure travelers from 36 participating countries to visit the US for up to 90 days without obtaining a non-immigrant visitor visa. It is expected that adding Brazil to the program would double visitation between the two markets.

NYC & Company has created international city-to-city partnerships with London and Madrid as well as domestic partnerships with Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles to promote travel.

*Fare shown does not include (a) $9 per round trip in local airport charges; (b) September 11th Security Fee of $2.50 per enplanement originating at a U.S. airport; and (c) other U.S. and foreign government imposed taxes and fees of approximately $70 per round trip.

Fare shown is for round-trip Economy class travel between São Paulo and New York City purchased on AA.com. Fare shown is also valid for round-trip Economy class travel between Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Recife or Salvador and New York City purchased on AA.com. This special fare is on sale for a limited time—from March 29, 2011 through April 8, 2011. The travel period runs through September 30, 2011. Tickets must be purchased prior to departure or within 1 day of making reservations, whichever comes first, but no later than 11:59 p.m. (CT) April 8, 2011. The fare is nonrefundable and requires a Saturday-night stay.

Seats are limited and fare may not be available on all flights. Fares and schedules are subject to change without notice. International fares are subject to government approval. See AA.com for complete details and conditions.

For high-resolution images from today’s event please visit nycgo.com/pressphotos and click on Today’s News; This is São Paulo.

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.

São Paulo Turismo S/A (SPTuris) is the city body responsible for promoting tourism and events in São Paulo; it is directed by Caio Luiz de Carvalho, president of São Paulo Turismo, who has worked more than 25 years in the tourism industry. Caio was inister of Sports and Tourism and the president of Embratur for more than ten years. This mixed-economy company also manages the Anhembi Park and the Interlagos Circuit. For more information on São Paulo tourism, visit spturis.com and cidadedesaopaulo.com.

American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection® serve 250 cities in 50 countries with, on average, more than 3,600 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning website, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines fares are also available through Kayak.com and Priceline.com, as well as thousands of travel agencies worldwide. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve approximately 900 destinations with more than 9,000 daily flights to 145 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR)

For more press inquiries please contact Tiffany Townsend/Chris Heywood at 212.484.1270 or ttownsend@nycgo.com / cheywood@nycgo.com.