Statement of George Fertitta, CEO, NYC & Company in Response to President Obama’s Tourism Speech

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STATEMENT OF GEORGE FERTITTA, CEO, NYC & COMPANY IN RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA’S TOURISM SPEECH JANUARY 19, 2012

NYC & Company is pleased with President Obama’s emphasis on increasing tourism to the United States. As the official tourism and marketing agency for New York City, NYC & Company believes that increasing the number of visitors to the United States will be a huge boost to the city and national economies, providing new jobs and stimulating spending. We have long advocated for visa reform measures to increase the number of international tourists to New York City, and are pleased that President Obama has joined in this effort.  We applaud President Obama’s push to accelerate the ability to process and expand the number of visas in growing markets such as China, India, and Brazil, as well as his call to expand the Global Entry Program. We believe visa reform measures have the ability to create over one million new jobs nation-wide and generate billions more in revenue, and applaud the President’s call to accelerate and expand visa issuing and processing in emerging global markets to achieve these goals. As the nation’s number one city tourist destination with more than 50 million visitors in 2011, these gains will especially benefit New York City. We hope to work with the Obama Administration and elected officials in continuing to make travel to our great city easier and more attractive to foreign tourists as we look to push beyond the 50 million tourist mark and create more jobs in the coming year.