FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG, FORMER MAYORS EDWARD I. KOCH AND DAVID N. DINKINS AND NYC & COMPANY TO WELCOME POLITICAL ACTIVISTS TO CITY WITH PROMOTION DESIGNED TO BOOST VISITOR SPENDING DURING THE 2004 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, NYC & Company Chairman Jonathan Tisch and President Cristyne Nicholas today announced a new visitor program created to welcome political activists and protesters during the 2004 Republican National Convention. Visitors to New York City planning to participate in permitted gatherings will be able to enjoy savings at participating NYC & Company member hotels, restaurants, retailers, cultural organizations, tours and attractions available online at www.nycvisit.com, the official visitor information website. The "Peaceful Political Activists" visitor program is the first of its kind for a national political convention, and visitors can take advantage of these special offers by wearing a button that will be distributed through NYC's Official Visitor Information Center and the organizations hosting these gatherings. Former Mayors Edward I. Koch and David N. Dinkins, and O'Neal's Café and Boat Basin Café owner Michael O'Neal joined the Mayor for the announcement at NYC & Company's offices in midtown Manhattan.
"Later this month, thousands of our fellow Americans will be coming to New York City to exercise their lawful right to protest during the Convention," said Mayor Bloomberg. "That's why we're launching this new visitor program and inviting visitors from across the country to enjoy savings in all five boroughs. We want the many thousands of protestors to feel welcome and take advantage of all New York City has to offer. Tourism is a nearly $24 billion industry that supports more than a quarter-million jobs in our City, and when the estimated million out-of-towners go back home after the Convention, we want them to tell all their friends and family everywhere in the nation about everything there is to see and do in New York."
NYC & Company created a special section on the City's official visitor information website, www.nycvisit.com, that features all the special offers, tax-free week shopping, Summer Restaurant Week participants, a schedule and locations of permitted gatherings, suggested itineraries and tour guides for the politically minded visitor and a brief historical background of political events that helped shape New York City's history. In addition, visitors can take advantage of Summer Tax Free Week, which is Tuesday, August 31st to Monday, September 6th. Purchases of clothing and footwear costing less than $110 are exempt from New York's 8.625% sales tax during this period.
"New York City is full of opinions and we welcome all political advocates and those wishing to peacefully demonstrate to make sure their message is heard," said Mayor Koch. "We can all agree there is no better place to visit than New York, and I invite all visitors to enjoy the restaurants, shops, hotels and attractions that make the Big Apple the greatest city in the world."
"For more than 200 years, people have come to New York bringing their own ideas and opinions which have changed the world and shaped history," said Mayor Dinkins. "We are looking forward to welcoming all peaceful visitors to our great city and encourage them to visit some of the great historic sites that played such an important part in our country's history."
"Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative - all are welcome to New York City," said NYC & Company Chairman Jonathan Tisch. "The protestor welcome program is an innovative way to drive additional visitor spending that supports jobs and generates tax revenue that benefit all New Yorkers."
"There is no greater city to have your message heard, or to hold your convention," said NYC & Company President Cristyne Nicholas. "Whether you are a delegate for the upcoming Republican National Convention, a family taking that long anticipated vacation, or a peaceful protester hoping to have your message heard, New York City is the place to be this August."
"We in New York have always welcomed various groups of people to freely express opinions on any matter at any time," said O'Neal's Café and Boat Basin Café owner Michael O'Neal. "Whether you come to protest or just to be seen as a statement, please bring your credit cards as well as your placards."
Visitors will find information about the protestor visitor program at NYC's Official Visitor Information Center located at 810 Seventh Avenue at 53rd Street and visitor information kiosks located at the southern tip of City Hall Park at Broadway and Park Row and on 125th Street at Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard.
Ed Skyler/Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Lisa Mortman/Arleen Kropf/Amy Solomonson (212) 484-1270
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