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PR- 171-05
May 3, 2005


America’s Largest Travel Trade Show Expected to Generate Nearly 800,000 Additional International Visitors and $2.1 Billion in Economic Activity for New York City Through 2008

US Department of Commerce Honors NYC & Company for International Tourism Efforts

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Charles A. Gargano, Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) President & CEO Roger J. Dow, NYC & Company Chairman Jonathan M. Tisch and President & CEO Cristyne L. Nicholas, and Senior Managing Director for Tishman Speyer Properties Rob Speyer welcomed for the first time in a decade the arrival of TIA's 37th Annual International Pow Wow to New York City.  International Pow Wow is America's largest travel trade show and will take place from May 3rd through May 7th in New York City.  NYC & Company estimates that this trade show will lead to an additional 782,000 international visitors and generate an added $2.1 billion in economic activity over the next three years, bringing the City's total international visitor volume to 7.3 million in 2008.  Surrounded by hospitality workers and New Yorkers volunteering for Pow Wow, the Mayor made the announcement at the world-famous Rockefeller Center, home of the City's next great tourist attraction, the Top of the Rock.  The observation deck will open in Fall of 2005 and will offer visitors an unparalleled 360-degree view of New York City.  The Mayor also accepted the U.S. Department of Commerce's prestigious Export Achievement Award on behalf of NYC & Company in recognition of their outstanding contribution to international tourism promotion.  

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, it is my pleasure to welcome International Pow Wow to our City," said Mayor Bloomberg. "As the safest large City in the nation and the number one U.S. destination for international travelers, New York continues to attract a record number of visitors from around the globe.  Our tourism industry generates $24 billion a year in business activity and supports more than 300,000 jobs.  Last year alone, New York City welcomed almost 40 million visitors including 5.3 million international visitors.  There is no better time to discover everything New York City has to offer including our wide array of museums, Broadway shows, renowned restaurants, sporting events, legendary attractions and nightlife."

Attendees of International Pow Wow include 1,500 leading wholesale tour operators and travel buyers who will purchase bulk quantities of tours, tickets, hotel rooms and more as well as 500 international and domestic travel journalists who will write stories about New York City for a global audience of 170 million potential visitors.  More than 3,300 U.S. travel industry executives from destinations throughout the United States will also attend, boosting total hotel room nights booked to 20,250 over the five-day meeting. 

The overseas market is a vital part of New York City's travel and tourism industry; while the international market made up just 13% of the total visitor number in 2004, it accounts for more than 45% of spending.  According to a survey of the international travel buyers attending International Pow Wow, 71% plan to book more business into New York City than in the previous year.

"Hosting tourism professionals from around the world at this year's International Pow Wow is a great opportunity for New York State," said Charles A. Gargano, Chairman of Empire State Development, which administers the I LOVE NEW YORK program. "Through Governor Pataki's commitment to the state's tourism industry, more and more international visitors are discovering the wide variety of attractions and activities the Empire State offers, from New York City to Niagara Falls, from the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes, from Long Island to the Thousand Islands, and more."

"International visitors play an important role in the economic well being of our city and state.  Pow Wow is a unique opportunity to boost continued growth in the overseas market for years to come," said NYC & Company Chairman Jonathan Tisch. "As the host city for International Pow Wow, New York can expect to welcome an additional 1 million visitors - and billions of dollars in economic activity - over the next three years alone."

"New York City is honored to have the opportunity to showcase our world-class city to the key travel decision makers whose audience stays longer, spends more and is three-times more likely to include borough destinations outside of Manhattan on their itinerary," said NYC & Company President & CEO Cristyne Nicholas.  "New York City's bid to host this important meeting is a part of our long term recovery strategy after September 11th to rebuild the crucial overseas visitor market.  By showcasing the tremendous investment in the city's tourism infrastructure, as well as the variety of new tourism products, we are laying the foundation for an even stronger and more vibrant tourism industry in years to come."

"We are proud to announce the reopening of the renovated observation deck, Top of the Rock," said Rob Speyer, Senior Managing Director of Tishman Speyer Properties, co-owners of Rockefeller Center.  "This historic observation deck represents the pinnacle of John D. Rockefeller's original dream to offer New Yorkers a place of beauty in which to admire and celebrate this great city.  In our efforts to redesign Top of the Rock, we were determined to strike a balance between restoration and innovation.  We believe we have succeeded, and hope that New Yorkers and visitors from all around the world enjoy this unique and inspiring destination for many years to come." 

As co-hosts of International Pow Wow, NYC & Company, the city's official tourism marketing organization, and I LOVE NEW YORK, the state tourism agency, are showcasing the best of the Big Apple through tours of all five boroughs and spectacular events at the Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller Center, Time Warner Center and Ellis Island that will showcase the diversity of New York City.  More than 1,200 buyers and journalists are participating in more than two dozen different citywide tours that include stops at more than 100 cultural organizations, visitor attractions, restaurants, retail stores, neighborhoods and more in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.  NYC & Company has recruited more than 1,000 volunteers for this important travel trade event, and volunteers will donate their time, energy and talent on evening events, registration, airport meet and greets, hotel hospitality desks, the official media center, and press and buyer tours.

NYC & Company Receives Department of Commerce Export Achievement Award

U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services Douglas B. Baker presented the prestigious Export Achievement Award to NYC & Company for their creativity and success in entering international markets and driving tourism business to New York City.  Mayor Bloomberg accepted the award on behalf of the city's official tourism marketing organization. 

"NYC & Company is an outstanding example of how U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses and the organizations that serve them are working internationally to help promote economic growth and jobs here at home," said Baker.  "Through their outstanding effort, New York remains the top U.S. destination for overseas visitors - supporting nearly 300,000 jobs."

The Department of Commerce cited NYC & Company's wide range of activities in marketing travel and tourism to New York City at more than 50 trade shows in 30 international cities, maintaining a consistent overseas presence through international offices in key markets, working effectively and cooperatively with the 260 worldwide offices of the U.S. Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce and creative global promotional campaigns such as the partnership with the NY Yankees and outfielder Hideki Matsui, which helped contribute to a projected 20% jump in visitor volume from Japan. 


Edward Skyler/Jennifer Falk   (212) 788-2958

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