FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES NYC & COMPANY OFFICE OPENING IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
New York City Expands International Presence with Office Openings in Australia and Canada This Month
Opening Down Under Comes as United States and Australia Reach Historic "Open Skies" Agreement Lifting Restrictions on Number of U.S.-Australia Flights
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta today announced the opening of NYC & Company's newest international office in Sydney, Australia, to promote and support travel to New York City. The office opening comes as the City continues to expand its presence globally to international travelers. Tourism is New York City's third largest industry, generating an estimated $28 billion in spending in 2007 and supporting more than 350,000 jobs.
"In 2007, more than 8 million people traveled internationally to visit New York City," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Tourism is essential to our economy, generating billions of dollars of direct and indirect spending and creating jobs throughout the five boroughs. The City is cleaner and safer than ever, and anyone who has ever visited New York City understands that it offers unparalleled diversity and excitement in shopping, dining, culture and entertainment. Our new office in Australia will attract even more visitors to our City so they can experience New York City for themselves."
"New York City continues to strengthen its global identity in an effort to capitalize on the international travel market - visitors who tend to stay longer and spend more money," said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. "In addition, the strength of many foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar has made New York City a more attractive destination, and we expect that we will remain the country's top destination among international visitors in 2008."
Travel to New York City is at an all-time high, with an estimated record-breaking 46 million travelers visiting the City in 2007. This includes an estimated 8.5 million international visitors, a nearly 20% increase over the previous year, with the U.K., Canada and Germany as the top three markets.
Over the past two years, NYC & Company has opened 10 offices serving 13 countries, expanding its global reach to 17 locations serving 24 markets worldwide in an effort to achieve Mayor Bloomberg's goal of welcoming 50 million visitors annually to New York City by 2015.
The organization's office openings in Canada and Australia this month are a continuation of that strategic expansion.
The Australian office, staffed by Integra Tourism Marketing, will provide on-the-ground tourism, marketing and public relations services, working with Australian travel trade groups, airlines and the media to increase visitation to New York City. To mark the office opening, NYC & Company Senior Vice President of Tourism Development Fred Dixon is holding a series of trade meetings and events with key tourism partners in Sydney this week.
New York City is the number one U.S. travel destination among Australians. The City welcomed an estimated 230,000 visitors from the country in 2007 - up from 216,000 visitors in 2006. And, the Australian tourism market grew to an estimate record of $515 million in 2007. Australian visitors stay an average of between 9 and 10 nights and spend an average of $280 per person per day. The U.S. dollar has weakened more than 13% against the Australian dollar over the past year.
Earlier this month, NYC & Company opened its first Canadian office in Toronto. The number of Canadian visitors traveling to New York City has steadily increased since 2004. Canada is now New York City's second-largest international market with an estimated 880,000 visitors in 2007 - up from 840,000 visitors in 2006. The U.S. dollar has also weakened more than 13% against the Canadian dollar over the past year.
Last week, U.S. and Australian officials announced a new air-services treaty, lifting restrictions on the service Australian and U.S. airlines can provide between the two countries and removing limitations on the number of flights they can operate. The "Open Skies" agreement will likely result in more travel options and lower fares for travelers, generate revenue, and offer significant economic benefits for both countries.
To further improve the visitor experience, NYC & Company recently enhanced its website, nycvisit.com, to incorporate a comprehensive inventory of the New York City's hotels and shopping, dining cultural and entertainment options throughout the . The site also highlights special events throughout all five boroughs. Special travel packages, discounts as well as NYC & Company's own promotions offer visitors boundless options for an unforgettable trip to New York City.
About NYC & Company:
Stu Loeser/Matthew Kelly (212) 788-2958
Kimberly Spell/Tiffany Townsend (NYC & Co.) (212) 484-1247