Here we are, in February, and we have yet to experience either a cold wave or a major snowstorm. By the time you read this, either may have happened. For the sake of everyone making a living behind the wheel, I hope the weather stays mild at least a while longer.
To share some more good news, I would like to offer our congratulations to Cristyne Nicholas, the tireless and effective President of NYC & Company (the City’s Convention and Visitors Bureau), and her husband Nick Nicholas on the birth of their daughter, Rebecca Mary. Recently, Cristyne and NYC & Company Chairman Jonathan Tisch presided over the organization’s Annual Meeting, at which both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff joined in the celebration of a record year for tourism. During 2005, New York City received 41 million visitors, which directly benefited our regulated industries. NYC & Company projects an amazing 43 million visitors for 2006. In his State of the City Speech, Mayor Bloomberg set an even more aggressive goal....50 million visitors annually by the year 2015….and announced the creation of new initiatives to make it a reality.
NYC & Company will be embarking on a more aggressive campaign to promote and attract more tourists by becoming more of a presence promoting New York City in countries around the world. I look forward to my continued service as a member of the Board of Directors of NYC & Company, and will continue to work closely together with this vital organization in the coming years. By the way, one product of this partnership that we are very much looking forward to is the next Driver Recognition Ceremony, which is scheduled for March 29 at the Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center.
I am pleased to announce that our latest Annual Report to the City Council is available on the TLC’s Web site. The report highlights the TLC’s eventful year 2005, while looking ahead at some of the exciting things in store for 2006. Of particular note are the sections detailing the drop in some categories of consumer complaints, and the unprecedented taxicab customer service technology enhancements in store for later this year. Among many other things, the report also deals with the way our regulated industries stepped up to help people during the December transit strike, and some of the ways in which we have made it easier to interact with the TLC via the Web, and at our Licensing and Adjudication facilities. The report can be found at: (http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/downloads/pdf/2005_annual_report.pdf ).