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NYC & Company showcases "the new New York"

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  •   05-11-2015  12:02 pm

NYC & Company showcases "the new New York"

Canada remains one of the top markets for arrivals to The Big Apple and in an effort to keep travel professionals in the loop about all that's going on in the destination, NYC & Company invested in a series of trade shows throughout Quebec and Ontario this week.

"New York is never one to rest on its laurels," Reagan Stulbaum, vice-president, tourism development, told PAX. "We're not a 'been there, done that' destination. We're always evolving and there's always something new to see and do."

To prove her point, various delegates from the city were on-hand to speak one-on-one with tour operator and travel agent partners, including: Big Bus Tours New York, Broadway Inbound, CHICAGO THE MUSICAL, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises/World Yacht, Courtyard by Marriott/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Empire State Building Experience, ICS 1-800-Book-A-Limo, Marriott International, Millennium Broadway Hotel New York, New York Water Taxi/Circle Line Downtown, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Opera and THE RIDE.

In 2014, about 1,390,000 Canadians travelled to New York City, a number that is projected to grow in 2015 despite the declining value of the dollar.

Reagan Stulbaum, VP, tourism development, NYC & Co.Stulbaum explained that while she expects other factors to balance out the weakened Canadian dollar (such as lower gas prices), the city's evolution is enticing more people to visit regardless.

"The iconic New York that everyone knows and loves is still there," said Charmaine Singh, Canadian representative, "but we want people to know about the new New York."

In recent years, NYC & Company has been showcasing the five boroughs to encourage travel to the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. Taking the campaign to the next level, new Insider Guides (nycgo.com/insider-guide) are now available, showcasing unique product beyond the attractions people typically associate with New York.

"So many people who have been to New York before but there's always a new reason to come back or a different way to see it," Stulbaum said. "We find as people come back, they want to dive a little deeper and explore neighbourhoods."

While new developments continue to evolve the appeal of each borough, Staten Island is poised for major changes in the coming years especially with the introduction of the New York Wheel. Slated to open in 2017, this attraction will be the tallest observation wheel in the world at 630-feet, accommodating up to 1,440 people per ride. In addition, Empire Outlets is expected to debut in St. George by fall 2016, with 1.1 million square feet of retail plus a 190-room boutique hotel.

"Staten Island is becoming a tourist destination unto itself," Stulbaum said.

To keep up-to-date on the evolving tourism product, the VP is encouraging travel partners to visit nycgo.com/traveltrade, where they will find a number of educational and marketing resources, in addition to the NYC & Company training academy.

"The travel trade is such an important piece of the puzzle," she told PAX. "They are out there on the front lines talking to consumers so it's important for them to be educated in New York City, to spread the message, and do justice to the destination."

"The product is evolving so fast so the more ambassadors we have to help tell that story, the better," added Singh.

Other news highlights:

- In fall 2014, NYC & Company announced Taylor Swift as New York City’s Global Welcome Ambassador. As part of the collaboration, NYC & Company launched a global tourism campaign – Welcome To New York – which uses Swift’s song to tell the story of the city's five boroughs. Videos on nycgo.com feature the artist drawing inspiration from her experience in New York City; the editorial content showcases what to see and do in New York City.

- Growing the family segment is a key focus for NYC & Company, which has increased by 26.5 per cent since the launch of the Family Ambassador program in 2009. In the summer of 2014, NYC & Company announced Curious George as the City’s sixth Official NYC Family Ambassador, in partnership with NBCUniversal, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) and PBS KIDS. Curious George offers tips on what families can see and do in the five boroughs, including kid-friendly travel materials; guides to NYC’s beaches, zoos, aquariums and museums for children; must-see green spaces such as Central Park and Prospect Park; and more (nycgo.com/family).

- In March 2015, Lower Manhattan saw the opening of Brookfield Place, a retail and dining destination that includes 300,000 square feet of retail space, a 30,000-square-foot dining terrace, a 30,000-square-foot French-inspired marketplace called Le District, and six critically acclaimed restaurants. Luxury retailers include Diane von Furstenberg, Burberry, Hermès and Saks Fifth Avenue (brookfieldplaceny.com).

- The One World Observatory is a three-story observation deck atop what is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Slated to open in late spring 2015, the new observatory will occupy levels 100 to 102 of One World Trade Center. At the top, guests will experience a movie celebrating New York in the "See Forever" theater, enjoy a bevy of dining choices and be able to explore the observatory, enhanced by interactive exhibits and hosted by friendly tour ambassadors who will interpret and point out the sights (OneWorldObservatory.com).

- Opening in the spring of 2015, the Super Pier will enhance Manhattan’s west side, with 270,000 square feet of total leasable space including dining, cultural space, retail options, galleries, 3.5 acres of public open space and more. Some of the Super Pier’s tenants currently include a beach club and spa to be operated by well-known hotelier André Balazs, an underwater rock climbing gym operated by Brooklyn Boulders and a variety of shops managed by Opening Ceremony (superpier.com).

PHOTO: Of NYC & Company: Peter Katz, senior sales manager, tourism development; Marsha Mowers, public relations, ConnectWorldwide; Reagan Stulbaum, VP, tourism development; Charmaine Singh, president, ConnectWorldwide; & Javier Fernandez, account manager - Canada

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