Thursday 26 September 2013

The mayors of two of the greatest cities in the world have renewed their commitment to boosting tourism and business by encouraging visitor travel across the Atlantic between London and New York.

The agreement between the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg recognises the importance of the leisure and hospitality sectors in both cities and the positive impact the tourism industry has on economic development.


The Mayor’s official promotional organisation London Partners, and its counterpart, New York City Company will exchange media advertising space for promotions in both cities and share best marketing and tourism practice.


The year-long partnership follows a previous agreement signed by the two cities in 2009. A key programme will be aimed at driving up visitor numbers at large and small cultural venues in each city and encourage even greater cooperation between cultural institutions.


The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “As great world cities for culture, London and New York offer the visitor an extraordinary number of attractions, so I am delighted to be renewing this important partnership. Let’s shout it out loud: London loves New York and New York loves London and as big, bold cities, tourism has a vital part to play in the prosperity of each. As the global economy emerges from this economic downturn, our goal is to build on the mighty reputations of each as pre-eminent destinations for culture hungry visitors.”


Mayor Michael Bloomberg added: “Mayor Johnson and I have long championed the need for municipal governments to diversify their economies and maximise opportunities to support small businesses and cultural institutions. Encouraging tourism development was one of our first initiatives together and renewing and enhancing these commitments will be pivotal to the continued vibrancy of these two world-class cities.”


Americans accounted for more than 1.8 million visitors to London last year and spent almost £1.5 billion in the capital.  The United States remains London’s number one market for international visitors. Forecasts show a projected 4% increase in visitor numbers for 2013.


Around 78% of overseas visitors say London’s cultural heritage, museums and galleries are one of the main reasons for visiting London (Source: London Visitors Survey, March 2011).


London Partners Chief Executive, Gordon Innes, said: “London has so many rich cultural offerings and our capital is experiencing record tourism figures this year. American visitors have always been a key target market and we’re delighted that both cities continue to recognise the mutual support we can offer each other.”


Last year, New York City welcomed more than a million visitors from the UK and forecasts show a projected 2.5% increase for 2013.  London’s Heathrow Airport accounted for more than 14 million passengers to the USA as a whole last year topping all other foreign airports.


New York Company, Chief Executive, George Fertitta, said: “New York City tourism is on pace for a record-breaking 2013 and today’s agreement helps set the stage for us to carry on this momentum into next year. London is our top overseas market and reaching this audience is a key priority for us as we look to reach 55 million visitors by 2015.”


Transport for London and the GLA are supporting the agreement by providing media advertising space on London Underground and through digital channels to the value of £200,000. NYC Co are reciprocating the media assets through Bus Shelter advertising in New York City. 


To mark the signing of the agreement, official airline partner, British Airways, is launching a special travel package for bookings between London and New York.  Beginning today through to 2 October 2013, holidaymakers can book, through, a three night break to the ‘Big Apple’ from £549 per person (including flights from Heathrow and three star accommodation) based on travel from 7 January to 5 February 2014. 


Richard Tams, head of UK Ireland sales at British Airways, said:  “We are delighted to be the official airline partner. With over 66 years of flying customers and holidaymakers across the Atlantic, this is an extremely important market to us and one we look forward to continuing to grow and promote.”

Notes to Editors

About NYC Company

NYC Company is New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization. Their mission is to maximise travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, build economic prosperity and spread the dynamic image of New York City around the world.


Tamara Sperling

Tel: +44 (0)20 7234 5784 or +44 (0)20 7234 5800