NYC & Co. launches effort to aid Chinatown

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NEW YORK -- NYC & Co., the city's tourism marketing organization, launched Ex-plore Chinatown, an initiative designed to build awareness of the city's historical Asian neighborhood and bolster business there.

Funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (LMDC) and the September 11th Fund, the two-year, $2 million initiative is intended to help rebuild a Chinatown economy severely impacted by 9/11.

The campaign includes the construction of a visitor information kiosk in Chinatown, the distribution of Explore Chinatown brochures and a Web site, www.explorechinatown.com, with information about the neighborhood, suggested itineraries, a calendar of events, lists of cultural activities and nightlife and an online map.

The campaign will work with international and domestic tour operators to incorporate Chinatown into vacation packages. NYC & Co. said it is "starting to communicate with many of our key travel partners about Chinatown" but doesn't have any arrangements with specific operators yet.

A key component of the campaign will be a local advisory committee comprising representatives from Chinatown's businesses, cultural institutions, civic groups and area residents.

"Chinatown is a great destination filled with unique shops, restaurants and historic and cultural amenities," said Kevin Rampe, president of the LMDC.

Carol Kellermann, CEO of the September 11th Fund, said, "We believe the community as a whole will benefit from increased tourism."

To contact reporter Jorge Sidron, send e-mail to [email protected].

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