NYC & Company, New York City's tourism marketing organization, is opening three offices today in Tokyo; Shanghai; and Seoul, South Korea.

The new offices are part of NYC & Company's ongoing strategy to court more international tourists by marketing travel to New York City abroad.

The three Asia locations bring the total number of NYC & Company's global offices to 14. The organization currently has a presence throughout Europe, in Mexico and Argentina, but this will be its first foray into the Far East.

The China and Korea offices are contracted to Marketing Garden, a travel and trade public relations and marketing firm, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Aviareps Co. The Japan office is represented by to Tsuru Enterprises, owned and managed by Kayoke Inoue.

According to NYC & Company, Japan represents the third largest overseas market for New York and it is estimated that 294,000 Japanese tourists will visit New York in 2007.

The number of South Korean travelers -- which represent New York's eighth largest overseas market -- to New York nearly tripled from 81,000 to 228,000 between 2002 and 2005. New York & Company projects 251,000 South Koreans will visit New York City this year.

In China, the U.S. still does not have approved destination status. Nevertheless, New York & Company hopes to encourage more Chinese business travelers to visit New York.

Earlier this year, NYC & Company opened marketing offices in Russia, Scandinavia, Spain and the Netherlands.

To contact reporter Michelle Baran, send e-mail to [email protected].

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