New York CVB expands mission

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NEW YORK -- With tourism here booming, the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau will expand its portfolio to market the Big Apple as a place to live and run a business, said bureau president Fran Reiter.

To carry out its new mission, the bureau adopted the new name, NY&Company, and signed American Express, Time Warner, Con Edison, Federated Depart-ment Stores and other nontourism corporate sponsors, Reiter said.

NY&Company named American Express vice chairman Jonathan Linen, Time Warner vice president Derek Johnson and New York restaurateur Danny Meyer (Union Square Cafe) to its board of directors.

The expanded agency will be headed jointly by Reiter and Tim Zagat, the publisher of the Zagat restaurant guides, who will serve as chairman. Reiter said the agency will retain the NYCVB label for its core tourism marketing efforts.

NY&Company's first priority will be to form an advisory committee of city business leaders to help draft a plan to promote the interests of city businesses and residents in the U.S. and abroad, said Reiter.

NY&Company will act as a "central facilitator and point of entry" for potential investors in New York, helping business connect with the Economic Development Corp. and other city and state agencies, Reiter said.

NY&Company will pay for its initiatives with an operating budget of $13.8 million in 1999, up from $10.4 million in 1998, she said.

In March, the city will open a visitor information center at 810 Seventh Ave., between 52nd and 53rd streets, and will begin installing 20 tourism information kiosks throughout town. Also this year, the tourism bureau will open sales and marketing offices in Mexico and Brazil and will launch a travel agent education program.

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