Fran Reiter discusses new developments with Travel Weekly
contributing editor Helen Brower.
TW: Can you explain in brief the significance
of the bureau's recent name change to NY&Company and its
Reiter: The NYCVB has been the official tourism
marketing organization of New York City since 1935. We remain
committed to this core mission and always will be, but now we have
the opportunity to do more for the city. New York City is riding
the crest of good times -- culturally, economically and socially.
Worldwide, the city's image is at an all-time high. We view this
time as a window of opportunity, allowing us to make the logical
jump to marketing the city as a whole.
Now the organization will not only sell New York City for
tourism and convention business, but will also sell the city for
international business development, marketing the city in its
entirety as an ideal location in which to live, work, hold a
convention, vacation and locate a business. These efforts will fall
under the banner of our new name, NY&Company. However, the
NYCVB label will remain firmly in place for our core tourism
marketing efforts. Early plans call for NY&Company to both host
and visit potential investors from target international markets,
serve as liaison between investors and city agencies, and attract
"mediagenic" events that polish the city's image, but we can't
succeed unless we are successful in our core mission of selling
TW: What major upcoming events should agents be
sure to tell their New York-bound clients about?
Reiter: New York City bursts with spectacular
events every day. Some upcoming highlights include millennium
events such as Times Square 2000 and Celebration 2000 at the Javits
Center on New Year's Eve, and OpSail 2000, which will be held July
3 to 9, 2000. Our annual festivals and parades that celebrate
ethnic communities are great fun as well as living examples of what
makes New York City such a vibrant and diverse destination.
Examples include the West Indian-American Day Carnival held in
Brooklyn on Labor Day [Sept. 6]; the annual Harlem Festival, held
this year from Aug. 2 to 22, and the Feast of San Gennaro in Little
Italy, set for Sept. 9 to 19 this year. Our Web site, www.nycvisit.com,
lists events throughout the year, as does our new partner Web site,
TW: What tips do you have for agents with
midprice and budget clients coming to the Big Apple?
Reiter: We advise travelers and travel agents
to be flexible with dates -- a few days on either side can mean
reduced room rates. We also recommend taking advantage of New York
City's crop of new boutique hotels and independent properties. It's
a good idea to access our hotline at (800) 846-ROOM in peak periods
for a complete list of hotel rooms in across-the-board
accommodations and prices.