Governor Hochul Announces Progress on Historic Commitment to Revitalize New York State's Tourism Industry

Feb 9, 2022

Part of Governor's Comprehensive $450 Million "Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs" Economic Recovery Initiative

I LOVE NY Launches First Ever Global Consumer Advertising Effort; Can Be Viewed Here

New Eligibility Screening Tools Available Online for Return to Work Grant Program and Meet in New York Grant Program

- Governor Kathy Hochul today announced progress on her commitment to revitalizing New York State's tourism industry, highlighted by the launch of new I LOVE NY advertising as part of her "Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs" initiative. The new spot will air in domestic television markets and digitally in select global markets, expanding I LOVE NY's paid tourism advertising to overseas markets for the first time. Additionally, guidelines and eligibility screening tools for two tourism industry relief programs totaling $125 million in support have been published online, encouraging potential applicants to engage with Empire State Development ahead of the open application period next month.

"The pandemic changed the economic landscape of New York State, and tourism was one of the hardest hit industries, as residents and visitors alike were encouraged to stay home," Governor Hochul said. "As we continue our economic recovery, we remain committed to revitalizing tourism across New York State, and thanks to falling COVID cases and hospitalizations, coupled with the collective commitment of vaccinated New Yorkers, we can safely extend an invitation to visitors from around the world. We encourage everyone to plan a first-time trip or a return visit to explore, experience and enjoy all New York State has to offer."

In November, as part of her "Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs" economic recovery initiative, Governor Hochul announced plans for a new I LOVE NY global tourism marketing effort. The new advertising serves to remind domestic and international travelers alike that New York City is open and ready for visitors, and they are invited to come be a part of it. In addition to broadcast advertising in domestic markets, for the first time, I LOVE NY is utilizing a consumer facing international component with digital ads running in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. Additionally, I LOVE NY has partnered with international tour operators to create and promote New York State and New York City travel packages.

The new 30-second ad features a mix of newer attractions and iconic favorites from across New York City, set to "Take the A Train" composed by Billy Strayhorn and performed by Duke Ellington. The ad opens with the Statue of Liberty and a sun-draped Manhattan skyline, followed by the impressive One World Trade Center tower. Grand Central Terminal and Oculus greet visitors as transportation hubs and architectural marvels. Picturesque views await at recently opened attractions like SUMMIT at One Vanderbilt and Little Island at Pier 55, while perennial landmarks like Central Park, Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art extend a timeless invitation. The new spot can be viewed here.

The governor also announced that eligibility screening tools are available online for two tourism recovery grant programs introduced in November as part of the "Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs" initiative. The $100 Million Tourism Return-to-Work Grant Program is designed to encourage tourism businesses that suffered pandemic-related job and revenue losses to rehire workers. The $25 Million Meet in New York Grant Program will provide grants to help convention centers and conference spaces bring more events, traveler spending and jobs back to New York State. The websites for both programs offer an eligibility screening tool to help potential applicants determine if they qualify for funding. Applications for these funding programs are expected to be made available in March 2022. More information, including program guidelines and application requirements, can be found here and here.

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Hope Knight said, "New York isn't 'New York' without tourism, which supports jobs and small businesses throughout the state. By extending an invitation to international travelers and providing targeted relief to the people and places that make New York a premier global destination, we can rebuild our tourism economy stronger and more resilient."

Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, "Governor Hochul has been a longtime champion for the tourism industry. These latest efforts are an important shot in the arm for a vital sector of New York State's economy during a critical time of regrowth, and I LOVE NY looks forward to providing this support to its industry partners. Together, we can fortify tourism in New York and welcome even more visitors to come be a part of it and find what they love."

Senator José M. Serrano, Chair of Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks & Recreation, said, "Our tourism sector is a vital economic engine that powers communities and industries across our state, and it's important that we encourage new visitors to come and experience all that New York has to offer - from world class arts and culture to our unparalleled outdoor recreational opportunities. Thank you to Governor Kathy Hochul for her commitment to a thriving tourism economy, which will play a significant role in our recovery from this pandemic."

Assembly Member Daniel J. O'Donnell, Chair of Assembly Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development, said, "New York City - and New York State as a whole - thrives on tourism. The state's travel industry was hurt by the pandemic, but its recovering, and we need to continue supporting these businesses. We proudly welcome visitors from around the world to share the amazing and unique food, places and experiences that we offer. My thanks to Governor Hochul for her continued support of our state's tourism partners."

These efforts complement I LOVE NY's current winter tourism campaign that is showcasing a host of seasonal attractions available throughout New York State. The 30-second spot highlights family friendly outdoor winter activities like skiing at Whiteface Mountain, ice skating at Canalside in Buffalo, and snowmobiling in the Tug Hill State Forest. For those seeking to escape the winter chill, destinations like the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium on Long Island and the Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark in the Catskills provide unique indoor options for a family getaway. The video can be viewed here.

To help plan your next New York State vacation, please visit www.iloveny.com. More information on getaways to New York City is available at www.iloveny.com/nyc.