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NYC program to improve 1st impressions for international visitors

NYC program to improve 1st impressions for international visitors

Concerned with a decline in the number of international travelers visiting the United States, New York City is launching a welcome program meant to polish the city's image and greet tourists before they leave the airport, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday.
International visitors have complained about long lines at airports and at times unpleasant interactions with U.S. Customs officials. Under the new program, travelers will see large welcome signs as they disembark and workers will offer greetings, maps and information after passengers pass through customs.
A larger marketing campaign urges visitors to "Just Ask The Locals," with advice from celebrity residents including Robert DeNiro, Julianne Moore and former professional football player Tiki Barber.
With many prospective visitors having the idea that New Yorkers are rude, the city's tourism office, NYC & Company, is sending teams of "ambassadors" into the streets to pass out cards with tips on how best to navigate the crowded city.
Federal legislation signed this month, pushed heavily by the national travel industry, also aims to offer assistance to foreign visitors on arrival, reduce their wait times at airports and train U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in traveler relations. The changes will be made at the 20 U.S. airports that receive the most international arrivals.
The programs are a response to a drop in visits to the U.S. from countries outside of Canada and Mexico. In 2006, 21.7 million overseas visitors came to the U.S. _ down 17 percent from a peak of 26 million in 2000, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. In the same period, cross-border travel around the world was up about 20 percent.
New York's initiative is being launched at just one John F. Kennedy International Airport terminal, but tourism officials hope to expand to other arrival points. The city wants to raise the number of tourists visiting New York each year from 44 million to 50 million by 2015.
NYC & Company has already doubled its international presence this year, launching operations in Shanghai, Tokyo, Madrid, Moscow, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Seoul.
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On the Net:
http://www.nycvisit.com


Updated : 2021-02-26 10:04 GMT+08:00