New York City is launching a global campaign to promote Lower Manhattan, an area comprising the financial district, Battery Park City, and the waterfront harbor. The effort -- "Get More NYC: Lower Manhattan," which begins June 1 -- extols the virtues of Lower Manhattan hotels, restaurants, shops, history, museums, and other attractions, including the 9/11 Memorial, which the city says will open on Sept. 12.
In addition to outdoor ads in the five boroughs, a taxicab monitor spot promoting Lower Manhattan, and an initiative to promote Lower Manhattan to meeting planners, the effort includes a media program at JFK International Airport's Terminal 4 starting this summer. Posters, wall clings and column wraps showing imagery of the City with a particular emphasis on Lower Manhattan will festoon the terminal.
And for the first time, NYC & Company, the city's marketing, tourism and partnership organization, is touting the city and Lower Manhattan with a social media campaign in several international markets. The effort -- intended to reach consumers as well as journalists and the travel trade -- comprises culture and language-specific Facebook and Twitter feeds in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. NYC & Company says it is also running a press-specific Twitter feed for media at the Twitter handle @nycgo_press.
The organization is also launching a geotargeted mobile push on the mobile version of the NYCGo.com site. The mobile program lets people use a "What's Nearby" feature after typing the URL into their mobile browsers. The feature serves up mobile info on local attractions with maps, navigation and descriptions relative to the visitor's current location.
According to the city, some 20 hotels contributing around 5,000 hotel rooms are now open in the downtown area, with three new hotels with a total of 769 rooms slated to open later this year.
Elizabeth H. Berger, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, said in a statement that Lower Manhattan has received a $30 billion cash infusion over the past decade in public and private investment that has helped pay for five new ferry landings and two European-style restaurant rows, and tripled the number of hotels the region had in 2001. She said 9 million people visited Lower Manhattan last year, representing a 26% increase from 2008. "Our population has more than doubled to 56,000 over the last decade," she said.
"A crucial part of the story of Sept. 11 is how Lower Manhattan -- an area many people said would turn into a ghost town -- has come back in the past 10 years," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in a video address to those attending the U.S. Travel Association's International Pow Wow in San Francisco this week. "People from across the country -- and around the world -- have contributed to its revival, and now we want our visitors to see that full recovery for themselves."
The city says the 9/11 Memorial will include a free online timed reservation system at 911Memorial.org, which goes live in July. The city is also hoping to minimize the deleterious influence of a tour bus onslaught via a Transportation Partners Program, which touts alternatives like ferries to Lower Manhattan and hop-on/hop-off buses, which don't require parking.
Tourism to the New York City -- the No. 1 U.S. destination for foreign visitors -- reached 48.7 million people and contributed $31 billion in visitor spending last year. Bloomberg has said he would like to see 50 million annual visitors next year.