London, New York Mayors Join Forces to Encourage Tourism

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg have announced a two-year tourism agreement to boost travel between the two cities. The cities will provide each other with outdoor media advertising space and NYC & Company and Visit London, their respective tourism arms, will share best practices as a way to maximize travel between the two destinations and will assist each other with at least one publicity event in each city.

The mayors made the announcement during an international conference at Columbia University where they met to discuss their financial sectors, the diversification of their economies, building and maintaining their capital plants and expanding housing affordability. Visit London CEO Sally Chatterjee and NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta, and Columbia University President Lee Bollinger joined the mayors for the announcement.

Under the two-year tourism agreement New York City will exchange 71 bus shelters with London that will run in New York City for four weeks per year. In return, London will exchange 250 posters for four weeks on the London Underground system twice per year.

The yearly value of each city's media is $178,500. The agreement will be a two-year deal, $357,000 to London and $357,000 back to NYC from London. Also as part of the agreement, NYC & Company and Visit London have agreed to share best practices in their endeavors to boost tourism and to assist each other with at least one publicity event in their respective cities.

Americans made almost 2 million visits to London last year and America remains London's number one market for international visitors. Similarly, last year New York City welcomed a record 1,328,000 visitors from the UK, surpassing the record 1,237,000 visitors in 2007, making it the city's number one source of international visitors. New York City is the number one destination for UK travelers to the U.S.

"London and New York City share many similarities, including a strong sense of optimism and determination, along with a great appreciation for diversity and innovation," said Mayor Johnson. "Our common cultural ties, not least absolute dedication to providing world-class services and experiences for both residents and visitors, make the two cities exceptionally well poised to combine knowledge as well as resources to impact the economies and future of the cities."

"Now more than ever, as we work to limit the effects of the ongoing global financial downturn, it is important to find new ways to grow a diverse array of economic sectors, and tourism is among the most important for New York City," added Mayor Bloomberg. "New York City and London, both significant sources of travel for each other market, can learn a great deal from one other and we will work together to highlight each other's strengths and remain leading global cities."