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I LOVE NY Is Most Followed State Tourism Site On Twitter

New York, NY - After just two weeks since its official launch, New York State (www.iloveny.com) has reached its goal of becoming the most followed state tourism page on Twitter with nearly 9,000 followers. After an initial launch that attracted 500 followers, the Empire State received a major spike after pairing with a famous New York native, actor Peter Facinelli, who tweeted about New York to his 1 million plus followers in between shooting for Showtime's hit series Nurse Jackie, and filming for the next installment of the blockbuster Twilight Saga: New Moon.  I LOVE NEW YORK experienced a second boost after launching a sweepstakes with Facinelli on Friday, October 23, providing his Twitter followers a chance to meet the star in his hometown as part of the sweepstakes grand prize. Additional grand prize details include round-trip tickets to New York via JetBlue, luxurious hotel accommodations for two nights at The Sherry Netherland (www.sherrynetherland.com), ground transportation, an I LOVE NEW YORK and EscapeMaker.com gift basket and the two tickets to the set of Showtime's Nurse Jackie to meet-and-greet with Facinelli. The sweepstakes ends this Friday, October 30, at 11:59 pm and the announcement of the winner will be on Twitter on November 6.   Twitter users can still enter the EscapeMaker sweepstakes by visiting EscapeMaker.com (www.escapemaker.com/peterfacinelli). "We launched the @I_LOVE_NY Twitter handle with the goal of becoming the most followed state tourism page, so reaching the goal only two weeks after the launch is exciting and rewarding for us," said Thomas Ranese, Chief Marketing Officer of Empire State Development. "It's important for Empire State to utilize social media in promoting the brand. In this instance, the combination of Peter Facinelli's star appeal and genuine nature and the use of Twitter quickly helped us reach our objective. We'll continue to build a community that followers can access for travel information, ask travel questions, release the latest New York State happenings, exclusive offers and giveaways and talk about Another Reason to LOVE NEW YORK via Twitter and other social media outlets." Empire State officials continue to encourage all New York fans to sign-up to follow its @I_LOVE_NY Twitter handle ( www.twitter.com/I_LOVE_NY ). Also, visit I LOVE NEW YORK'S new Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-LOVE-NEW-YORK/118914714168. About New York State New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions.  New York's attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls, to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.  Whether it's wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like fishing, hiking and boating, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers.  For more information visit www.iloveny.com.  Media can find press releases and more at thebeat.iloveny.com. # # # Contact: Michelle Horn/Terence Gallagher Lou Hammond & Associates (212) 308-8880; Fax: (212) 891-0200 michelleh@lhammond.com / terryg@lhammond.com Lisa Willner Empire State Development Corporation (212) 803-3740 lwillner@empire.state.ny.us