Outdoor Media Campaign Throughout Spain Highlights Travel to New York City with Special Viva Tours Travel Package Offer Tourism Officials Assure Spanish Visitors that Travel to New York City is Safe Despite Health Concerns Madrid, Spain (May 5, 2009) - NYC & Company was today joined by Madrid Tourist Board Chief Executive Pablo Bautista and General Manager of Viva Tours Enrique Martin-Ambrosio to announce a new partnership to boost travel to New York City in 2009. Inside the salon of the Casino de Madrid, NYC & Company, Viva Tours and the City of Madrid announced a new $1.7 million outdoor advertising campaign that will drive tourism to New York City from Spain this year. With 2,000 posters on display throughout Spain, New York City is promoting the message of value to the City's fifth largest overseas market. In addition, New York City tourism officials traveled to Madrid to communicate that the City is safe to visit despite health concerns and to urge travelers not to cancel their future travel plans to the nation's largest city. "New York City has the highest market share of Spain visitation to the United States," said Kimberly Spell, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at NYC & Company, who traveled to Madrid for the event. "We are pleased to join the City of Madrid and Viva Tours to discuss the strong emotional and cultural connection between our respective destinations and to highlight New York City as the place to visit in 2009. We want to also assure Spanish visitors that it is safe to travel to New York City and encourage them to continue with their travel plans as normal." Fifty-eight percent of all travelers from Spain to the United States visit New York City. Last year, the City welcomed a projected 382,000 visitors, a 20 percent increase over the previous year. Spanish visitors collectively spent an estimated $389 million in 2008. Travelers from Spain stay on average more than six nights and enjoy shopping and dining out as their top two activities. Eighty-four percent who visit New York City come for leisure purposes and 84 percent stay in hotels. "Currently, Madrid's tourism promotion office has an institutional agreement with NYC & Company to grow the image of both destinations," said Pablo Bautista, CEO of the Madrid Tourist Board. "This exchange between both cities' tourism offices started last year in New York City with the presence of the City of Madrid in a campaign that promoted its cultural and tourist attractions." Bautista has underlined the importance of such a cooperation between New York and Madrid and has mentioned that "there is a strong intention to reinforce in the future these agreements between both cities that will create new joint initiatives". The New York City ads appear on street furniture throughout Spain in cities such as Madrid, Bilbao, Barcelona, Sevilla, and more. The posters promote the City's new Real Deal promotion (nycgo.com/realdeal), which offers discounts at the City's hotels, attractions, cultural organizations, shows, tours, and more; and the new Rainbow Pilgrimage campaign (nycgo.com/gay), a yearlong initiative to boost gay travel to New York City in 2009 during the 40th-anniversary year of the Stonewall Rebellion, the birthplace of the modern Gay Rights Movement. The ads launched on April 20 and will be in place until early June. As part of the promotion, Viva Tours is offering Spanish consumers a five-day package from 749 euros, which includes air, hotel and transfers from Spain to New York City. The prices are valid through June 19. Viva Tours travel packages can be booked by Spanish consumers through a local travel agent. "As the leading tour operator of the Spanish market in America, and particularly in New York, this agreement with NYC & Company represents a unique opportunity to reinforce our most important international destination," said Enrique Martin-Ambrosio, General Manager of Viva Tours. "At this time, we are managing approximately 30 percent of the holiday packages that Spaniards are contracting to the United States, thanks to the exclusive agreements we have with the airline Iberia, which has an extensive presence in America. Furthermore, Iberia has two daily direct flights to New York City from Madrid as well as another one from Barcelona. We hope that alliances such as this one presented today will help us to increase this quota, increasing our leadership." About NYC & Company NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For information on visiting and experiencing New York City, go to nycgo.com.