In 2013 New York City Welcomed an Estimated 16.7 Million Family Visitors
New York, N.Y. - NYC & Company, New York City's official tourism, marketing and partnership organization, today announced Curious George® as its sixth Official NYC Family Ambassador, a joint effort with NBCUniversal, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) and PBS KIDS. As part of the yearlong collaboration, adventurous explorer Curious George will encourage family travel to the City's five boroughs by highlighting New York City as a family-friendly destination. In 2013 New York City welcomed an estimated 16.7 million family visitors, a 3.1 percent projected increase over 2012, contributing approximately $16.5 billion in direct spending to New York City's economy. Since the launch of the Family Ambassador program in 2009, family visitation to New York City has grown by 26.5 percent and currently comprises 30.8 percent of total visitation to New York City.
"With the help of the Official NYC Family Ambassador, Curious George, we are pleased to welcome even more families to discover the endless urban activities in New York City's five boroughs," said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. "Curious George is a beloved and amiable character known for his adventures, and we look forward to working with him to encourage family travelers to have an enriched vacation experience in New York City."
"For more than seven decades, Curious George has inspired and delighted children and parents worldwide," said Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Glenn Ross, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Universal 1440 Entertainment. "George's enduring popularity, multigenerational appeal and signature sense of adventure and exploration make him the model ambassador to connect families to the exceptional vibrance and charm that New York City offers."
The hit television series Curious George airs daily on PBS KIDS (check local listings). Digital games and activities from the series are also available at pbskids.org/curiousgeorge.
"PBS KIDS is committed to using the power of compelling characters to spark children's interest in learning. With his insatiable curiosity, George is a trusted guide for kids, helping encourage them to explore the world around them," said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children's Programming, PBS. "We are excited to extend the reach of Curious George, which consistently ranks as PBS KIDS' most popular kids' series, through this effort, helping connect more families with trusted, educational content from one of their favorite characters."
"Curious George has brought joy and a love of adventure to millions of children for generations. HMH is thrilled that he'll be welcoming families to New York City, a city that certainly inspires curiosity and exploration. With over 75 million books in print and several engaging apps available worldwide, Curious George promises to be a beloved ambassador," says Gary Gentel, President of HMH Trade & Consumer Publishing.
Starting today on www.nycgo.com/family, Curious George will encourage family travel with editorial content that features family-friendly activities and destinations for visitors as well as New Yorkers to enjoy. The editorial content includes kid-friendly NYC travel materials; guides to NYC's beaches, zoos, aquariums and museums for children; must-see green spaces such as Central Park and Prospect Park; and more.
NYC & Company is collaborating with 16 cultural institutions throughout all five boroughs to create and distribute a Curious George activity sheet that encourages kids and parents to use their five senses to explore each attraction and destination. Participating cultural institutions include the Louis Armstrong House Museum, National Museum of the American Indian-NY, New York Botanical Garden, New York Transit Museum and Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden.
The Official NYC Family Ambassador campaign will be promoted through bus shelters across the five boroughs; weekly social media posts highlighting fun facts about NYC; Taxi TV commercials running in NYC taxi cabs; and digital media targeting the City's top regional markets like Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Additionally, NYC & Company will be asking its members, city residents and visitors to share family-friendly NYC activities using the hashtag #nycgofamily.
The Family Ambassador program was created in 2009 to help position New York City as a safe, welcoming, family-friendly destination, encourage families to visit year-round and invite those who have already visited New York City to return and enjoy all of the new attractions the City has to offer. Curious George is the sixth Family Ambassador after Where's Waldo?® in 2013, The Muppets in 2012, The Smurfs in 2011, Dora the Explorer in 2010 and Sesame Street in 2009.
For more details on the Curious George Family Ambassador campaign, visit nycgo.com/family. Follow @nycgo_press on Twitter for the latest information about New York City travel and tourism.
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 more information, visit nycgo.com.
About Curious George Television Series:
Curious George, the television series, is designed to inspire kids to explore science, math and engineering in the world around them in a fun and entertaining way. Based on the best-selling Curious George books by Margret and H.A. Rey, this two-time Daytime Emmy®-winning series on PBS KIDS earned two additional Emmy® nominations this year for Outstanding Pre-School Children's Animated Program and Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program. The series expands George's world to include a host of colorful characters and original locales, while maintaining the charm of the beloved books. Each half-hour episode includes two animated stories followed by short live-action pieces showing real kids who are investigating the ideas that George introduces in his stories. The series encourages inquiry and curiosity, promotes hands-on exploration and shows parents and caregivers how to support children's science- and math-related play.
Imagine Entertainment was founded in 1986 by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer to create movies, television and other original programming. Since its inception, Imagine Entertainment has been honored with more than 60 prestigious awards, including 10 Academy Awards and 37 Emmys. Its past productions include the Academy Award-winning films A Beautiful Mind, 8 Mile, Apollo 13 in addition to The Da Vinci Code and Curious George and the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning television series 24 and Arrested Development. Imagine Entertainment has a long-standing production/distribution agreement with Universal Pictures.
About WGBH Boston:
WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle and children's series. WGBH's television channels include WGBH 2, WGBH 44 and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region's diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black, High School Quiz Show and Neighborhood Kitchens. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston Public Radio; 99.5 WCRB, Classical New England; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI's The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMediaTM, providing the nation's educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.
About Universal 1440 Entertainment, LLC:
The Universal 1440 Entertainment banner develops and produces live-action and animated productions directly for distribution in all media worldwide. Since its formation in 2005, the group has assembled an exceptional roster of animated family fare, including the brand-new animated feature-length film The Little Engine That Could; the Daytime Emmy®-winning Curious George television series on PBS KIDS; and a string of hit Barbie movies, based on the world-renowned Mattel-branded doll. The group also has successfully built upon some of Universal's highly celebrated live-action franchises, most recently launching the Tony Award®-nominated hit touring stage production Bring It On: The Musical; the adrenaline-fueled actioner Death Race 3: Inferno; and the latest in the terrifying suspense saga Curse of Chucky. Projects currently readying for release include Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power, Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse, Jarhead 2: Field of Fire and the newest installments of the beloved family franchises, Beethoven's Treasure and The Land Before Time.
Universal 1440 Entertainment is a production entity of Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE). USHE is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios (universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.
About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade & Consumer Publishing:
For nearly two centuries, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Trade & Consumer Publishing division has published some of the world's most renowned novels, nonfiction, children's books and reference works in hardcover, trade paperback and eBook formats. Its distinguished author list includes eight Nobel Prize winners, 48 Pulitzer Prize winners, 13 National Book Award winners and more than 100 Caldecott, Newbery, Printz, and Sibert Medal and Honor recipients. HMH publishes such distinguished authors as Philip Roth, Temple Grandin, Tim O'Brien and Umberto Eco and a celebrated roster of children's authors and illustrators, including Lois Lowry, Chris Van Allsburg and David Wiesner. HMH is also home to The Best American series®; The American Heritage® and Webster's New World® dictionaries; Betty Crocker®, Better Homes and Gardens®, How to Cook Everything®, The Gourmet Cookbook and other leading culinary properties; the Peterson Field Guides®; CliffsNotes; books by J.R.R. Tolkien; and many iconic children's books and characters including Curious George®, The Little Prince and The Polar Express. For more information, visit hmhco.com.
About PBS KIDS:
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online, mobile and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including the PBS KIDS video player, now offering free streaming video accessible on computer- and mobile-device-based browsers. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit www.pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.