How New York City Markets to Its 16.7 Million Family Visitors

Skift Take

Family travel is a huge visitor segment for destinations, but one that must be uniquely catered to in order to encourage and accommodate trips that appeal to and are safe for young children.

— Samantha Shankman

As part of an ongoing initiative to appeal to New York City’s 16.7 million family visitors, the city’s tourism board NYC & Company today rolled out a new campaign encouraging and organizing trips for even the youngest of tourists.

NYC & Company announced the children book character Curious George would become the city’s sixth “NYC Family Ambassador.” The year-long campaign comes as part of a partnership with PBS KIDS, where the program airs daily, NBCUniversal, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Family travel currently accounts for almost one-third, or 30.8 percent, of total visitation in New York City, which is on track to reach a record 55.8 million in 2014.

With Curious George as the centerpiece, NYC & Company will push out content on family-friendly events and sites on its website’s family section. It is also working with 16 museums and outdoor venues to create and distribute themed activity sheets that help parents and their children explore each attraction.

The suggested itineraries will be welcome by parents who can follow the suggested path knowing their children are more likely to be entertained than bored.

The choice of central character also helps NYC & Company create an integrated marketing campaign around family travel. The program will be promoted on bus shelters, social media posts, taxi TV commercials, and digital media in top regional markets.

The campaign consciously highlights all five boroughs as family-friendly destinations as part of NYC & Company’s larger initiative to spread the economic benefits of tourism outside of midtown and more specifically Manhattan.

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